Editor, Daily Nexus,

I think it is important to draw attention to a situation within the Carrillo and Ortega Dining Commons. Many full-time cooks and service workers have been requesting a wage increase for several years. A 5 percent wage increase was written into the dining services budget but failed to reach the pockets of those to whom it was promised.

What many students do not realize is that the full-time food service employees on UCSB’s campus earn 5 percent less, on average, than the food service employees on all other UC campuses. This is ridiculous when one considers the differences in standards of living between campuses. I work at the Carrillo Dining Commons and have discussed this injustice with the cooks, most of whom work two full-time jobs to support their families.

A full-time co-worker of mine is a baker in the Carrillo Dining Commons. He has been serving the dining commons for several years and has agility and experience in the kitchen. Although it’s obvious that the dining commons is dependent upon his service, his collective requests for a higher wage, made with other full-time employees, are always ignored. Their wages are more than inadequate to Santa Barbara’s standard of living – their wages are an embarrassment to the university.

This inadequacy of wages reflects poorly on UCSB’s employment practices and labor relations. Up until now, the university has successfully ignored the legitimate requests made by the Dining Services employees because the student body has been kept unaware. Recognition by the student body of this situation will ultimately be key in paying wages adequate to live.