“Students Stand With Staff” delivered a letter to President Carol Folt and Vice-president David Spaulding this morning. The letter includes a short list of demands and expresses solidarity with the staff and members of local 560. If the college does not meet the group’s demand radical action may ensue. Stay tuned!
Dear President Folt,
In February 2010, the Dartmouth administration fired seventy-six Dartmouth staff. Sixty-one further staff members experienced salary reductions, as their hours were cut; another one hundred and seventy-five were pressured into early retirement. In January 2011, the administration implemented healthcare cuts, increasing costs for each worker by up to $4,000 annually. These cuts were disproportionately targeted at staff (excluding faculty and upper-level administrators), as the introduction of deductibles was consistent across all salary levels.
A diminished endowment provided the initial justification for these cuts. In the 2011 fiscal year, however, the endowment grew by an astonishing 18.4% to $3.41 billion. Despite record gains, the administration has indicated no intention to alleviate the hardship that it has consistently imposed on workers since 2010. Furthermore, as the administration rehires workers for various service positions, it does so through subcontractors who provide minimal pay and benefits. The increasing use of subcontractors has diminished the relative strength of SEIU Local 560; we thus believe that the administration is carrying out a policy of active union busting.
Since the founding of our group in January 2010, we have repeatedly opposed such policies, which reduce human beings to mere commodities. We have met with the administration on multiple occasions; we have held rallies and submitted petitions; we have written articles and distributed leaflets. All of our actions, however, have been to no avail; the administration’s attack on workers has only deepened.
As conscientious members of the Dartmouth community, we see no choice but to oppose injustice wherever it occurs. Injustice is occurring here at Dartmouth College. We thus inform you that if the following demands are not met by Friday, November 2nd, we will resort to more drastic measures. All other avenues of dialogue and persuasion have failed; we will not watch silently as you, the Dartmouth administration, commit grave injustices.
We demand that Dartmouth College restore pre-January 2011 healthcare benefits for all Dartmouth staff.
We demand that Dartmouth College halt all further subcontracting of work on campus.
We demand that Dartmouth College provide annual salary raises for all staff members and that these raises exceed the rate of inflation.
Dartmouth Students Stand with Staff October Committee:
Karenina Rojas ’13 Eli Lichtenstein ‘13
Dani Valdes ’13 Janet Kim ‘13
Anna Winham ’14 Marco Herndon ‘16
Allison Puglisi ’15 Lily Brown ‘15
Katelyn Walker ’14 Noah Parker ‘16