What We’re Fighting For

The United Campus Workers of Mississippi, with chapters in Hattiesburg and Oxford, is raising money to alleviate the burdens that people in our communities are facing. Funds will be directed toward campus workers at the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi and their families who are experiencing lack of adequate healthcare and job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also recognize that our institutions have failed to pay workers a living wage, thus compounding the impact of the pandemic in their lives. This fund will meet the immediate needs of workers during the current crisis.

Irregular and small “merit-based” pay raises are unacceptable. Salaries and hourly wages across campus are well below other SEC institutions. We advocate for regular, university-wide cost-of-living pay raises, in addition to increasing the minimum wage for UM workers to $15 an hour so that all workers may live with dignity. We also demand that there be transparency about job titles, promotions, pay raises, and over-time across the university. We have made a FOIA request (Freedom of Information Act) to gather data about pay across campus, and are continuing to research pay at other institutions.

Over the past year, we have received several reports of workplace harassment by middle- and upper management toward staff and faculty. These reports come from many departments suggesting a systemic problem. Reports include making false claims about an individual’s job performance, withholding payment for work-related duties, and retaliatory action against employees who complain. The university’s grievance system is unclear and powerless. We have requested clarification on the university’s grievance system from the administration and established our own form where workers may report issues of concern.