Senator Bernie Sanders has long been a proponent of a $15 per hour minimum wage and unionization. He’s also chosen to stand by his perspective, providing his presidential campaign workers with at least $15 an hour and having them unionize. However, the move has also put the pitfalls of his policies on display.
The union contract associated with his campaign comes with a flat $36,000 annual salary for his field staffers, according to a report by the Daily Wire. With a normal 40-hour work week, staffers would make $17 per hour. However, some claim that they are working up to 60 hours each week, causing their hourly wage to fall to $13.
In order to combat the dip in his staffers’ hourly wage, Sanders is limiting the number of hours they can work.
“We look forward to continuing those discussions and obviously are disappointed that some individuals decided to damage the integrity of these efforts before they were concluded,” said Faiz Shakir, Sanders campaign manager.
“As these discussions continue, we are limiting hours so no employee is receiving less than $15 for any hours worked.”
Sanders’ campaign also offered field organizers a raise, which would result in a $42,000 annual salary. However, that offer was rejected as it would have required a six-day work week and would have required them “to pay more of their own healthcare costs.”
Reportedly, Sanders has complained about Sanders going public with their concerns, which he would have preferred to address internally.
I’m very proud to be the first presidential candidate to recognize a union and negotiate a union contract,” said Sanders. “And that contract was ratified by the employees of the campaign, and it not only provides pay of at least $15 an hour, it also provides, I think, the best health care benefits that any employer can provide for our field organizers.”
“It does bother me that people are going outside of the process and going to the media,” he continued. “That is really not acceptable. It is really not what labor negotiations are about, and it’s improper.”
Prior to his trip to Iowa, Sanders expressed similar sentiments.
“We are disappointed that some individuals have decided to damage the integrity of these efforts,” Sanders stated. “We are involved in negotiations. And some are individuals that have decided to damage the integrity of that process before they were concluded.”