We Deserve Fair Pay and a Say
As the staff, faculty, graduate and undergraduate workers at the University of Kentucky, our voices matter. In the last year and a half, acting collectively as a union, we have consistently called on President Eli Capilouto and other highly paid administrators to take appropriate steps to ensure the health, safety, and dignity of all staff, students, and faculty. In this effort, we have been continually vindicated as President Capilouto has regularly met our demands such as: calls for top-level administrators to take pay cuts before laying off or firing low-paid staff at the beginning of the pandemic, calls for free COVID-19 testing for staff and faculty in Fall 2020, calls for an increase in base pay to fifteen dollars an hour, and calls for an increase in graduate worker pay (graduate workers in Arts & Sciences just received a 10% increase), just to name a few (check out this Presentation for a more thorough UCW Kentucky History)!
It has only been through taking action as a union alongside other campus groups such as University Senate, Staff Senate, and undergraduate students to demand #FairPayandaSay that we have been able to effectively advocate for students, workers and the broader Lexington community. For this reason, we are building upon our past success as a union to demand that Eli Capilouto work with UCW leaders to implement the full Fair Pay and a Say platform so that UK can be a University that truly fulfills it's promise to serve the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
- Living wages for all campus employees (including part-time, undergraduate and graduate workers)
- Guaranteed annual cost of living increases for all campus employees
- Comprehensive, affordable health insurance coverage for all campus employees (specifically graduate workers)
- Policies that address pay compression (including seniority and experience pay increases), pay inequities, and job segregation by race and gender
- 12 weeks paid parental leave, with two additional weeks for the birthing parent, for staff; and one semester paid parental leave for academic workers (faculty, graduate workers, and fellows), with reduced duties in the second semester for the birthing parent
- Improved education benefits that once again include any public institution in Kentucky, as opposed to only UK
- Official university recognition of United Campus Workers of Kentucky and the right to collectively bargain for improvements to our working conditions and our student’s learning conditions
- Policies which give workers a real voice in setting workplace policy in regards to harassment and bullying, all forms of discrimination, professional development, promotion, student-first staffing levels, and workplace safety (especially in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic)
- A real commitment to shared governance
- Secure jobs working directly for our public education institutions and the protection of our institutions of higher learning from outside corporate interests and unnecessary austerity
- Policies which specifically address and improve the lack of diversity in faculty, staff, and students at UK
- Improved support and services for international and immigrant workers
- Improved support and services for for parents and caretakers
In August, 2020, the United Campus Workers of Kentucky submitted an open records request that revealed an outsized role for Greystar Corporation – a privately-held real estate investment and management company that currently controls 90% of UK housing - in decision-making around campus reopening and student life more generally.
This report describes:
- A lack of transparency about the influence UK private partners have over campus decision-making;
- The impact privatized housing is having on the cost of living on UK campus;
- Concerns about Greystar’s commitment to providing undergraduate resident advisors (RAs) and other workers with safe and fair working conditions throughout and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.