Archive for Thursday, May 7, 1998

HASKELL UNION WORKERS TO PICKET

May 7, 1998

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The employees' protest will coincide with the university's weekend commencement activities.

Several dozen employees of Haskell Indian Nations University will picket -- beginning today -- to protest what they consider to be long-standing, unfair treatment by the school's administration.

``A lot of the issues have to do with the lack of communication and the disciplinary process,'' said Mike Tosee, a Haskell instructor and president of the National Federation of Federal Employees Local No. 45.

``We're hoping to get the administration to direct more attention to our concerns,'' he said. ``We want them to give (employees) more respect and we want more communication between management and employees.''

The pickets will be near Haskell's main entrance sign at 23rd and Barker.

They will begin this morning, with a majority of employees expected to take part between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

More picketing is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, the same day of commencement activities at Haskell, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Among written employee allegations:

  • ``Management does not give seniority consideration to job assignments.''
  • ``Lack of respect for employee efforts.''
  • ``The director of housing ignores and violates institutional rules and regulations and is not disciplined ... She is allowed to harshly discipline dormitory staff for actions less serious than her own.''
  • ``The cook foreman does not work a full shift.''
  • ``We have budget problems ... but the president found a way to increase his pay.''

Haskell President Bob Martin said he wouldn't let the picketing affect his efforts to make this weekend a time of celebration for graduating students.

``The employees have that right for an informational picket, if they feel like that's what they need to do, I have no problem with that,'' Martin said.

``We do have grievance procedures in place for employees who feel their rights have been violated,'' he said, adding that administrators would consider employee concerns through those channels.

``My time and attention and focus is going to be on commencement and the powwow and celebration,'' Martin said. ``I don't want to do anything that's going to take away from the graduating students and their accomplishments.''

There are about 100 members of the employees union, including dormitory and kitchen staff, maintenance personnel and instructors, Tosee said.

-- Mike Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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