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Archive for Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Protesters complain about staffing issues at Haskell dorms

Members of the Federation of Indian Service Employees at Haskell Indian Nations University participated in union-sanctioned picketing Wednesday at 23rd Street and Barker Avenue.

Members of the Federation of Indian Service Employees at Haskell Indian Nations University participated in union-sanctioned picketing Wednesday at 23rd Street and Barker Avenue.

May 6, 2009

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Haskell protesters voice concerns over staffing, safety

About 20 picketers gathered outside of Haskell Indian Nations University Wednesday. Enlarge video

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. today 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.

Comments

Ralph Reed 5 years, 7 months ago

jenng. Given the bent of most posters on this board, the comments were removed because they probably went beyond vitriolic and became outright racist. That happens a lot whenever people comment on any issue concerning Haskell, as many regular posters have no love lost for Haskell or Native Americans in general.

  • Ralph

Ralph Reed 5 years, 7 months ago

A few comments about the article.


“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.”


FISE wouldn't be picketing if the issues had been addressed. From my experience, the issues were either ignored or put off with, "We'll look into it." Further, the statement is a blatant ad hominem attack against FISE. Dr. Warner is trying to shift the subject from the reasons for the informational picket to FISE being the bad guy for having the audacity to picket.


"“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."


"Meeting with" and "communicating with" are two vastly different things. Dr. Warner knows this and she's playing symantics trying to cloud the issue.


Dorm staffing at Haskell has always been a problem that I know of. Staff leaves through attrition and none are hired to replace them. The numbers quoted indicate a serious safety problem at Haskell that the administration could fix, but is choosing not to. This is also evidence of a systemic problem at Haskell, centering around the budget and the inability (lack of desire to) of the administration to push for a higher budget.


A few personal comments. The lack of communication extends outside of Haskell. Dr. Warner ignored (did not even respond to) requests (note the plural) to meet with the Breezedale Neighborhood Association. This shows me there is no desire, not even the polite refusal, to interact as part of the neighborhood or listen to the neighborhood's concerns. This did not happen with the previous president. Money is and has always been a problem at Haskell. If you check the numbers, Haskell's budget in terms of buying power has steadily decreased over the past 30 years.

FISE IS DOING THE RIGHT THING!


I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

Ralph Reed 5 years, 7 months ago

A few comments about the article.


“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.”


FISE wouldn't be picketing if the issues had been addressed. From my experience, the issues were either ignored or put off with, "We'll look into it." Further, the statement is a blatant ad hominem attack against FISE. Dr. Warner is trying to shift the subject from the reasons for the informational picket to FISE being the bad guy for having the audacity to picket.


"“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."


"Meeting with" and "communicating with" are two vastly different things. Dr. Warner knows this and she's playing symantics trying to cloud the issue.


Dorm staffing at Haskell has always been a problem that I know of. Staff leaves through attrition and none are hired to replace them. The numbers quoted indicate a serious safety problem at Haskell that the administration could fix, but is choosing not to. This is also evidence of a systemic problem at Haskell, centering around the budget and the inability (lack of desire to) of the administration to push for a higher budget.


A few personal comments. The lack of communication extends outside of Haskell. Dr. Warner ignored (did not even respond to) requests (note the plural) to meet with the Breezedale Neighborhood Association. This shows me there is no desire, not even the polite refusal, to interact as part of the neighborhood or listen to the neighborhood's concerns. This did not happen with the previous president. Money is and has always been a problem at Haskell. If you check the numbers, Haskell's budget in terms of buying power has steadily decreased over the past 30 years.

FISE Is Doing the Right Thing!


I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

Ralph Reed 5 years, 7 months ago

Sorry for the double post. Something at the LJW servers.

  • Ralph

enoccturnal 5 years, 7 months ago

RalphReed brings up so great points on the matter. Do you think that there would be people protesting Dr. Warner if there wasn't issues? And maybe there was only 10 staff members out there because they were the only ones not afraid to lose their jobs for doing what was right. Many Haskell faculty are downright afraid of Linda Warner and afraid of losing their jobs for speaking out. One person is on 10 weeks no pay for speaking his mind, through a respectful letter. We are losing a lot of good teachers at Haskell because Linda Warner's refusal to hire people permanently. She won't hire Native teachers unless they meet very specific requirements. Professors are already required to teach 4 classes a semester to be permanent. Linda Warner then raised the number of classes a semester to 5, without even letting any professors know she was doing so. How is this cooperation or communication? Becca Baseside, I understand your concerns FISE "stealing the limelight" but this has a lot more importance than your graduation in some people eyes. You will graduate regardless if the spotlight is on you, and regardless of the treatment of these professors and employees. This has a lot to do with the future of Haskell as an institution and the future generations that will attend Haskell. Put them in mind when you make complaints for professors standing up for their rights. Linda Warner is killing the tradition of Haskell in the name of progress. And is taking the University in the wrong direction, away from accountibility, away from respect, away from cooperation and away from honesty. ARCH are the values that Linda Warner continually preaches but doesn't practice herself. How is that accountiblity??

