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UNC Housekeepers to Protest Alleged Exploitation

The rally will take place at noon and will include members from UE Local 150, the N.C. Public Service Workers Union; and UE Local 150 A, the UNC graduate student and adjunct faculty union.

Marc David, a member of UE Local 150 A, said the two unions will form an alliance today to speak out against issues that affect both groups and have caused them to think that they are being unfairly treated. But he said anyone is welcome to attend.

David said the rally was inspired by a feeling in the unions that University growth is adversely affecting both housekeepers and graduate students.

He said that even though the University has continued campus expansion, administrators have made no efforts to increase the number of housekeepers.

Increasing the number of campus buildings without substantially increasing the size of the housekeeping staff will create exploited employees, David said.

"It's basically more work with the same or even less pay," he said.

Housekeepers also are upset with the way the grievance process has been handled by the new housekeeping administration, particularly Housekeeping Director Bill Burston, David said.

"(The administrators) are not treating housekeepers with dignity and respect."

David said he thinks class and race issues also are involved with the mistreatment of housekeeping employees.

He said that in his opinion, UNC pays more attention to the concerns of its highest-paid employees, like faculty, while ignoring the concerns of its lowest-paid.

Administrators have spent a lot of time discussing ways to keep faculty salaries competitive with other universities, but they have spent little time discussing ways to raise the salaries of UNC housekeepers, David said.

David said University practices, like increasing enrollment growth, also will negatively impact graduate students.

"The administration has plans to increase enrollment growth, but they have no real plans to hire new faculty," he said. "Graduate employees will be asked to pick up the slack and will end up teaching four classes instead of three each semester."

David said the goal of today's rally is for housekeepers to unite and publicly air their grievances to UNC administrators. "This particular speak-out is for housekeepers, but graduate students will stand behind them in a solid alliance."

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