According to reports in the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., the University of Mary Washington janitors, groundskeepers and other low-income workers can thank the Campus Crusaders and Living Wage Coalition for a boost in their pay. University officials were able to justify the raises because of rising labor costs in the county.

Although workers are appreciative for the raises, they will see little difference over time. According to reports, full-time custodians, who currently earn $18,067 annually, will only see about $85 more per month to start (before taxes). After two years, it is expected that they will make an extra $275 per month, minus taxes, over the current salary. Even considering the increase, custodians will be making only $21,400 a year, a wage that is difficult to live on.

In an effort to help these workers progress up the pay scale, the University is looking at developing programs where custodians can attend low- or no-tuition classes, training with students on basic reading, writing and computer skills.

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