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The Scarlet & Black

UGSDW rallies support for $15 an hour wage prior to meeting with College officials

Following+the+rally+outside+of+the+JRC%2C+representatives+of+UGSDW+and+student+workers+met+with+representatives+from+the+College.+Photo+by+Alex+Fontana.
Following the rally outside of the JRC, representatives of UGSDW and student workers met with representatives from the College. Photo by Alex Fontana.

On Thursday, Nov. 18, at 11:00 a.m., a group of around 70 students gathered outside the JRC to support the Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers (UGSDW) in their demand for a $15 an hour minimum wage for dining workers. This demand was announced at the union’s general meeting on Saturday, Nov. 6.  

At the rally, student workers shared personal stories about their experiences with understaffing at the Dining Hall. Some talked about being switched stations without training and having to work significantly past the time they were scheduled due to understaffing. A Dining Services student leader said they had had to regularly ask student workers to stay late.  

“They act like we’re disposable, but we get three to four emails a week asking us to pick up a shift,” said a student worker in attendance. 

Representatives of UGSDW said that they believed a wage raise to $15 an hour would solve many understaffing problems.  

The Dining Hall has struggled with understaffing for much of this year. Photo by Abraham Teuber.

Following the rally, attendees moved into the JRC, where 20 students representing UGSDW entered a meeting with Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Mary Greiner, Associate Vice President for Finance and Assistant Treasurer Nancy Combs and the Vice President of Human Resources Jana Grimes. Also representing the College’s bargaining team was Frank Harty, a lawyer from the Nyemaster Goode law firm.  

“We plan to formally request to reopen contract negotiations with the College with the hope of negotiating a higher wage for students in the dining hall,” said Isaiah Gutman `23, a UGSDW executive board member-at-large, after their meeting. “We just had a meeting with the College Dining Administrative team to talk about the issues going on in the dining hall … $15 is crucial to resolving understaffing in the Dining Hall.” 

If the College agrees to reopen contract negotiation, UGSDW will begin negotiations with the College’s bargaining team over the demand for a wage increase.  

This story is still developing.

Editor’s note: S&B copy editor Isaiah Gutman `23 is an executive board member-at-large for the UGSDW; he did not contribute to the writing or editing of this article.

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Ellianna Cierpiot, News Editor
Ellianna Cierpiot is a second-year English major & Film and Media Studies concentrator hailing from Kansas City, KS. Their interests include poetry, horror movies, and, recently, giraffes, but their journalistic interests lie in investigative explorations of how policy affects lives. They probably want to watch a movie together sometime.
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