During contract negotiations this summer between Stanford University and SEIU Local 2007, Stanford’s service workers union, SEIU explicitly asked Stanford to address its members lack of access to affordable housing during an undeniable crisis. Yet Stanford has done next to nothing to address this crisis.
As the strikers resume work, Services Employee International Union (SEIU) Local 521 negotiators is expected to return to the bargaining table Tuesday in their second meeting with County representatives since the beginning of the strike.
Stanford announced on Saturday that it has formed a tentative agreement with SEIU on a new five-year contract for the roughly 1,270 SEIU-represented workers at the University. But multiple union members have already expressed disapproval.
As housing costs continue to skyrocket in the Bay Area, where places such as East Palo Alto are expected to reach a median housing price of $1 million in the coming year, Stanford workers feel particularly affected.
Stanford students rallied with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2007, the on-campus workers’ union, in honor of May Day — a holiday celebrating the international labor movement — and to support workers during their upcoming contract negotiations with Stanford University.
The Campus Workers’ Rights Coalition and members of CSRE35SI: An Introduction to Labor Organizing have put together a series of profiles drawn from both archival and current interviews with workers on-campus to highlight both the struggles that workers at Stanford face and the resilience that they bring to the work they do. Campus workers often have to deal with chronic understaffing and difficult menial labor. Alongside this, Stanford does not pay its workers a living wage despite the rising costs of food, health, and housing in the Bay, and workers must often cover many of their own health costs because of a lack of insurance benefits while managing hours-long commutes due to a dearth of affordable housing.
During the meeting, Senators voted on and unanimously passed two pieces of legislation, one of which confirmed Saturday’s preliminary election results. Additionally, two new bills, regarding campus free speech, were introduced and the bill on electoral reform, introduced at the last Senate meeting, was further discussed.
What started as three Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) employees conversing in calm, measured Spanish turned into group of almost forty allied students, staff and SEIU members chanting in collective defense of workers’ rights.