Faculty works toward increase in pay

While income inequality and the ‘1 percent’ might headline national newspapers across the U.S., impacts may be felt as locally as the UVM community.

“I ask you, how is it that this UVM administration hasn’t allowed staff salaries, benefits and job security to grow, while at the same time rewarding themselves,” said Kathy Carolin, a United Academics leader in the history department.

United Academics, a faculty union, is currently entering contract negotiations with the University for 2014-2017, according a United Academics press release.

The union kicked off negotiations with a rally on the steps of Bailey-Howe Library Jan. 28, according to a Cynic article from Jan. 29.

UVM’s Students Stand Up supports University staff and focuses on labor solidarity, member David Fernandez said.

“I think that it [increased number in highly paid administrators] demonstrates changes in education,” Fernandez said.

“It’s going from a public good to a corporation layout, trying to maximize profit, not making the best decisions for the students and people that make up the University,” he said.

Budget tools within easy reach of administrators include cutting full-time faculty to be replaced by cheaper adjunct professors that would teach the same amount of classes and raising tuition for larger classes of students, Fernandez said.

SGA released a statement that said they are not currently supporting United Academics.

“Although the Student Government Association acknowledges United Academics’ responsibility toward its members,” the statement read.

“We condemn the tone and atmosphere of negativity with which they are beginning the collective bargaining process.

“As the official voice of UVM’s undergraduate student body, we do not support a financial increase in the union contract, believing that this increase would fall largest and hardest on the backs of students,” the statement read.

SGA President Connor Daley utilized UVM’s 2014 source book and recent operating budget in order to calculate a tuition increase.

A 1 percent increase in faculty compensation would result in a 4.6 percent increase in undergraduate tuition, he said.

“The structure behind our administration, to my knowledge, seems like it is inefficient,” senior Corey Wilga said.

“Education is our overall goal, and I think we need to make sure we don’t lose sight of that,” she said.