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Swarthmore Living Wage and Democracy Campaign records

Notifications

Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

When the Swarthmore Living Wage and Democracy Campaign (SLW&DC) formed in 2000, the minimum wage at the College was $6.66/hour. The group consisted primarily of students, with participation of staff and faculty. After years of research studies, negotiations, and rallies, the Board of Managers passed a proposal in 2004 that addressed some of SLW&DC's concerns and increased the minimum wage to $10.38 tied to inflation. Other components of SLW&DC's proposal, including a call for a childcare benefit, were not met at that time.

    See also
  1. Aronoff, Kate. "Swarthmore students and staff campaign for a living wage, 2000-2004." Entry in Global Nonviolent Action Database. 29 October 2011. https://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/swarthmore-students-and-staff-campaign-living-wage-2000-2004
  2. Kalwaic, Kae. "Swarthmore Living Wage and Democracy Campaign." Blog. http://psalmboxkey.wordpress.com/political-philosophy/swarthmore-college-living-wage-and-democracy-campaign.

Kae Kalwaic, a staff member in the Education Department at Swarthmore from 1993-2017, was a participant in the Swarthmore Living Wage & Democracy Campaign efforts. She assiduously documented the progress of the campaign on her website (https://psalmboxkey.com/) and in nine 3-inch scrapbooks which she donated to the College Archives in 2017.

These scrapbooks include SLW&DC reports, correspondence between SLW&DC and the administration, publications, flyers, and other records of SLW&DC records. The bulk of the collection dates from the 2000-2004 period of the major campaign, but there are also materials about labor history at Swarthmore before the campaign began, and updates on labor-related issues after the main campaign ended.

The collection was preserved in the order Kae Kalwaic established, which is roughly chronological.

Gift of Kae Kalwaic, 2017.

The collection was removed from binders and rehoused in archival folders and boxes, but the original order and section/folder titles as established by Kae Kalwaic were preserved.

Publisher
Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Hazlett Henderson and Celia Caust-Ellenbogen
Finding Aid Date
2017 September
Access Restrictions

This collection is available for researcher use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Collection Inventory

1970-1973, 1970-1973.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes a paper presented by Drexel University professor Elizabeth McLean Petras, "From Paternalism to Patronage to Pillage: Chester, Pa., a Chronicle of the Second Most Economically Depressed City in the U.S." Also includes a short history of labor conditions and organizing efforts at Swarthmore, written by Prof. Thompson Bradley (1994).

Labor Mediation Committee, 1993.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes an issue of "Spare Change," the student publication of the Socialist Political Action Collective of Swarthmore College.

Workers Survey, 1994.
Box 1
Salary Concerns AA Initiatives, 1992-1996.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes Phoenix articles related to the resignation of the only female officer of Public Safety and the workplace concerns of a visiting French professor.

Long Range Planning - Staff, 1998.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes bulletin prepared by students on recent developments in staff politics at the College.

Accreditation Self-study - Staff, 1999, 2000.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes results of a discussion with President Al Bloom.

Equal Opportunity Committee, 1996, 1997.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Subject of equality of treatment between faculty and staff comes up multiple times, particularly around "Fall Fest" event for staff.

Staff Advisory Council, 2000.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Copy of Staff Advisory Council by-laws.

Miscellaneous, 1997-1998.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes information from campus visit by director Michael Moore in 1997, and a CD with a campaign Excel spreadsheet.

Faculty and Staff Art, December 1999.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes lengthy report from the Planning Subgroup on Staff Experience.

Winter Institute, 1997.
Box 1

2000.
Box 1
Beginning Living Wage, 1999-2001.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes information on the beginning of the Learning 4 Life program.

January 2001.
Box 1
February 2001.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes relayed concerns from a community member about the racial makeup and leadership of the Living Wage Campaign, and several articles of vigorous debate from the Swarthmore Phoenix.

March 2001.
Box 1
April 2001.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes petition delivered to President Bloom with 1,192 student, faculty, staff, alumni and community member signatures (unlisted), and article written by Swarthmore alumna for Democratic Socialists of America.

May 2001.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes information on Harvard's living wage campaign (sit-in and success).

September and October 2001, September, October 2001.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes response from President Bloom to editor of Democratic Socialists of America, in response to fall 2001 article written by Swarthmore alumna Rachel Neumann.

November 2001.
Box 1
January and February 2002, January, February 2002.
Box 1
March 2002.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes articles on staff response to college's raising minimum wage to $9 (from approx. $6.60).

April 2002.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes manifesto written by members of Political Science 51, "Socialism in Europe." Students lived "on the commune" (Parrish Beach) for three days.

