Send a letter to President Kim

Thanks to those of you who came to the USofCC general membership meeting yesterday. We hope it was useful to hear what’s going on with the union, especially with bargaining for the next contract. We are addressing salaries and health care costs, as well as other important issues that affect us as employees. Click on this link right here to see a summary of current issues.

We are at a critical time in bargaining, and we need your help.

We want to show the college that many of us across the campus are greatly affected by lack of cost-of-living salary increases, by hikes to health care costs, and by changes to other working conditions. We want to show that there is wide support for what’s on the bargaining table.

We want you to take a few minutes and write your story in a letter to President Kim.

Fill out the attached letter template and fax it to 312-407-0229 or email it to USofCC@yahoo.com. We will collect all the letters and deliver them to President Kim. Here’s an example from one member (this is a real letter) … does it sound like your story too?

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to listen to the staff that supports this institution.  I personally have been working at Columbia College for over ten years.  During that time my duties have increased, cost of living has increased, expectations of my performance have increased, and yet my pay rate has not.  The few times it does it is a laughable 1%.  This cannot continue.  The staff are the heart and blood of this institution.  We are the face of the school and the people that the students, faculty and administration rely on to get things done.  Without our tireless efforts the facilities that you rely upon would fail.  The student body would go underserved.  And Columbia College’s good name would be as laughable as our pay raises.

In addition to our lack of raises we now have proposed massive increases in insurance costs and a hostile PFac union trying to cut out any supplemental pay we need to continue a living.  To give you a real assessment of how dismal our position is I will provide you with these numbers.  I run one of the busiest facilities in the school.  I am paid $950 every two weeks.  When I am done paying my bills for the month (rent, utilities, insurance, groceries, etc) I have $10 dollars left.  Yes, that’s a total of $20 a month that I can spend outside paying bills.  This is simply unsustainable and my credit card bill is proof of that.  To think that Columbia College Chicago cannot afford to pay its highly skilled and valuable work force is a ludicrous notion.  There will come a breaking point where this financial trap will force your skilled staff to leave for other institutions where they will be treated with respect and value.  When that happens there will be a massive institutional vacuum that cannot be replaced.  It has already begun to happen. 

I am angry, disheartened, and ashamed of the way this institution has treated us.  But I do have hope.  Hope that President Kim will realize just how dire our situation is and do something about it.  I hope that he has the foresight to see that well respected and paid workers make for a better educational community.  And of course hope that these letters will lead to a better understanding of our situation, and lead to a constructive and beneficial agreement for the USofCC and the college.

The more letters we have, the stronger our position is. All it takes is a few minutes.

If you are an agency fee payer or haven’t signed up yet to become a member, we hope you’ll join us. Contact ovaldez@colum.edu to get membership information.

Thanks for all the work you do.

As always – if you have any questions or concerns, let us know at USofCC@yahoo.com. And check out our website www.usofcc.org.

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