Univ. of Memphis pres pushes for 'living wage'...but at what cost?

The University of Memphis president said in a recent email that he supports a living wage for campus employees.

But could raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour have unintended consequences?

University of Memphis President David Rudd says he supports a living wage for employees on the campus. 

Rudd announced in an email that the school will study how it can raise the minimum wage for all workers on campus to $15 per hour, but in a "financially responsible, sustainable way," according to WREG-TV in Memphis.

The outlet noted that the University of Memphis' faculty and staff governing boards supported increasing the campus minimum wage to $15 per hour in resolutions passed in 2018. But the change didn't come easily, according to UM custodian Doris Brooks-Conley, who is also a member of the United Campus Workers Union. 

[RELATED: UW student workers scoff at 24 percent raise, demand $15/hour]

"Every time I went to President Rudd about raising pay, I was ignored. I know I'm low on the ladder, but I have a voice too," Brooks-Conley told WATN-TV. "I'm glad he is finally listening after so many years." 

The Campus Workers Union partnered with the Fight for $15 national campaign back in Dec. 2016. That's when campus employees surrounded the UM administration building to drop off more than 100 cards asking for a $15 per hour minimum wage at Rudd's office. 

[RELATED: SDSU students demand more pay, less tuition]

Campus Reform previously reported on the University of Michigan being forced to cut jobs after the state increased its minimum wage to $9.25 per hour. The University of Memphis did not respond in time for publication when asked if the minimum wage increase could also result in layoffs. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JonStreet