Public Health

Let’s hear it for the staff!

September 2, 2013

It isn’t fair or right

It is not fair, and it is not right that the staff and faculty who work for the state of North Carolina are not getting raises for yet another year—another year too many in my opinion. I feel particularly badly about the staff (especially those in the state personnel system), because many of them are dreadfully underpaid. Every time I learn that another of the staff work two or more jobs, I feel personally responsible. Of course, I am not personally responsible since I have no control over the state system.

There are some fabulous people working for our School and throughout the University. These are people who come here every day, with enthusiasm, commitment, intelligence, knowledge and loyalty. We could not do our jobs without the University’s staff. And year after year, we have been able to do nothing to raise their salaries.

So, today, on Labor Day, when I would so like to be handing out bonuses or salary increases, all I can do is offer heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the work they do. And hope that next year will be better. I fear that various pieces of recent legislation will hurt these folks especially hard and compound the challenges they face.

I don’t know when Americans started feeling disdain for people who work for state and federal governments. My experience is that their disdain is completely unwarranted. I’ve worked for the federal government and a state system. I’ve seen remarkably hard-working people in both systems, people who give 100% in spite of a public who often generalize about laziness and how much better off we’d be with fewer public workers. There are outstanding people in any work setting. To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield, let’s have some respect here.

Happy Monday. Barbara

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The views expressed in this blog are Barbara Rimer’s alone and do not represent the views and policies of The University of North Carolina or the Gillings School.