WSU members take wage-reopener fight straight to top



From The Daily Evergreen, John Freitag

From The Daily Evergreen, John Freitag

WSU members take wage-reopener fight straight to top; follows recent settlements at WWU, TESC

Federation members at Washington State University ask the simple question:

If faculty and administrative professional staff will get 4 percent across-the-board raises in January – totaling more than $11 million – why won’t WSU consider equity for classified staff in ongoing wage re-opener negotiations with the Federation?

It’s such a good question that a delegation of WSU Federation members took it directly to university President Elson Floyd’s office this past Friday (Oct. 25). They presented petitions signed by more than 200 workers and supporters (including some gathered at the Federation’s recent convention).

“To me, it’s a slap in the face because you don’t feel like you’re appreciated for the hard work that you do here,” Local 1066 member Roger Eberhardt told the student newspaper, The Daily Evergreen.

The university rationalizes that classified staff receive step increases, including the new M Step for those who had previously topped out.

But classified staff are on the lower end of the pay scale compared to faculty and administrative staff and all have gone without a cost-of-living adjustment since 2008.

“I hope President Floyd takes us seriously and gives us the 4 percent raise that he has given the rest of the university,” another Local 1066 member, Eric Needham, told the newspaper.

In the wake of the WSU members’ job action, Floyd agreed to meet Federation Executive Director Greg Devereux to discuss the urgency of the situation.

WSU third of three wage re-opener fights:

The Federation went back to the table under wage re-opener clauses in three higher education contracts. WSU is still unresolved, but thanks to the Federation, fair settlements came at the bargaining table with Western Washington University and The Evergreen State College.

• WWU. As you recall from the big news in the July 25 Hotline and August WFSE/AFSCME Washington State Employee and the rest of the Federation communications network online and in social media, Federation members at Western Washington University in Bellingham got a lump-sum bonus of 2.2 percent in their Aug. 25 paychecks. Another lump-sum payment of 1 percent is coming Dec. 10, 2014. This is on top of the new M Step that brought a 2.5 percent raise to those who’d been at Step L for six years and two more personal leave days.

• TESC. And to recap the big news you saw in the Sept. 5 Hotline and September newspaper and the rest of the Federation communications network online and in social media, classified staff at The Evergreen State College in Olympia will get a lump sum payment of $551 in Nov. 10 paychecks, thanks to Federation wage re-opener bargaining there. This is on top of the new M Step and a guaranteed 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment raise on July 1, 2014.

Now WSU needs to close the loop!

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