SAN JOSE — Stanford University will require some companies that perform campus work to pay their employees a “living wage,” but student activists who have insisted upon such a rule said Monday the plan falls short of what they wanted.
Stanford President John Hennessy announced last week that the private university will require that some subcontractors pay workers at least $10.10 an hour with benefits, or $11.35 without benefits. California’s minimum wage is $6.75 an hour.
The policy will apply to companies that have multiyear Stanford contracts worth more than $100,000 annually and use workers not covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
Administrators are not certain how many workers would be affected, but Chris R. Christofferson, Stanford’s associate vice provost for facilities, estimated it could be about 100.
Students on the Stanford Labor Action Coalition complained Monday that the plan does not cover enough Stanford workers. They also said they were not properly consulted on the decision and that the living wage is too low.
Even people making well above $10.10 an hour in this exorbitantly expensive area struggle to get by, said Molly Goldberg, a Stanford freshman in the labor group.
She and other Stanford students will ask Hennessy to impose a “prevailing wage,” based on the average pay of similar workers in the region, and ensure a range of other perks. That would go even beyond Harvard University’s recent announcement that it would raise several hundred workers’ pay beyond the “living wage” that its students had demanded during a three-week sit-in last year.
“We want the university to agree to a code of conduct that addresses more than the wage issue,” Goldberg said. “We want to look at things like education and health benefits, and family leave policies that we also think are important to provide to workers.”
Stanford’s Christofferson said students’ criticism was understandable but added that the living wage policy is still being finalized, and the minimum pay requirements could rise.