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Point News – Front Page!

The first full edition of the Point News, SMCM’s student newspaper, features an article about St. Mary’s Wages … right on the front page!

The article quotes faculty (Sahar Shafqat, Laraine Glidden), current students (Abiola Akanni and Ashok Chandwaney), staff (Brad Newkirk) and alums (Caroline Selle & Paul Blundell).

Our favorite has to be Ashok:

“The Board of Trustees knows that their job is to be good shepherds of the community, and if they hear really loud and clear from the community that wage justice is something that we care about, then hopefully they will take this into account while searching for a new president.”

 

We strongly support the St. Mary’s Way Wage proposal’s call for pay cuts and caps for the President and VPs, as well as other members of the College considered to be highest earners.

Further, we strongly support accountability and transparency as we move forward and begin to recover from the harm that former administrative personnel have done to this College.

As to wages, we, as the Collective Bargaining agent, support fair and living wages for all staff and should more money be found for wages at St. Mary’s we would look forward to working democratically to determine how those resources would be distributed.

Brad Newkirk
President, AFSCME Local 3980

This proposal reflects the moral commitment to fairness of most of our community members. Its implementation would attract and retain qualified individuals that are deeply devoted to that commitment. It is a fiscally responsible plan with long-term solutions to several of the challenges we face as a PUBLIC institution. Individuals opposed to it, including some with the fiscal training and authority to offer advise, should engage in the process by, at least, offering parallel solutions to the long-term concerns the plan highlights. In doing so, it assures that we are ALL working to meet our current fiscal and moral challenges.

Dr. Jose Ballesteros
Associate Professor of Spanish

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (PDF version)

DATE: 12 September 2013

St. Mary’s College Wage Plan First of its Kind in Nation

St. Mary’s City, Maryland, Sept. 2013: Faculty, staff and students at St. Mary’s College of Maryland are proposing a new salary structure they say will increase wages for the lowest paid while reining in college costs. The innovative plan is the first of its kind in the nation.

Titled “St. Mary’s Wages, the St. Mary’s Way,” the proposal would guarantee a living wage to all full time employees of the College and place a cap on faculty, administrative, and presidential salaries. The proposal’s authors say it reflects the mission of the State’s only public honors college.

“We are a public college that values ‘social responsibility and civic-mindedness’ along with the goal of ‘promoting and maintaining a community built on respect,’” said Dr. Laraine Glidden, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Emerita. “I can think of no better way to demonstrate that we live what is in our catalog than by advocating for a living wage for all, paid for by limits on the highest earnings.”

The proposal’s supporters argue the caps on higher salaries and initiatives to stem the growth of non-faculty administrative positions would eliminate one of the drivers of the cost of college education. They hope to limit future tuition increases and improve the College’s ability to implement its mission of inclusiveness and affordability.

“Affordability is important when it comes to maintaining the diversity of the student body, which matters to me and my classmates,” said senior computer science major Ashok Chandwaney. “This proposal can help keep St. Mary’s affordable by ending the insane and interlocked upward spiral of tuition and executive salaries that’s happening everywhere.”

The subject of wages has long been a point of interest at St. Mary’s College. In 2006, a student campaign ended with students staging a Living Wage Sit-In in the President’s office. In 2012, students launched the “Living Wage Campaign” culminating in a hundred-strong march of students, faculty and staff across campus.

“St. Mary’s Wages, the St. Mary’s Way,” is available online at www.stmaryswages.org.

Images of past events are available upon request.

Contacts:

Dr. Robin Bates, Professor of English

240-895-4852

rrbates@smcm.edu

Dr. Laraine Glidden, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Emerita

240-895-3094

lmglidden@smcm.edu