Negotiations Update #7: October 14, 2019

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All three AFSCME units, clerical, technical and healthcare – met on October 9 for another day of negotiations. It was not a productive day at all. The University told us they were looking for financial wiggle room, but the bottom line is that they continue to be unwilling to put additional money on the table to address our financial needs. Outgoing President Kaler told union leaders last month that “there’s just not enough money to go around.” His administration continually found money for those at the top at the expense of low paid frontline staff. We expected this attitude to change with a new president, but unfortunately, the University’s proposals today remain a game of robbing Peter to pay Paula where we are supposed to move money from one group of members to another. Our union bargaining team has clearly articulated our  priorities, however, and that means putting more money on the table for all of our members. 


President Gabel has been lauded for making a career of collaborative leadership and for breaking the glass ceiling, becoming the first female president in the 150+ year history of the U.


At the same time clerical, technical, and healthcare workers are predominantly women. We are looking to President Gabel to ensure that we are not left behind in the policies and working conditions we face every day in our jobs. 


Here are the solutions AFSCME is fighting for:

  • Reasonable across the board increases to keep up with rising costs like rent and groceries.
  • Raising the top of the pay scale so our longevity and commitment to the U is recognized – not lump sums that don’t add to our base salaries. Creating a faster path to the top of the pay scale to retain employees and institutional knowledge that is critical to the U and to the students who learn here.
  • No increase to our healthcare costs. We deserve affordable healthcare!
  • The U needs to be a positive partner in combating climate change.
  • Standing against workplace bullying and ensuring that gender nonbinary and transgender coworkers have safe and respectful workplaces.
  • Full retro pay to make us whole for the raises we have missed due to the U refusing to discuss economic proposals until our contract had already expired.


We are in the longest economic boom in US history – we deserve to make real economic progress. We call on the University to live up to its guiding principles and respect the contributions of frontline staff. 


Show support for your coworkers and our bargaining committee by wearing AFSCME green every Friday. Join us at a rally on Tuesday, October 22 at noon in front of Morrill Hall to tell the administration that AFSCME workers are done waiting! It’s time for the contract we deserve!