May 2002.
Box 1
September - December 2002, September to December 2002.
Box 1
Economic Panel, Nov. 2002.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes advertising materials, schedules, scripts, newspaper coverage, etc. for alumni panel on labor justice. Also includes a number of articles from a series of profiles of College staff.

Educating for Social Justice?, April 18, 2003.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

A senior thesis from Haverford College: "Educating for Social Justice? Hierarchy and Principles of Equality in the Staff Experience at an Elite Quaker School."

Swonions, 2002.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

"Swonions" was a satirical student publication which dealt largely with labor justice.

Campaign Flyer History.
Box 2
Salary Schedules and Info, 1993-2012.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Includes detailed information on changing staff schedules (1998-2012) and area colleges' presidents' salaries.

No title - assorted documents, 2002.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Particularly concerning discussion of health care coverage and Benefits Bank at the College.

Employee evaluation, rules, etc., 1993-1997.
Box 2
Staff Compensation Review Committee, 2001.
Box 2
Women's Concerns, 1992-1996.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Includes a guide on workplace sexual harassment from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Tri-Co Voice in Workplace: Swarthmore, January 12, 1999.
Box 2
Tri-Co Voice in Workplace: Bryn Mawr, May 26, 1999.
Box 2
Tri-Co Voice in Workplaces: Haverford, Apr. 14, 2000.
Box 2
Tri-Co Voice in Workplace: Swarthmore, Apr. 12, 2001.
Box 2
Tri-Co Voice in Workplace: Bryn Mawr, May 6, 2002.
Box 2

Living Wage Fall 2003, Fall 2003.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Includes information on private Board of Managers meeting discussing living wage.

Board of Managers Packet, September 2003.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Includes letter from Gerald Epstein and Robert Pollin of the Political Economy Research Institute (University of Massachusetts - Amherst).

Living Wage Spring 2004, Spring 2004.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Includes report from Living Wage and Democracy Campaign: "Living Wage, Three Years Later: An Updated Report…" (1/21/2004). Also includes report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Living Wage, annotated by the Living Wage campaign.

Rally, February 28, 2004.
Box 3
Specific standards, 2004.
Box 3
Board of Managers, February 2004.
Box 3

Fall 2004 (folder 1), Fall 2004.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Includes many documents on organizing among faculty members and negotiations with President Bloom, and a small zine for first-year students ("an introduction to the struggle for real justice at Swarthmore College").

Fall 2004 (folder 2), Fall 2004.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Includes many documents on organizing among faculty members and negotiations with President Bloom, and information on the specter of economic injustice.

Staff Treatment, 2004.
Box 3
Budget, Fall 2004.
Box 3
Alumni Letters, Fall 2004.
Box 3
Budget Factors and Panel Discussion, 2004.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Includes personal statement responses to, "I support a living wage because…"

Untitled - includes Ad Hoc Committee on Living Wage's Report, February 2004.
Box 3
Rally, December 4, 2004.
Box 3
Congratulations on Victory, Fall 2004.
Box 3
Spring 2005, Spring 2005.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Includes in-campaign analysis of victories and (un)successful strategies.

College Tax Forms (folder 1), 1998-2003.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Includes tax form 990 for Swarthmore College, 1998-2001.

College Tax Forms (folder 2), 2000-2003.
Box 3

Union, 2006.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

Includes a 2008 course paper written on Kae Kalwaic and the Living Wage campaign.

Benefit Bank, 2009.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

Includes an Ad Hoc Financial Planning Group Recommendation to the Board of Managers (2009).

Time card, 2011.
Box 4
Collection, May 2, 2014.
Box 4
Labor Articles in Phoenix, 2015-2016.
Box 4

Worker Ballots, 2001.
Box 4
Survey, Fall 2001.
Box 4
Petition Signatures (folder 1), 2001.
Box 4
Petition Signatures (folder 2), 2001.
Box 4
"The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania" prepared for the Women's Association for Women's Alternatives, Inc., 2001.
Box 4
Staff Employee Handbook (complete), September 1991.
Box 4
Untitled - updated and additional policies, 1993-2000.
Box 4
Two VHS tapes of 2002 rally, 2002.
Accession SCA-2017-034 (objects and photographs).
Box SCA-2017-034
Scope and Contents

Additional materials on long term loan to the Friends Historical Library. Not processed and not considered in extent/linear footage measurement for collection. Loan consists of: clay chess pieces handmade by Kae Kalwaic ("Playing for Livelihood at Swarthmore College," 2004), SLW&DC t-shirt, 2 SLW&DC buttons, 2 envelopes photographs of SLW&DC 2004 rally.

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