CWA Local 4730, AFCME Local 832
Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 4730, representing 1,650 support staff at Indiana University Bloomington and Northwest, and AFSCME Local 832, representing service maintenance staff at IU-B, is calling on President Michael McRobbie, Chief Financial Officer Neil Theobald and IU board of trustees to do the fair, and right, thing with respect to cost-of-living raises for IU employees in 2012, as well as reinstating equity raises for those employees who have had, and will have, many additional job responsibilities added to their job descriptions due to personnel losses.
In recent years the IU Board of Trustees, President McRobbie, and many well-paid administrators have forced the lowest paid employees to make sacrifices during hard economic times, the same hard economic times that allowed McRobbie to accept a single raise greater than the rate of growth workers had seen in their checks over the last five years, combined.
"In recent years the IU Board of Trustees, President McRobbie, and many well-paid administrators have forced the lowest paid employees to make sacrifices during hard economic times."In the 2011 fiscal year, IU employees were given a meager 1.5 percent pay increase, which for many staff equated to a few pennies, while at the same time President McRobbie and other top officials received huge salary increases and retroactively paid themselves for the year, 2009, that IU employees were informed they would not receive any raise at all.
It is sad to see how little respect top administrators feel toward fair compensation for the hardworking employees loyal to IU. Last year staff received a 1.5 percent pay increase, while the U.S. inflation rate was more than double that, at 3.16 percent.
Even with a meager raise, IU workers had less to spend on the same needs from the year prior. Couple that with the decision by trustees and administrators to increase campus parking rates and health care costs for these same workers, and it's difficult to believe the trustees would approve, and that President McRobbie would accept, a 12 percent raise - from $476,000 to $533,120 - in the collective face of the workers under him.
Year after year IU has seen record enrollments, and with record enrollments come record revenues, yet this university continues to cut staff positions, freeze equity raises, push more costs onto employees and the state's working families with students. That, in turn with not filling vacant positions, then leaves those who remain required to not only complete their own work, but carry the added workload of those former employees never replaced.
Forty percent of support staff employees earn $30,000 and below, some making less than $10 an hour, and yet they must still find ways to pay for higher utility bills, higher food costs, higher medical bills and higher transportation costs. According to the Indiana Business Research Center at the IU Kelley School of Business, Monroe County has an average wage of $38,530, while Gary has an average wage of $42,337. What does it say about a major employer in these areas that continues to pay its staff so far below the average working wage?
"It is clear that leadership at this university cares nothing of the struggles and hardships their employees make to simply survive."
If IU staff are for the second straight year forced to accept only a 1.5 percent pay increase, while the U.S. economy continues to improve and after receiving no raise two years prior, it is clear that leadership at this university cares nothing of the struggles and hardships their employees make to simply survive.
That is shameful.
CWA 4730 and AFSCME Local 832 is calling on the leadership of IU to give no less than a fair and equitable 3.5 percent increase for its workers and nothing less, as well as reinstate equity raises. Anything less than a fair, livable wage increase of 3.5 percent - though still well below last year's rate of inflation - is an attack on our university's community of workers and their families.
CWA Local 4730 and AFSCME Local 832 is calling for fair wage increases and for a compensation level that takes into account the additional cost burdens all university employees have received. IU staff have continued to sacrifice for the betterment of IU, while enduring unacceptably low wage increases and high expense increases.
Now it is time for President McRobbie, the trustees, and IU administrators to be fair to the workers that answer their phone calls, prepare their reports, do their departmental payrolls, interact with students to provide a good learning environment, provide any and all support faculty and administrators need and work just as hard on a daily basis to bring continued success to IU.
For more information
CWA Local 4730 President Bryce Smedley, 812-340-5933
Mike Baker, AFSCME Local 832 Executive Board member, 812-325-4919