August 30th, 2010
President Donna Shalala:
We really appreciate your leadership moving the University of Miami forwards to becoming an “Ivy of the South”. As students, we have really enjoyed our university experience, and we are especially proud of your decisions to support the janitors and landscapers who maintain our campus. As students embarking to make a positive impact, we recognize our own histories of working class citizens in the United States. We would like to continue to provide the same opportunities to the workers of today that our own ancestors strove for when they entered the country: to have a living wage above the poverty line. We know you agree that citizens who are able to manage his or her basic necessities can focus on other important endeavors: preparing for times of crisis, spending time with family, and accumulating personal and financial resources to provide for the education of further generations. It is this window of opportunity that we wish to keep open, the same window that our forefathers (and mothers!) diligently strove to climb through.
The UM Janitor and Landscaping worker’s current contract with UNICCO will expire on August 31st, 2010 and we as students are concerned. The initial contract proposal put forth by UNICCO completely ignores the basic requests of these hardworking employees and does not account for the increasing cost of living in Miami. We appreciate the efforts UNICCO workers put into maintaining our beautiful campus all year long and we firmly support the workers as they attempt to negotiate a fair contract. Considering you have a strong history of supporting the students and employees of the University of Miami, we expect you do as well. We are asking you to please publicly and vocally support the worker’s basic requests. Not only would the workers and students greatly appreciate your support, but you influence would have a tremendous impact. We thank you very much for your time.
University of Miami Students and Faculty