Archive for Friday, November 10, 1989


November 10, 1989


Representatives of about 6,000 classified employees at every state university in Kansas are expected to attend an organizational meeting Saturday in the English Room at the Kansas Union.

Cindy Riling, classified senate president at KU, said the meeting is designed to develop a combined position paper among classified employee groups at the various state universities to present to the Kansas Legislature during the 1990 session.

Classified employees are the support staff of a university and include secretaries, custodial workers, cooks, police, painters and accountants. KU has about 1,800 classified employees.

Among major concerns that will be raised at the meeting are the rising cost of health insurance, the decreasing value of the state retirement plan and a number of family issues, Riling said.

THE POSSIBILITY of organizing a "lobby day" for classified university employees also will be discussed, Riling said. She said rather than put their concern into a letter to mail to the Legislature, classified employees may decide to attend the legislative session in person on a specified day.

Riling said the rising cost of health care benefits is a main concern of classified employees. Although she could not present an exact percentage increase to classified employees of the cost of health insurance during the last few years, she said the costs have risen enough to eat up any pay increase granted during this time.

"In addition to paying higher premiums, we have had to pay additional costs at the hospital," she said.

RILING ALSO said classified employee representatives will ask that the state increase the level of funding in the employee retirement plan.

Presently, employees pay 4 percent of their salary into the Kansas Public Employment Retirement fund, and the state contributes 1.4 percent.

She said classified employees are expected to ask that the state's amount be increased to 1.8 percent of employees' salaries.

Riling said an increase in state funding to classified employees retirement fund would bring it more in line with state retirement contributions for unclassified professional staff such as university faculty and librarians. She said the state contributes 5 percent with an 8 percent employee payment for some unclassified staff.

Among family issues that Riling said should come up is paternity leave. She said there is not an established policy for classified staff at state universities, and it is usually left up to each department concerning how much leave to grant.

The meeting will get under way at 11 a.m. and is scheduled to run until 1 p.m.

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