Members of Kansas University's Classified Senate are urging their colleagues to voice their frustrations during a day of lobbying at the Legislature.
The senate has set aside March 5 to meet with legislators about a variety of concerns, including classified employee salaries, reclassification and cost of living adjustments.
Classified employees at KU also plan to picket in front of the Statehouse between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. that day, said Brad Eden, a library assistant who is a member of Classified Senate.
Eden is particularly upset about reclassification and Gov. Joan Finney's recommendation to give classified employees a 1.5 percent cost of living adjustment.
THE FIFTH phase of the reclassification process, which was started by former Gov. John Carlin and was continued through the administration of former Gov. Mike Hayden, has not been implemented. It targets technical paraprofessionals.
Reclassification is the process in which the state reviews job descriptions and makes adjustments to employees' salaries to reflect those in the private sector.
Eden said the Legislature never seems to be concerned about classified employees.
"We're never really a major focus in any year. We're kind of non-entitities," Eden said today. "We have to show them that we're concerned about the way we're being treated."
In a position paper that was sent to Mrs. Finney, the Kansas Council of Classified Employees outlined its demands, which included "timely implementation" of reclassification by 1992; a 5 percent cost of living increase effective June 18, 1991, in addition to the annual 2.5 percent step increase (merit raise); continued funding for longevity bonuses of $40 per year of service to be paid annually to all employees with at least 10 years of service; and improvements to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS).
The council also called for better leave and health care benefits, a tuition-fee waiver for university employees, child care, and funding for the third year of the Margin of Excellence, the Kansas Board of Regents three-year plan to bolster salaries and academic programs at state institutions.
ALTHOUGH classified employees at KU annually sponsor a lobbying day in Topeka, Eden said he hoped classified employees will have a significant presence this year. The senate has invited all Kansas classified employees to attend. At KU, classified employees include librarians, secretaries, groundskeepers, housing officials, and most non-faculty positions.
Carol Dressler, president of KU's Classified Senate, said employees must use vacation time if they want to participate in lobby day.