After months of advocacy, University housekeepers have been granted a pay raise of 90 cents to $16.81 per hour, according to The Workers Union at UNC.
Since September, housekeepers have been organizing with The Workers Union around two demands — $20 per hour wages and free parking. Neither demand is met by this recent move.
Robin Lee, a housekeeper who attended a recent meeting with UNC representatives, said the raise felt like a “slap in the face.”
Lee said she asked at the meeting if others could pay their bills with a housekeeper's wages.
The Campus Y has also been helping organize student support for the housekeeper demands, and members of that effort have expressed similar disappointment with the raise.
“Yeah, UNC did something,” said Imani Rankins, a Campus Y executive board member. “But, realistically, what is 90 cents going to do for you if you have a rent payment or a mortgage payment that has to be paid? I guarantee you that the landlord is not going to be appreciative of you giving them 90 extra cents.”
A Dec. 15 email statement from Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Nate Knuffman and Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Compliance Becci Menghini gave further details about the raises. The statement was shared with campus leaders.
“These increases come after advocacy from the chancellor, members of his leadership team, and the Board of Trustees, which ultimately brought about changes in state systems to allow this adjustment,” UNC Media Relations read.
The North Carolina Office of State Human Resources recently approved updated salary ranges for the Building Environmental Services classification, the statement said. This change allowed the University to implement Labor Market Adjustment Reserve (LMAR) increases for over 400 eligible employees.