To the editor:
I feel I must respond to Terry Rombeck's article in the April 21 Journal-World concerning some Kansas University classified staff members' concerns about the proposed alternative to civil service. The timing of the article is of concern with a vote just around the corner and the rather negative tone I feel the article carried.
I have been a KU classified staff member for 33 years. Like Kathy Coffey, I, too, felt I had security in the state system. But, as was stated in a Sept. 21 Journal-World article, 35 people have been laid off at KU, and 70 positions were eliminated. Where is the touted state security in this system? I sure haven't seen it.
Our raises are allocated by state legislators. They don't know us and don't know what we do, and most could care less. Classified Senate representatives have gone to Topeka every year for at least the last 10 years to bring our concerns to the attention of the Legislature. These Classified Senate members have essentially been ignored or politely brushed off.
There isn't an administrator on the KU campus who doesn't interact with some of us every day. They know us; they know what we do. Even when the state was in a sound financial situation, I sure don't remember huge raises. We seem to be losing ground every year in the current system. We need to try something else. There is no perfect system, and change can be scary. I feel that we can't be treated much worse than we currently are by the Legislature. At least with a new system, there is hope that things can get better.