Doing more with less can’t continue indefinitely

Dear “Leadership” of the University of Colorado-Boulder,

I do not disagree with the philosophy that in order to retain good employees that care about the greater good of the institution you need to pay them a fair wage. What I have a problem with is the fact that instead of giving a non-base-building bonus to the top level administration like the rest of us got, they received base-building raises.

In his defense of the pay increases President Benson said, “I’ve got to pay for good people, I want quality. You’re not going to have quality if you don’t have quality people working for you.” I have news for you, Bruce. This place is loaded with quality people who do top-notch work in all aspects of their profession, all while making less or the same as they did three to four years ago. I work with these people and see the pride they have and the top-level craftsmanship they put into their jobs on a daily basis. These are overworked people who in many cases are up here because they have a passion for this university and what it should represent, not just for the pay. To make a statement like you did after throwing the front-line staff some crumbs, in comparative terms, is appalling. You can’t buy loyalty. If the only thing keeping some of the top-level administrative people here is the pay, do you really think they have the university’s best interests in mind?

If funding has increased by the sizable numbers, no doubt impressive, under DiStefano’s leadership while he was being under-compensated, what can we expect now that he is getting what you consider a fair wage? What is happening on the front lines is a far different story. In the last few years we have added hundreds of thousands of square feet of new buildings as well as the challenges that are coming from upkeep of the current older systems. And instead of getting more bodies or more pay, what we got was less of both. We have watched as positions were not filled or eliminated as part of budgetary concerns. We have been asked to do more with less but we are nearing a time when that isn’t feasible.

If the people you are relying on to keep this place operating at a top level feel like they are being taken advantage of now, how do you think they will react when called on to go above and beyond? I can tell you how: They will get the job done. Without us you have failing buildings, an ugly campus and a lot of very well-paid administrators in a dark office with peeling paint and no heat because the people who take care of that stuff are too busy trying to do the work of the unfilled positions as well as their normal tasks, all while being paid less than they were making a couple years ago.

Jordan Leedy
Facilities Management