What is a Living Wage?

a term used to describe the minimum hourly wage necessary for shelter (housing and incidentals such as clothing and other basic needs) and nutrition for a person for an extended period of time (lifetime)

Key issues

  • Policy – The current living wage policy that Stanford has excludes a large amount of workers on campus
    • Excludes Unions, Contractors, and Leaseholders under $100,000 (This includes workers at Stanford Hospital and Lucile Pack
    • Numbers – These guidelines cover about 150 workers as of 2007. In contrast, over 1200 unionized workers are not protected by the living wage policy.
  • Lack of Enforcement – Stanford has the ability to enforce the contract, but historically has not. Stanford is under no obligation to break contracts.
    • All monitoring is based on compliance reports given by contractors; these reports are only encouraged, not required by Stanford.
    • From the past, we have seen clear issues with this method of enforcement (see Colony landscaping)
    • Above all, enforcement is based on encouragement, not specific guidelines.
  • Transparency – Determination guidelines for defining a living wage are vague
    • Bases for comparison are not listed within the policy and are not known.

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