And Economy is soon going to be how I must live if I want to have enough money to live on since UK has apparently decided that its Staff are not important.
Now first, just let me say that I love my job. I really do. I love what I do and I love the people I work with. What I don't love sometimes is the University that seems to take things over from time to time. UK approved its budget for the 08-09 fiscal year the other day and let's just say that things did come out well for the Staff among us.
First, they are freezing salaries this year, which means no yearly raises. Now I guess that's not really a huge deal until you consider that the cost of everything is going up these days. My muffin mix from the grocery store has gone up from $0.79 to $1.29 these days. That's a 63% increase in just a couple of weeks! And that's just one thing. If my entire grocery bill went up 63% I wouldn't have the money to eat at all. Not to mention the $4.00 a gallon gas that I would need just to get to the grocery store.
And it's not just the cost of groceries and gas that is rising. UK is also raising the cost of parking for the upcoming year. I now get to pay a whopping $372.00 a year to park my car at work. Yea for UK! Let's cut pay but raising parking fees. Then people won't come to work and we won't have to pay them. In fact, the only thing that's not going up this year is our Health Insurance Premium. At least that is staying the same.
UK also decided to eliminate 188 positions. They make that seem like no big deal since all but 15 of those positions were vacant anyway, but when you consider that we've been under a hiring freeze since January 1, the 173 empty positions make more sense.
UK has also decided that in order to save money, they need to decrease the amount of time we have to use our vacation time. Previously, our vacation accrued starting July 1 of every year until June 30 of the next year. After that, we had 15 months in which to use our vacation time (so you had to use it by September 30 of the next year). Now they have shortened the time is which we can use our vacation from 15 months to 12 months. Not a huge deal, but still something of a crappy move on their part. You aren't giving us a raise, at least let us use our vacation time.
Now, the real kicker is this: The University doesn't have enough money to give us a raise, but they have enough money to give our President (who already makes $300,000 a year) a bonus of $150,000 this year. That's 50% of his salary! Who gets a bonus like that? I don't get a bonus at all. Grandly, President Todd only kept $90,000 of his bonus and gave the rest back to the university, but really, who needs $90,000 extra on top of a $300,000 salary? I could live well for 6 or 7 years on $300,000. And $90,000 is more than I will make in two years. Why couldn't they have put some of that money toward UK's staff.
UK has 11,000 staff. Why not give each of us a $100 gas card. That leaves $4,000 for the "bonus" which is still way more than most people I know get as a bonus (if they get a bonus at all). Or just give the money to the parking division and not raise our prices this year. Either way, I will be happy. You can't expect those of us most hurt by the lack of our yearly raise to be understanding when you give someone who makes more than everyone in my lab put together a bonus that is more than our yearly salary. Really, that's not cool.
Okay, I promise I'm off my soapbox now.