Casteen Meets with Wage Protesters

UVa president John Casteen and several other high-ranking UVa officials have met with the seventeen living wage protesters staging a sit-in, Chris Hall reports for The Cavalier Daily. Between 1:15am and 2:55am the parties engaged in negotiation talks, after which food was allowed to be given to the protesters, who have begun to run out. Casteen has posted a letter to the students on his website in which he proposes that they leave Madison Hall and that they work together in addressing the matter in a less disruptive manner. The students were given until 2pm today to provide a counterproposal; there’s nothing on the students website about that just yet.

Interestingly, none of these goings-on qualify as “The Latest News About the University of Virginia”—the university makes no mention of the protest on the site.

Out of curiosity, I’ve crunched the numbers on the cost of the living wage. I used Melanie Mayhew’s numbers on full-time and part-time employees at UVa that would be affected, assumed that part-time employees average twenty hours a week, and that all employees are paid for 51 weeks of work each year on average. That’s an additional cost of $42,120 each week, or $2,148,120/year. That’s less than the combined salary of just five UVa employees: Prof. Arthur Garson, Dr. R. Edward Howell, Prof. Irving Cron, Prof. Robert Harris, and Dr. Robert Cantrell. (The five best-paid employees at UVa, as of 2004.) Perhaps that provides a sense of scale.

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