Letters to the Editor

Staff salaries

November 23, 2010


To the editor:

I’d like to offer a different perspective on your Nov. 19 editorial “Salary priority.” Kansas University staff — both unclassified and university support staff — haven’t received a pay raise in two years either. The issue of stagnant salaries is larger than just faculty.

As your editorial points out, high-quality employees leave when salaries are stagnant and alternative forms of compensation and acknowledgment are not found.

Rising costs and static salaries create a de facto pay cut. On the whole, staff earn less than faculty, so we are hit disproportionally hard by this situation. Unclassified staff have been let go because of budget cuts. Staff and faculty positions have been left open because of empty coffers.

I applaud the editorial’s call for faculty salary increases, but the university community is made up of more than just faculty. Unclassified and university support staff workers deserve the same consideration — and raises — that come to faculty members.

I hope the Board of Regents and incoming Kansas Legislature fund higher education across the state to keep it the vital resource, economic engine and investment in the growth and vitality of the state that we know it is.

Phil Wilke, president,

KU Unclassified Senate


Mel Wedermyer 7 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for the great letter. I hope money is available for raises this year, 2 years without a raise is no way to keep employees.

George Lippencott 7 years, 7 months ago

Tell that to seniors who have not seen a raise in two years. If there has been no inflation (justification for the lack of a raise for senior) then why do the faculty at KU need a raise? Over the last eight years they have received raises at well above inflation.

Staff is a different matter. As long as the university can find people to get the job done - no raise is required. Not sure we need world class secretaries.

I suggest that our new governor take a serious look at university education in Kansas. If the lack of funding is impacting us negatively as a state than by all means increase it. If we have a self -licking ice cream cone in our university system (self defined goals and self defined expense to meet those goals) then maybe a bit of adult leadership is required.

The university system works for the citizens of Kansas not the other way around.

monkey_c 7 years, 7 months ago

Rising costs and static salaries create a de facto pay cut. - well put and it is more difficult to endure this "pay cut" effect if you were earning a relatively low wage in the first place.

George Lippencott 7 years, 6 months ago

For everybody. Lots of people have seen little or no salary increases. Why should KU staff be different??

mom_of_three 7 years, 7 months ago

"Staff is a different matter. As long as the university can find people to get the job done - no raise is required. Not sure we need world class secretaries." But most people in the world get raises for doing a good job (or have in the past). Why not staff at KU? You don't think it costs more money to train a new person than it does to keep someone? I am sure the registrar;s office and the admissions office would love to keep training folks instead of retaining good ones by giving them a raise once in a while (sarcasm).

George Lippencott 7 years, 6 months ago

Because other public employees have not received them?? Somebody has to pay for the increase. You?? How about we take the money for salary increases because we have been good from the people seeking public assistance because they have lost their jobs. Bit more job security in public employment.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 7 months ago

There haven't been any raises because of 1) the economy and 2) it's an 'employers market' not an 'employees'.

Most of us aren't going to complain about the lack of raises or bonuses, we've got jobs...and right now, that's the important thing. When things reverse economically then we can sweat the small stuff.

It's Thanksgiving Phil, be grateful for what you have. I doubt your Thanksgiving table will be lacking in any of the trimmings. That's not the case in every home in Lawrence, or this country.

George Lippencott 7 years, 6 months ago

Well there is a difference. The faculty are professionals and there is really no comparative in the marketplace. The satff perform jobs that are common in the marketplace and can therefore be paid at or below market wages (there is more job security and better benefits).

booyalab 7 years, 7 months ago

Are we to guess that "etc..." refers to cults, war, solar system implosions..... That seems to be where your airtight connections were headed.

George Lippencott 7 years, 6 months ago

WE are also a state where the people paying the bill are not in the high end of the nation's income. An argument that says that peopel of limited means should pay salaries equivelent to thsoe paid in NY is kind of missing the boat.

usnsnp 7 years, 6 months ago

Know this is kind of late, but it think university staff pays taxes on their wages or do they have a special deal. Corky wake up do you even know what the wages for staff are and if they are so great why do you not apply for one of the jobs.

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