Our petition was a success! We were able to gather over 400 student signatures and we submitted it to President Kim on May 13th. We still have not received a response, but we are increasing pressure on the administration all this week. We will be passing out leaflets and posting signs in front of Parkhurst all this week at these times:
It will be culminating in a protest in front of Parkhurst this Friday (May 27th) at 4PM. We hope to get a lot of support from students, staff, and faculty.
Friday: 4PM Protest
Today we were outside of Parkhurst from 1:35-3:10. We are able to get attention from administrators as well as personally giving leaflets and information to President Kim, Vice President Kadish, Provost Folt, and Dean Spears.
Here are some pictures from today:
Here is the text of the leaflet that we are handing out :
On May 13, Students Stand with Staff submitted a petition to President Kim containing over 400 student signatures.
It demanded that the administration halt all further subcontracting of college jobs and that it restore the staff healthcare benefits cut in January 2011.
Nearly two weeks later, President Kim has still not responded.
We disagree that Dartmouth must be run according to the morally bankrupt principle of efficiency. We deny that some community members are disposable, and that the market is the ultimate arbiter of social and economic justice.
Instead we demand that every student, professor, and worker be treated as a human being. We demand that all community voices be heard in the decision-making process.
While cutting benefit packages, the college has simultaneously maintained the half-million dollar salaries of numerous administrators. Rather than minimizing tuition increases, the administration prefers to spend $12 million on upcoming Hanover Inn renovations.
We must reject this top-down approach to decision-making.
This Friday, May 27th, join students, staff, and faculty at Parkhurst Hall to protest the administration’s treatment of workers. Join us at 4pm to demand the inclusion of all community members in the administration’s decision-making process.
In January 2011, all Dartmouth staff received cuts to their healthcare. They now have to pay up to an additional $4000 annually. The following document refutes some commonly heard justifications of these policies.
1. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Dartmouth’s finances are not as strained as the administration would have us believe. In the fiscal year 2010, the return on the endowment amounted to $300 million. Dartmouth’s total endowment has now almost reached $3 billion.
Even as the school professes budget difficulties, it has nonetheless continued to spend money superfluously. Baker library renovations will cost $400,000. Upcoming renovations of the Hanover Inn will amount to $12 million. Furthermore, top-level administrators earn absurdly high salaries that continue to rise. President Kim’s base salary (which excludes benefits and other forms of compensation) is $743,650. Provost Carol Folt’s salary is $450,050.
We ask why workers have to bear the burden of a national financial crisis that was not created by them but by Wall Street financiers. We worry that these cuts are not just temporary adjustments but rather long-term structural changes that will permanently undermine the rights of Dartmouth staff. President Kim has offered no guarantee that staff healthcare will ever be restored.
2. Wages and benefits are still above the market level and are therefore fair.
The market is neither a divine arbiter of economic justice nor a law of nature. From its existence one cannot logically deduce any ideal of fairness. Whatever the market level, if an employee is suffering while the resources exist to alleviate that suffering, then that employee is not being treated fairly. Here at Dartmouth, employees are suffering. Some are unable to take their sick children to the hospital. Others are struggling to pay for the medication they need to stay alive. We must not measure ourselves against the market, but rather against ideas of equality and justice.
3. Everyone is making sacrifices.
The benefits of faculty and mid- to top-level administrators have not been cut. In January 2009, 75 faculty members proposed a more equitable distribution of cuts, yet the administration refused to seriously consider this proposal. Clearly, our lowest paid workers have been hit the hardest, and the effects of Dartmouth’s fiscal policies reflect the growing income disparity in the United States at large.
4. Layoffs are preferable to tuition hikes. Dartmouth exists primarily for its students.
Students Stand with Staff strongly opposes tuition hikes as well as the administration’s 2010 decision to replace financial aid grants with loans. We view these policies as inextricably linked to the college’s attack on workers as they both hurt the working and middle classes. Dartmouth’s financial reports demonstrate that our policies need not amount to a zero-sum game in which we must choose between hurting workers and hurting students. Rather than spending hundreds of millions of dollars on superfluous building projects, we must allocate our resources equitably. If cuts are necessary, they should be distributed among all parties, including upper bracket administrators and faculty. We demand that the College protect the livelihoods of workers while keeping Dartmouth affordable. We must redefine our priorities such that all community members are treated as human beings.
Here is a PDF copy of this leaflet. Feel free to download and distribute!
Here is a PDF copy of Dartmouth's tax information for 2009. It has a lot of data that we are currently mining over, and this is where we got the information about top administrator's salaries.
See you at the demonstrations and rallies!
The Dartmouth College administration made a decision to cut healthcare benefits for staff in January 2011, and this Spring term Dartmouth Students Stand with Staff (DSSWS) is launching a major campaign to restore those benefits.
Furthermore, the Dartmouth Student Stand with Staff website is currently undergoing an update. Check back often for new materials, a fact sheet, links to current articles, a link to a documentary about last year's budget and employee restructuring at the college, pictures of recent rallies and more.
In the meantime, here is the link to the DSSWS Student Petition:
Here is the link to the Faculty Petition:
OUR DEMANDSWE DEMAND that Dartmouth College restore pre-January 2011 healthcare benefits for all Dartmouth staff.