Letter: It’s time for a fair contract for University employees

Judy Grandbois

As people may or may not be aware, the University is in negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Teamsters unions here at the University of Minnesota as we speak. As usual, the University has no money and the lowest paid front line workers have had just about enough of their ‘false dilemma fallacy’.

Unfortunately, as has been the case at each and every negotiating meeting, the University cries poverty. The unions need the University to recognize the hard work that we do on a regular and on-going basis, and acknowledge that hard work with a respectful contract and raise.

A few weeks ago, there was a black-tie gala for big time donors for the University’s $4 billion fundraising campaign. That’s four billion dollars. Apparently, though, 95 percent of that money has already been earmarked. However, that still leaves five percent or fifty million dollars. I know, these numbers are just so out of anyone’s realm of comprehension. But, here is a number that anyone and everyone can understand. The University’s offer is a 1 percent raise the first year of the contract and 0 percent the second year of the contract. 

I am wondering if people are aware of any of this, and if you are, are you as outraged and insulted as we all are? What are some steps you could or might take to let the University know that this is not okay and that it is time for a fair contract? We are ‘Standing Together For Our Standard of Living!’

Here is a PSA:

Please wear green on Fridays to show solidarity.

Please write a letter to the editor of your local paper.

Please send President Eric Kaler a quick note to let him know that you are not okay with the treatment of the employees and the ridiculousness of the offered raises.

This letter has been lightly edited for grammar and style.

Judy Grandbois is an executive administrative specialist in the philosophy department at the University of Minnesota.