Archive for Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Haskell employees protesting working conditions at university dorms

May 6, 2009, 1:28 p.m. Updated May 6, 2009, 5:00 p.m.


Nadine Milne has been a residential aide at Haskell Indian Nations University for nine years. In that time, Milne said the number of aides has been cut by 50 percent.

She said some dormitories that house more than 300 students, such as Roe Cloud Hall, have three residential aides to cover the 24-hour shifts.

Sonya Bonga, steward with the Federation of Indian Service Employees, said the eight dorms on campus should have a minimum of 25 dormitory assistants, but there are only 13.

LeRoy Kelly, chief steward with FISE, said understaffing is a concern among students and faculty.

“There’s too many students for not enough people to run those facilities,” Kelly said.

Haskell President Linda Warner said she felt the staffing was adequate in the dormitories.

“People in the dorms are adults,” she said. “The staff is there for emergencies. We don’t need a 1 to 10 ratio over there.”

To raise awareness about their concerns at Haskell, FISE members organized a picket Wednesday at 23rd Street and Barker Avenue. They will be picketing again from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and from noon to 1 p.m. Friday.

The protesters claim Warner has disregarded union issues and fails to communicate with union members.

“If we could just get her to communicate with us, we wouldn’t have to be out here,” Bonga said.

But Warner said she meets once a month with FISE members. She added, “LeRoy has an open door” to visit with her.

Warner said she received the flier outlining the union’s complaints Monday, and sent a response by e-mail to the entire staff Tuesday.

“I think most people understand that the issues have been addressed or are being addressed,” Warner said. “That’s why there’s only 10 people out there out of the 228 employees.”

The picketing has upset some seniors who will graduate Friday.

“There are milestones in everyone’s life and this is one of ours,” said Becca Baseside, senior. “I think that they really stole the limelight from the students by picketing this weekend.”

Baseside has filed a complaint with FISE to prevent its protest Friday. She said the union hasn’t contacted her about a decision.


A20271 9 years, 1 month ago

"..concerns that have been addressed throughout the current academic ear."

wow..and they STILL haven't been heard??

weatherguy48 9 years, 1 month ago

I love all the typos in this story. It's Barker Avenue, not Baker street.

hawkergirl 9 years, 1 month ago

What "concerns"? more info, please....

Raider 9 years, 1 month ago

They are always b*&^ching about something. Don't they have a swamp to save?

professor 9 years, 1 month ago

Ingrates! Whining about job conditions in a time where thousands who are out of work would take their place under any condition. Fire their ungrateful butts so they can have a something vaild to carp about.

The only thing worse than being hard-hearted, is being soft-headed. - Teddy Roosevelt

nogoodguy1us 9 years, 1 month ago

There are some things that I don't agree with Dr. Warner and some of her practices, as a Haskell alumni, primarily her hiring practices, and some financial dealings. Although these may be a problem to a point but I do agree with what she did when she first came to Haskell, get rid of many people that have been there for years and accomplishing nothing as far student development and only helping themselves and their families. Furthermore I do agree with Dr. Warner by making Haskell employees accountable since they are federal employees and do get a good salary to do their jobs, and are expected to conduct themselves professionally. As a former Haskell student, a larger percentage of the staff that is more than acceptable, made students lives miserable, very similar to what the employees are protesting at the present time but not for the students but for themselves. What comes around goes around but the primary complaint which is not being put out there is that they're being forced to work and do the jobs that are clearly stated in their job descriptions. Another concern about Haskell has been the gossip that takes place at Haskell and all Indian communities. With years experience around Haskell, I could never count on anything being done, or actions being taken to make needed changes, the only that I and everybody else could count on is the Haskell gossip. I know that the only complaints that the employees really have is that they will be reprimanded for gossiping, they are being forced to work and earn the good salaries they are being paid, and are being treated in a way that they have treated students for years.
I am proud to be a Native and honored to be a Haskell alumni, but in too many ways, I feel shame and frustration with my own people, primarily with how official business is conducted and how we treat eachother.

Danimal 9 years, 1 month ago

I have a solution! Just fire them all, then they can move on to complaining about unemployment benefits.

hawkergirl 9 years, 1 month ago

Wow - let me get this right - "they're being forced to work and do the jobs that are clearly stated in their job descriptions."

What am I missing? What are the terrible "conditions"?

NDNJAYHAWKER 9 years, 1 month ago

I swear if no one had anything else to say but nice words it would be a better world. People dissing on natives, whites, black, mexicans, topekans! I myself love Haskell and I don't work there and that is by choice but I did go to school there at one time. I agree that Dr. Warner did some damage and has many, many, did I say many employees totally in turmoil. I don't agree of the way she made some changes, I believe she used her position to juggle departments and yank people out of there perspective positions and downgrade them to hardly anything. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people that were downgraded from Directors to clerk-typist. BUT the good thing is that you still have a job and this economy is rugged and you will still ge the same pay. I do believe some positions at Haskell need to be yanked and some people need to be yanked, I will not say any names but I swear the brown nosers are pitiful people that have to suck up to keep there jobs and move into a position that they are not qualified for or have no clue on how to run it. Do I need to say names? OMG, I hope Haskell returns for the better and things get done with Board Members there!

Sharon Aikins 9 years, 1 month ago

Sorry if I missed all the racist posters here, ed. I didn't see one person say that the "white man" take over Haskell. Nor did I see in the article what exactly it is that the workers are protesting. My guess is that if they are unionized they have a union looking out for their interests. Or it is that, like other entities, Haskell is feeling the pinch right now and asking their employess to do what they were hired for, work? If conditions are really that bad, then I don't disagree with them but first I would like to hear what those awful conditions are.

beatrice 9 years, 1 month ago

Maybe if they carried some teabags with them when they protested they could then get the attention of the Republicans.

whiskeysour 9 years, 1 month ago

I am curious what a "residential aide" does. . . I know in residence halls at KU where the majority of residences are underclassmen that there may be some programming and community building activites. . . but are "residential aides" doing that same type of activity for adults? Seems a bit odd to me.

I didn't see any mention of "conditions" which warranted protesting. . .other than understaffing. . . perhaps the employees currently in those positions could take a pay cut in order to pay for more staff. How do you think that would go over?

To state the obvious, politically incorrect, elephant in the room . . . why, in the 21st century, is there still a need for a federally funded indigenous university?

cyborgluver 9 years, 1 month ago

these people have no reason to complain, they have jobs! Government jobs! From what I understand these folks that work in the dorms get paid very well, GS 5 salaries and they are full time employees, i don't know of any university that pays their resident assistants that much. as a matter of fact most universities have students graduate and undergraduate students running the residence halls and getting paid nothing practically. get a life people! there are more important issues going on say the state cutting the education budget!

professor 9 years, 1 month ago

edjayhawk, your real name wouldn't happen to be Janeane Garofalo would it? You sound every bit as mentally deficient as her.


jenng 9 years, 1 month ago

whiskeysour-Contrary to popular belief, the undergrads in KU's dorms are adults, too. At least in theory.

Haskell's residential aides are the equivalent to KU's RA's, with the exception of having 1 person to cover a shift for a dorm of 300 students. Obviously they cannot preform the same role, but that is their intended purpose.

Regarding disregarding all worker rights because we're in a recession is absurd. This story leaves out all of the details so it is impossible to pick a side.

nmgc 9 years, 1 month ago

"Raider (Anonymous) says… They are always b*&^ching about something. Don't they have a swamp to save?"

Raider, don't you have other minorities to hate?

beeshlii 7 years, 7 months ago

yep Ms. Warner is right when she said "People in the dorms are adults,”

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