I recall being a member of the Civil Service Council at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for over fifteen years and then a member of the State Universities Annuitants Association, as the Council’s representative on that Board, for four years.
During those times I spent nearly five years as the president of the group.
We had attempted, for many years, to have Veteran’s Day, recognized as a holiday at the University. We felt, strongly, that our precious veterans, deserved a day where the university shut it’s doors in remembrance of their sacrifice.
Finally, we were able to succeed in convincing our university leadership that, Veteran’s Day was appropriate for a university holiday, when it fell between Monday – Friday.
The quest to accomplish this innovative was about twenty years.
Chancellor Wendler asked me to chair a committee regarding excellence in the civil service community. This committee examined the viability of pay raises for civil service staff…that were out of season and were based upon excellent performance and job duties that encompassed areas outside of the employees job description.
We were able to obtain this powerful enhancement to the lives of civil service staff, and many benefited from this needed, financial, recognition.
The hourly pay for many in the AcEs Union was below par, as regarding the comparison to other similar jobs at Illinois State Universities.
When we took the issues of many of our civil service staff being eligible for food stamps, due to their low hourly rate of pay, we were able to obtain a pay increase for those classifications, that fell below the norm, of compensation, for Illinois Universities.
When I became a member of SIU Building Services…it was basically a white man’s club.
There was one woman foreman and few women that worked as crew supervisors or Building Service Worker’s.
There were few African Americans in the ranks of the housekeeping staff.
There was one disabled employee.
There was one, openly Gay, employee.
As the years passed…I was determined to change the complexion of Building Services…if I ever had the opportunity.
Prior to my retirement I had promoted women to leadership positions at both the crew level and the foreman level. Five of my eight foreman were women at the time of my retirement.
African Americans were actively hired and promoted and the recommendation for my replacement, by me, was an African American woman.
At the time of my retirement I was humbled and proud to, be recognized, at both the state and national level for the hiring and advancement of persons with disabilities, both intellectual and physical, and they were among our finest staff!
I knew of several Gay staff that felt comfortable and welcomed in Building Services…and I was honored to call them my friends and colleagues.
And, so, our political leaders are telling us that they felt for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford…and that they thought she had a compelling testimony…and that they believed her….but that they just can not believe that Bret Kavanaugh… is the guilty party.
Our president, ridiculed Dr. Ford and mimicked her and was received with uproarious applause and laughter.
God forbid…if it is your daughter or your wife or your mother or your sister…who is sexually abused…do you anticipate that you will be laughing?
Is it the reality that many of our politicians believe Dr. Blasey Ford…but do not believe that Judge Kavanaugh is the culprit…or is the cold and hard fact that….they really do not care?
Yes, the criminal standards for guilt are that you are innocent until proven guilty.
Are the criminal standards for guilt…the same for a job interview?
It would be increasing difficult to be caviler regarding a woman who has been sexually assaulted or harassed…if they were a member of your family.
I have taken the temerity to mention some of the successes that our civil service community at SIU were able to obtain and enjoy…and I can attest that I was told, by intelligent colleagues, that we would attain none of them.
I was labeled a friend of African Americans and the disabled and women…and I wore those titles as a badges of honor!
‘Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!’ Isaiah 5:20 KJV