Dear Trustees of Indiana University:

The time is coming for you to make some important decisions about the IU budget for the 2009/2010 fiscal year. We understand that it is a difficult and challenging task that you face. However it is imperative that you consider factors beyond simply numbers.

You must also take into account the human element, the living, breathing people who do the work of keeping the university healthy and vital and who make it possible for IU to provide the best possible education to students. Without experienced, loyal and caring staff, IU's mission and promise to students will be compromised.

"Whether measured against inflation, the Consumer Price Index, or compared to the self-sufficiency standard, IU staff have been left behind and continue to fall further behind."

In his recent address President McRobbie said, "It is our goal to play a leading part in the state's recovery by strengthening higher education and improving Hoosier lives." IU staff are "Hoosier lives," and for too long IU has failed to see this and to provide them decent, livable wages.

Whether measured against inflation, the Consumer Price Index, or compared to the self-sufficiency standard, IU staff have been left behind and continue to fall further behind. Over the last seven years our wages, which feed the Indiana economy, have been essentially negative, seriously challenging our ability to simply keep ourselves and our families warm and fed. IU's staff are hurting, and they need their employer, Indiana University, to step up and do something about it.

IU's staff are the front lines. They are the first people seen or heard by students, and the last ones to wave good-bye as they leave our illustrious halls. Staff answer student questions, provide guidance and direction, produce and process reams of data and information generated by the educational process, and do much of the work that makes the university a stable driving force in the Indiana economy. The work done by support staff, the lowest paid and least appreciated among IU's family, is indispensible.

IU's staff have long been treated as interchangeable parts. CWA 4730, representing IU staff at IUB and IUN, say, "Enough is enough." The current economic crisis has brought this situation to a head, and for this reason, we now ask that IU take care of its staff with real raises this coming fiscal year. We must be able to start pulling ourselves up to a level of subsistence that doesn't leave us scratching for every penny just to meet our family's basic needs.

"We ask only respect and a fair wage for a fair day's work."

Three percent? Five percent? The choice, and responsibility, are yours. You have the power, granted to you by the taxpayers and the alumni who elected you, to make staff lives' better, and with them the Indiana economy. Hear our voices and use your power wisely, give staff the respect they deserve. Capital projects can be delayed or otherwise financed, but the needs of staff cannot. We are part of the life blood of the university and should be treated as such.

Simply put, we need real, sustaining raises this year so that we can survive and continue to help the university we love be the best it can be. The university must recognize our value and contribution. We ask only respect and a fair wage for a fair day's work. The decision is yours, please consider these facts and act accordingly by giving real, sustaining raises to all IU staff in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

Thank you,

CWA Local 4730
Executive board

Peter A. Kaczmarczyk, President
Susan F. Cowling, Executive Vice President
Audrea Davis, Vice President -NW
Charla M. Lancaster, Treasurer
Terry V. Stigall, Secretary
Edward S. Vasquez, Member At Large
Steven D. Williams, Member At Large
Victor J. Kinzer, Member At Large