Testimony of Caitlin Boley

Testimony of Caitlin Boley, AFSCME 3800 member
Board of Regents Public Forum on the University Budget
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
 
My name is Caitlin Boley. I am a member of AFSCME 3800 and have worked at the U for two years as a clerical worker. During those two years, and before, we have tried to approach you – the board of Regents, University Presidents, and top staff in the central administration with our concerns about staffing at the U.
 
At every turn, we have been dismissed, disregarded, and ignored.
 
Recent national media coverage of management staffing at the University of Minnesota raised many of the same points we have made for years, and legislative leaders asked many of the same
questions we have asked you. The University is going in the wrong direction, and it is time for you to make a change.
 
According to lists provided to AFSCME by the University of Minnesota Office of Institutional Research, between October 2008 and April 2013 the size of University staff as a whole has decreased by 1.26 percent.
 
Clerical jobs, held by my union’s members, have decreased by almost 8 times that amount - 9.76
percent. One hundred and eighty-four jobs.
 
Civil Service as a whole has decreased by 7.2 percent – that’s 733 jobs gone.
 
While the overall number of faculty has not decreased since October 2008, neither has it significantly increased. During that time period, the Faculty employee group increased in size by a mere .74 percent – 31 jobs. While the University added assistant, associate and adjunct professors, we lost 44 full professors.
 
What about top leadership at the U? – the directors and managers of the Academic Administrative group who run the U? Have their ranks decreased? Have they made the same sacrifices they demanded of other University employees?
 
As a group, they have not. In fact, despite the recent financial challenges faced by the U, the management group has swollen in size by 5.43 percent - adding 121 new jobs. I’m sure these are good people who care about their jobs and families. This is not about them. It is about how best to invest precious university resources.
 
The legislature has set a goal of $15 million in administrative reductions. The U already squandered an easy opportunity to achieve that goal.
 
If instead of expanding its management group by 5.43 percent since the Fall 2008, the U had – through attrition, without layoffs – reduced the size of that group by the University average of 1.26 percent, then 129 management jobs would have been eliminated. Currently, the average wage for an academic administrative position is $85,033 per year. Factoring a fringe benefit cost of around 30 percent would put the net value of those 129 jobs at $14,260,034.
 
We need to stop spending this money on managers, and start spending it on workers who provide services directly to students, faculty, and patients. Workers like us.
 
It is time to make the right decision. It is time for you listen to us, to legislators at the stat capitol, and to the people of Minnesota: it’s time to stop chopping from the bottom and start chopping from the top.