jenng 5 years, 7 months ago

It's very frustrating that all of the comments were deleted. I thought posts violating policy were individually removed. They were not all racist and deleting the entire thread defeats the purpose of this forum.

Jonathan Kealing 5 years, 7 months ago

Jenng- The comments weren't removed. The article was inadvertently posted twice.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

Ralph Reed 5 years, 7 months ago

jenng. I agree, it is frustrating. However, this isn't the first time the LJW has removed an entire set of comments rather than winnowing them out. In all reality, it's sometimes easier for them to do that.


enoccturnal. "Linda Warner then raised the number of classes a semester to 5, without even letting any professors know she was doing so. How is this cooperation or communication?"


What happened to Haskell's Faculty Senate? Don't they have some say in things like that?


jenng 5 years, 7 months ago

jkealing-Thanks for clearing up the confusion.

oakcliffgirl 5 years, 7 months ago

Enoccturnal points to all the instances and situations that we as students at Haskell see and hear about over and over again. I feel for Ms. Baseside which stated her feelings about the picket and how it will steal "the limelight" away from graduation but it will continue to happen, because it is very needed. I am very proud to say I was there in support and solidarity with the faculty and staff that hid any fear of loss of jobs and livelihood to make the rights that are being ignored heard.

The administration at Haskell has appeared over and over again to be toxic at times when dealing with faculty and students in that meetings concerning very important matters as budgets have been and I am sure will happen yet again just as soon as the semesters ends. What's new? I am attending a university where my instructors teach in settings that students view as a joke because they see these odd situations of instructors not willing to speak any more once a certain name is said or a previous instance is relived in the classroom when opening dialogue between students and as we ask questions we get blank stares, a person that appears to be scared to answer, a stiff uncomfortable smile...I am personally tired of seeing some of the most intelligent and brilliant people I have come across worry about their livelihood and not standing up for what they believe in when instructors stress for the students to live in that matter.

Many students from across the country gather here every semester to gain knowledge, to learn and teach and be taught ways that will better their communities, students in every discipline and department see the similarities between this odd administration and crooked tribal governments or tribal governments that lack the proper training or knowledge to function correctly. Why continue to live and attempt to grow in this matter?

The people involved in the pickets are there to let the world know that something is not functioning properly and are willing to talk and listen but when a party is ignored continuously I see nothing wrong with stepping up to make it happen. These instructors and faculty members are proud to be a part of Haskell or they would not feel the need to make some noise. Correct? People open your eyes!

I will not pinpoint instances to prove the picketers story but I will continue to plead to the world to listen when these Indigenous peoples spit fire. Indigenous peoples live and move forward as a whole and speration that cuts as deep as this will bring no good for the future of Haskell and all its community members. "I'm down for tellin the truth and exposing the lies..."...

Ralph Reed 5 years, 7 months ago

re: my 1513 on 7 May. John Kealing said the article was inadvertently posted twice. I apologize for adding to the confusion.

  • Ralph

halfemptypess 5 years, 7 months ago

who cares? The unemployment in this country is the highest it has ever been and people are losing their homes and these government employees have the nerve to complain about their working conditions? Give me a break! I know of several people who are impacted by the economy and have lost out on a lot. And just wait until those graduates enter the job market, if they think their graduation was ruined, they are in for a big surprise.

dandelion 5 years, 7 months ago

A poor economy is no excuse for management anywhere to mistreat their employees.

AjiDeGallina 5 years, 7 months ago

I was really excited when Dr. Warner took over Haskell as I thought she was the woman to breath new life into Haskell and take it to the next step.

In a way she has, she has failed so completely as a leader that many students are now up in arms fighting to protect and repair the damage she has done the school.

It shows that good ideas does not always equate to good leadership.

It is time for her to resign and allow Haskell to begin to heal the wounds she has created within the school and the community at large.

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