FSU Professors Protest Wages

They let their frustrations be known in a campus demonstration Tuesday, faculty members of Florida State University sounding off to FSU President T.K. Wetherell over a proposed two percent increase in pay, in spite of a move by the state Legislature to raise pay for all state employees by 3.6 percent across the board.

William Leparulo, FSU professor of modern languages, says, "Other universities have given five percent and more. My wife teaches at NFCC. They had 7.2 percent. Two percent is inadequate, absolutely inadequate."

Irene Padavic, FSU professor of sociology, adds, "I think it's important that the university recognize our right and need for a pay raise, comparable to what they are getting at other universities in the state."

FSU's chapter of the United Faculty of Florida is marching to the president's office with a letter addressing concern that pay is not in line with inflation and that these veteran educators are not getting paid nearly as much as the new assistant professors coming in.

Bob Schwartz, FSU professor of education, says, "Many of them have been here for 20, 30 years, and these are people who are being short changed."

Jack Fiorito, the attorney for United Faculty of Florida, says, "They've chosen to spend the money elsewhere. We're not sure where; they haven't been very forthcoming with how they are spending the money, but they've got it and they've got the authority to move it into faculty salaries."

In a written statement from FSU attorney Michael Mattimore, the university believes its position on wages and union rights is fair and appropriate.

Unless things change, members of Florida State's UFF chapter may plan another demonstration at the beginning of fall semester.