About a dozen faculty members and 30 students at St. Mary's College, a public school in Maryland, have proposed a plan to limit the salary of the highest-paid employee to 10 times that of the lowest-paid employee.
The proposal recommends first raising the lowest yearly salary from $24,500 to $30,000, which is 130 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four. A 1:10 pay ratio would then cap the president's salary at 10 times $30,000, or $300,000 -- $25,000 less than what the president currently makes. The activists used information on salary available only in paper form at the school's library to find out what various workers on campus make, they said.
The individuals who crafted the proposal collected anonymous statements from some the college's lowest-paid employees, including security officers, housekeepers and grounds crew members, who revealed that they rely on food stamps, WIC, heating assistance and other public assistance. One worker said she can't afford and therefore skips needed medications and medical appointments; another said she has to borrow money to send her children to school field trips.