Education

As protest continues, Duke says it will begin process to raise minimum wage

Duke students pass by a banner at left listing a number of demands by the Duke Students and Workers in Solidarity group in front of the Allen Building, right, on April 6, 2016.
Duke students pass by a banner at left listing a number of demands by the Duke Students and Workers in Solidarity group in front of the Allen Building, right, on April 6, 2016. hlynch@newsobserver.com

After days of student protests, Duke University announced Wednesday that it will begin a process to raise the minimum wage for its workers and hire an outside expert to review employee grievance procedures.

In a letter to the campus community, Duke President Richard Brodhead said the university would take several steps “to address issues of respect, civility, wages and inclusiveness for staff.”

Duke’s minimum wage is now $12 an hour, and Brodhead did not say how much it would increase. In addition to the outside review of complaint procedures, Duke will also review guidelines for contract workers, Brodhead said.

Nine student protesters began a sit-in at Duke’s main administrative building on Friday. The building has been shut down for classes and visitors ever since,.

One protester did leave to participate in a national poetry contest in Texas.

The other eight protesters remained in Allen Building late Wednesday and were issuing further demands regarding Duke employees.

Jane Stancill: 919-829-4559, @janestancill

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