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Hunger Strike Ends

Burlington, Vermont - April 27, 2007

The five-day hunger strike is over at UVM. The twelve students and their supporters ate bread Friday afternoon after reaching an agreement with UVM administrators.

It turns out they were protesting for a livable wage for campus workers, but their numbers were wrong. UVM got help from the state's joint fiscal office to show that the lowest wage on campus, combined with UVM's benefit package, equals a wage higher than $13.62 an hour the protesters wanted for workers.

"What the joint fiscal office helped us identify (Friday), is that our benefits are so good, that when you calculate the value and put them into the formula, you actually get to a pretty good livable wage. And this mechanism will allow us to keep our finger on that as the years go by," said UVM Spokesman Enrique Corredera.

"Admittedly, the benefits that UVM offers are good. So when factored in, they do take back the actual livable wage numbers a bit. In terms of a solution, it's not a solution. There are still many, many workers on this campus who work two jobs," said Sam Maron, one of hunger strikers.

Protesters met with UVM President Dan Fogel who agreed to form a new committee to make sure workers basic needs are met. UVM admits it might have been able to avoid the strike in the first place, but it took the strike to get administrators to ask the legislative economists for help.

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