April 2017 Solidarity Now!

President's Corner

It’s that time of year. Rumors are flying around campus about staff raises. Will it be 2% again this year? Might it be more, and so recognize the importance of what we, the face of the University for many, do well and loyally on a daily basis? Students, departments, and administration depend on our expertise, and staff is one of the pillars of what makes IU an outstanding institution. Surely the goals of the Fight for Fifteen and the Battle of Wage Compression are admirable, achievable, and just.

What? What is that you say? That can’t be true! Less than even the disappointing 2%? When there are over 900 support staff members on the Bloomington and Northwest campuses earning $30,000 to $35,000 annually? When those amounts are significantly less than the published self-sufficiency standards for Monroe and the surrounding counties, as well as Lake Country? Self-sufficiency standards for even one adult and one preschooler? When the most regular customers at the local Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard food bank are IU support staff? When so many of our children qualify for reduced lunches and some even for food stamps? When it’s already been announced that Purdue will offer a 2.5% merit raise pool, and tuition will not go up?

The Trustees and Administration wouldn’t do that. Would they? Even for one year? In 2008 when it was announced that there would be no staff raises, the funds were found. It happened again in 2009 and 2010 and for those two years, there were no raises. The campus protested mightily by asking all staff at all levels to wear black or a black ribbon on July 1, 2010 and organized a press conference that was held at Sample Gates.

The Local is already planning on scheduling Days of Green in support of the recently released Fight for Fifteen and the Battle of Wage Compression. Will there need to be discussion about having regularly scheduled Days of Black in Fiscal Year 2017, and possibly more, in protest of raises being even lower than they’ve been for the last several years?

[Read more by downloading the PDF version of Solidarity Now!]