Two outgoing Undergraduate Student Government officials presented a resolution Tuesday at the Senate meeting that aims to improve the compensation and benefits for custodians working at USC.
The USG Senate also voted unanimously in favor of approving the final USG hires for the 2018-19 academic year.
Outgoing director of external affairs Mai Mizuno explained that the custodian resolution aims to improve conditions for custodians at USC.
“First, we want to reduce the out-of-pocket cost that they have to pay monthly for their health care from 7 percent to 6 percent,” she said. “Secondly, [we want] to have a comparable wage increase to the wages of other workers downtown.”
Mizuno later explained that the resolution does not ask for a specific wage standard for custodians. It merely asks for wages comparable to those of other custodians working downtown who make $16.60 an hour, Mizuno said.
Before presenting the details of the resolution, Mizuno read testimonials of two custodians who work at USC. She did not say their names.
The first custodian testimonial came from a woman who has worked at USC for 11 years.
“We would like to urge students to use their voices to stand up for us and ask the administration to pressure its subcontractor, Aramark, to address our grievances,” she wrote. “For some time now we have felt undervalued, belittled and treated like we weren’t important.”
The second custodian testimonial came from a man who has worked at USC for 24 years.
“We have seen many of our coworkers become disabled as a result of our workload,” he said. “What we would like to ask all of you is to ask the University to hold the company, Aramark, to be more conscious of the workload that has caused illness, stress and increased work pressure on my coworkers.”
Mizuno also said that both the outgoing and incoming leadership of USG have supported for the resolution.
Senator Michaela Murphy delivered a message of solidarity with the entire community, explaining why she is sponsoring the resolution.
“I wish it went without saying that when we, as members of this community here at USC, say that we support fellow Trojans, we mean all Trojans here at USC,” she said. “But time and time again, we have seen that is not been the case, specifically with the treatment of the custodial staff here at USC.”
Incoming USG President Debbie Lee also presented a comprehensive USG budget proposal for the 2018-19 academic year. The total budget is roughly $2.07 million.
Part of the proposed budget is a subscription to The New York Times which would cost $8,000 and would provide 100 print copies to be distributed across campus on a daily basis. Some senators, however, raised concerns about how funding such an initiative would reduce the amount of funding that could be distributed to existing organizations that may need more funding.
The USG Senate will vote on the custodian resolution and the 2018-19 USG budget in next week’s Senate meeting.