CWA Local 4730
As the state of Indiana continues to reel from economic recession, IU President Michael McRobbie's raise to $533,120 for the 2011-12 academic year sparks controversy and anger from University employees whose pay increase will not match standard of living inflation for 2012.
After the Board of Trustees approved to increase McRobbie's salary by 21.8 percent, Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 4730 immediately called on the university president to forgo all but 1.5% of a wage increase – the exact amount the majority of the campus' employees and staff was given for the next fiscal year. CWA 4730 members are extremely frustrated by the enormous discrepancy in wage increases – especially given the high projected numbers for inflation for 2012.
"If we are forced to accept 1.5 percent wage increase and suffer through these hard economic times then it would be only fair that McRobbie swallow that same pill." - Bryce Smedley, CWA 4730 president
While the Board of Trustees claim to merely be honoring a pay increase which was approved last year, CWA 4730 is calling into question any such raise, retroactive or not. CWA 4730 is challenging both the trustees' and the presidents' notion of decency and fairness in these tough economic times. At a time when staff wages fail to keep up with cost of living increases, CWA 4730 demands that President McRobbie be willing to stand with his employees in a sign of solidarity.
CWA 4730 has stated that this is not meant to question the value of president McRobbie's service or ability but that this is a matter of shared sacrifice.
CWA 4730 President Bryce Smedley said, "During difficult economic times, employees are hurting and do not see this as an appropriate time for the trustees to be giving such astounding raises to any administrator. While Mr. Mark Land has stated that this increase has put President McRobbie's pay rate right in the middle of wages of the Big 10, he refused to acknowledge that this has kept IU support staff pay rates right smack dab at the bottom of the Big 10. While many IU support staff are stuck with making hard choices and taking on second jobs, it's frustrating to see our President make his fortune on the backs of a highly skilled but low paid workforce."
Meanwhile, the IUB libraries are preparing for multiple staff layoffs, the discontinuation of the Department of Continuing Studies and other layoffs on the IUB campus. Workloads have increased as staffing levels have dropped while student enrollment continues to increase.
The most recent raises in employee salaries did not keep up with increased IU costs such as healthcare and parking--nor did raises match increases in the standard of living for 2011.
Smedley is quoted as saying: "We all share in the sacrifice. President McRobbie should too, if we are forced to accept 1.5 percent wage increase and suffer through these hard economic times then it would be only fair that McRobbie swallow that same pill. Let's not forget that in December 2008 President McRobbie sent out an e-mail to all IU employees' promising to freeze administrative salaries for the 2009/2010 fiscal year. I guess he failed to mention that they would make up for it the following year by paying themselves retroactively, and one can take as implied by this move that the IU administration believes the 'economic downturn' is over. If so, then tell that to the hard workers at Indiana University library who will be losing their jobs next week due to cut-backs and budget shortfalls."
For more information
Bryce Smedley - CWA 4730 President
CWA 4730 Office
IU Poplars Building Room 331