(Chuck Muth) – As noted here yesterday, some taxpayer-funded UNLV employees are using their taxpayer-funded email accounts to email Nevada state legislators with “woe is me” sob stories about how their one-day-a-month furloughs are killing them.
We suspected this was all part of a coordinated, centrally-controlled lobbying effort….and we were right. Here’s an email from someone named Susan Summers (firstname.lastname@example.org) who used her UNLV email account to fire up the troops on Sunday with this message headlined “Furlough Day Hardships”:
“Hi, I am going to pass along some of the comments from emails I received Friday relaying the hardships faced by Classified staff on Furlough days. I do not want to divulge names without permission; however, I did want you to understand the enormity of the situation. The Power Point has now been sent to every NSHE institution so I hope to have many, many more comments by the end of next week. I am attaching the Power Point presentation one more time in case you couldn’t open the first copy.”
I have now obtained a copy of the 12-slide Power Point presentation and wonder if it was produced on taxpayer-funded time using taxpayer-funded resources. Nevertheless, here’s the information and call to action which was distributed to UNLV employees last week:
The time to act is now!
Let your state Legislator know how another Furlough day would affect you as a Classified employee at UNLV.
In addition to Furlough Days we have increased fees
* Increased Insurance costs
(PPO) Deductible From $250 to $750 a Over 200% increase
(HMO) Cost of policy per month from $17.14 to $55.63 Over 200% increase
* Increased cost of some medications
From $70 to $150 (over 100%)
* Less Coverage
Elimination of ADHD coverage
* Increased Parking Fees for all.
Loss of Income 4.6%
• $25K year – 1 day a mo = $1,150 Step 14/10-23/01
• $35K year – 1 day a mo = $1,610 Step 24/09-32/01
• $45K year – 1 day a mo = $2,070 Step 28/10-37/01
• $55K year – 1 day a mo = $2,530 Step 33/10-42/01
• $63K year – 1 day a mo= $2,898 Step 36/10-45/01
These are approximate amounts but they do show how much you are giving back to the state of Nevada to balance the budget.
To an individual earning $100,000 a year, $1,150 does not seem like a great amount; however, it is an enormous burden to the person making $25 K a year.
Two Furlough Days a Month 9.2%
• $25,000 X 2 Furlough Days = $2,300
• $35,000 X 2 Furlough Days = $3,220
• $45,000 X 2 Furlough Days = $4,140
• $55,000 X 2 Furlough Days = $5,060
• $63,000 X 2 Furlough Days = $5,796
Again, these are approximate amounts but still very close to the actual amount you will be giving back to the state if another furlough day is instituted.
As an example in the Department of English:
4 Classified employees
12 Furlough Days per Year = 48 Days per Year the department is short staffed 18% of the year.
With a 2nd Furlough Day we will be short staffed 96 days a year or 36% of the year.
University deadlines have not changed!
Classified staff are still expected to meet the same deadlines as before. The academic calendar does not change. The grass still grows. Equipment still breaks down. Bills need to be paid. The entire network of support services is now tremendously over-burdened.
Infrastructure fatigue is evident
• Accounts Payable
• Registrar’s office
University Growth Fall 1990
57 Number of professors in the English department
18,216 Number of UNLV Students
270 Number of English degree seeking majors and minors
Dept. of English has 4 Classified Employees
University Growth Fall 2009
168 Number of Professors
29,069 Number of UNLV Students
382 Number of English degree seeking majors and minors
Even with the phenomenal growth of UNLV, the Department of English still has the original 4 Classified Employee positions that handle the increased workload.
What can I do?
• Send a group email to your state legislators
• Track how your department is coping
Are you meeting deadlines?
Are you able to take your Furlough days?
Are your employees showing signs of stress?
Some employees have lost their homes due to 4.6% decrease in pay.
Have you found a way to manage doing more
With less? If so, share the knowledge.
• When you email or write your legislators:
• Mention new sources of revenue
Tax the huge trucks that use our highway system to transport goods nationwide.
Develop a more equitable pay system by reducing wages from the top not the bottom.
Tax Nuclear Waste that travels through our state via the Railroad.
Ask the US government to give Nevada back some of the BLM Land and then sell it.
Impose a greater tax on mining and gaming. Neither one pays a fair share.
Indian Gaming in New Mexico pays 4 or 5 times more than Nevada;
Gaming in Nevada pays 6%
Email your state legislators every week when you receive your paycheck. Tell them how you would have spent the funds that are now going back to the state.
Share your suggestions with everyone concerned, i.e. office mates, supervisors, friends, council members, and legislators.
Suggest new sources of revenue.
Suggest programs that may be cut.
Raise taxes and raise a stink. These are the budget-balancing lessons being taught to taxpayer-funded UNLV employees by fellow taxpayer-funded UNLV employees using taxpayer-funded resources and probably on taxpayer-funded time.