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The Scarlet & Black

Dining Hall Union approves tentative agreement to raise wages

The new contract is likely the first of its kind to be negotiated between a union of student workers and a private college. Photo contributed.

By Steve Yang

The Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers (UGSDW) has voted to support a tentative agreement, which would raise the hourly base wage from $8.50 to $9.25 and provide an additional 75 cents per hour for more experienced workers. The agreement will go into effect on Oct. 1, pending approval from President Kington. If Kington approves, the agreement will provide 265 employees – both students and full-time workers – with a 9 percent wage increase.

For UGSDW the agreement is especially significant because the group states that it is the first ever to be agreed upon between a private college or university and its undergraduate student union. Citing problems like understaffing and continuous increases in tuition that the union claims has “eroded the work-study wages by over 25 percent,” union president Cory McCartan ’19 wrote in the press release that he is “pleased that with this agreement, students will finally have an easier time contributing to their education.”

Photo by Frank Zhu.
Photo by Frank Zhu.

According to the press release, the contract also represents a victory for the union, which has advocated for higher pay for greater work experience. Beginning on Oct. 1, student workers will receive an additional 75 cents per hour after approximately 18 months of work. The union estimates that over the course of four years, a student worker will earn an additional 13 percent with this new contract agreement.

This article will be updated with further information as more information becomes available.

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