On March 20th, UM President Donna Shalala announced that "effective immediately, the minimum hourly wage for all employees of outside service contractors is $8.00 per hour. Housekeepers, who previously had a starting hourly wage of $6.40, now have a minimum starting hourly wage of $8.55. Groundskeepers, who previously had a starting hourly wage of $6.40, now have a minimum starting hourly wage of $9.30." Of course, this step was welcome. But this was not a strike for a pay increase (which, in fact, is illegal). It was over the unfair labor practices employed in an attempt to impede unionization. Pay increases that are dependent on the generosity of an employer or a client of a contractor are likely to be ephemeral if the workers do not have a place at the table in future negotiations.
Furthermore, it should be pointed out that even with the pay increase, workers will still make well below a living wage. Both Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami both have living wage ordinances that require (in the case of the more recent City of Miami one) all contractors to pay a minimum of $10.58 per hour if they also provide health insurance and $11.83 per hour if not.