Students at the University of Maine Wednesday delivered a petition calling on the state's university system to support student workers.
The group Maine Student Action started circulating the petition after the progressive Maine Beacon website reported last month that university system officials had lobbied against certain legislation, including a bill that would increase eligibility for overtime pay. The website also reported that the system worked to exempt student workers from a recently passed paid leave law.
"In the dining halls, the library, everything else, so much of it is run through these student workers," says UMaine junior Aubrey Humpage, of Maine Student Action. "So the fact that we have an administration and a system that doesn't want to support them, and lobbies against them, was really disheartening for a lot of students to hear."
Humpage also says the petition effort was assisted by the Maine People's Alliance, which publishes the Maine Beacon, and that the document was delivered to the office of Chancellor Dannel Malloy.
"We're hoping that he does implement change, to actually show that they support these student workers," says Humpage. "Whether that's increasing overtime, whether that's increasing minimum wage, we're hoping to get actual results from the administration.”
In a written statement, Malloy says he hasn't had an opportunity to review the petition, but says that he understands "the value of student employment" and would be happy to schedule a meeting to discuss the concerns.
Originally published Nov. 20, 2019 at 4:47 p.m. ET.