Over the last week there has been much news and talk over this UVM protest over the starting wages of $10.60/hour, which would be $22,048/year. The protestors, or UVM SLAP, are asking for the “liveable wage” for them, which is $13.62, or $28,330/year. This implies that a single person making $22,048 is not living.
Heavenly and I did not make that much together last year and I think we lived… on approximately $5.00/hour!
There were statements made that employees in this range have to starve all year round, not just the one week, like the protesters did. I just don’t see how it would be possible for one person making $22,048 could possibly starve when Heavenly and I made around $10,000 each last year and had plenty to eat… so much in fact that we are now going on a diet as I mentioned in the previous post.
Where is all the money going?? It cannot possibly be on necessities… they obviously must be spending it on other non-essentials if they do not have enough for food.
One thing that the protesters are not factoring in is UVM’s very generous health insurance plan. A single employee making $22,048 a year pays only $27.90/month for health insurance. UVM pays the rest of the premium which is $320.82/month! What a steal! This benefit alone brings up the hourly wage to $11.94/hour.
UVM also offers a retirement savings plan where UVM contributes 10% of your base salary to the fund after 3 years of employment. This has a $2,204.80 yearly value, adding another $1.06/hour value. This would now bring the total hourly wage up to $13.00/hour.
…and there still much more that UVM offers, such as free tutition for classes so that you can develop your skills to get a better job down.
In a recent Burlington Free Press article, Tom Gustafson, vice president for student and campus life, stated that the $10.60 per hour starting wage was “dramatically above the market rate” and “higher than at any other higher education institution we can find.” If benefits were included, he said, that compensation might work out to $14 to $15 per hour.
There you have it… they are already making above the “liveable wage” I feel that while the protestors feel they are doing a good thing, they simply don’t understand just what a good deal the workers are getting. I feel that UVM has been very generous with their starting pay and benefits offerings. The protestors don’t realize that there are many people who would love to get that kind of opportunity and it’s my guess that any new hiring position UVM has, gets filled very quickly.
- UVM Employee Benefits Page for Non-Union Staff
- UVM Health Insurance Premiums for Non-Represented Employees
- UVM SLAP