A K-State-base union appears prepared to oppose an effort by classified employees to leave state civil service.
William Glover, president of the K-State University Employees Association, told the Topeka Capital-Journal that union members voted to oppose the proposal to move under university control about two weeks ago. An official vote for all classified employees will take place in November.
Glover expressed concern about being at the mercy of the university without the ability to appeal cases of wrongful action by their employer. Currently, appeals would take place at the State Civil Service Board.
“We don’t trust the university administration,” Glover told the newspaper.
That message differed from what fellow classified employee Carol Marden, K-State public service administrator, told the Mercury on Tuesday. “Not that I’m bad mouthing the state, but they have a different agenda than we do,” she said. “It makes sense that our bosses should be on a local level.”
Marden is chair of the Alternative Service Committee, which is looking into classified employees moving from civil service for the state to support staff for the university.
Such a move would affect the nearly 1,800 employees who receive hourly wages and don’t have contracts. Those employees include custodial staff, maintenance workers, and some administrative and supervisory jobs.
Marden said reasons for the potential move are the lack of pay increase from the state and hiring flexibility.
She said some employees, including herself, haven’t received a raise since 2008.
However, Glover told the Capital-Journal on Wednesday that pay increases would still be an issue even if classified employees became support staff. “The university still has to get money from the governor,” he said. “There is no money.”