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Friday, July 2, 2010

Hippie IU Employees Protest Pay Issues

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In an effort to force administration to give raises to Indiana University staff, several employees wore black Thursday, July 1, and protested during a three-hour lunch break that was not reflected on their time cards.

Some have suggested that the university, one of Bloomington's largest employers, could offer merit-based raises rather than just a cost of living raise for all staff. Employee Norm Lowell, however, said merit-based raises are unreasonable, and employees shouldn't be expected to improve their performance to receive more money each year.

"I get WORSE at my job, but they should still pay me more," Lowell said by phone from his home this morning. "In fact, they offer me free classes and IT training workshops, but I don't want to take them. I shouldn't have to better myself to make more money. I have a mortgage, a car loan, a court settlement and several child support payments to make, and all of this is IU's problem."

Lowell did not show up to work today because, he said, "No one works Fridays in the summer anyway, especially if it's a holiday weekend." Lowell, an administrative assistant with a high school education, plans to take off work until next Thursday, and then "probably leave early Friday."

No other employees were available for comment today.

UPDATE: In response to complaints that there have been no raises but parking costs for employees have gone up, IU is now allowing employees to give either a kidney or baby in lieu of paying for a pass.

Story by Penny Quarter