University childcare workers petition for fair wages

KeepHealthCare.ORG – University childcare workers petition for fair wages

Around 100 parents signed a petition as they picked up their children at the Child Development Laboratory on Wednesday, calling on the University administration to negotiate with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees for fair wages.

The petition will be delivered to Brent McBride, director of the Child Development Lab, and other administrators who have allegedly refused to reinstate a longevity pay structure that provides incentives for employees to stay in their positions.

Childcare workers belong to AFSCME Local 3700, said David Beck, staff representative of the statewide AFSCME, in an email. AFSCME Local 3700 represents approximately 1,200 employees on campus, including clerical and University Extension employees.

The starting pay for a childcare worker is about $11 per hour and the average is about $12.50, making their wages among the lowest for full-time employees on campus.

Beck said many of the members have been energized by the recent graduate student employees’ strike. 

According to Beck, the AFSCME has been in contract negotiations with the University since June of 2017 and its contract expired at around the same time as the GEO’s contract.

Beck said he cannot say whether the dispute between AFSCME and the University will lead to a strike because that is a decision only the membership of the union can make. The union discussed whether or not to hold a strike authorization vote at length during its last membership meeting on March 13.

“We want the administration to recognize and respect the important work that these folks do,” Beck said.

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