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SEIU Contract: No Surprise, Carol Caves

Folt Sweet Comp.jpgIt’s all over but the voting — which will take place tomorrow. Earl Sweet is chuckling to himself yet again, and the folks at SEIU central are once more scratching their heads in wonder: “Just how stupid are those Dartmouth academics?” Here are the terms of the fat contract that the union rank and file will vote to approve, probably by a margin of about 3:1:

● Raises of 3%, 3% and 2% over the next three years (that’s higher than inflation);

● Tightening up on the College’s use of sub-contractors;

● Currently employed union single payers, or whom there are about 200, get to keep their free health insurance.

In short, the Kings and Queens of the Upper Valley labor market are happy. I can hear the dinner table conversations in the towns around Hanover: “They went for it again? You guys are so lucky. I work twice as hard as you at [name any local business] and I don’t get paid half what you do. How can those people at Dartmouth afford this?”

In contrast, look at Harvard’s employment website.

Compensation @ Harvard

Harvard offers salaries that are competitive with Boston-area employers. When combined with our generous benefits, perks, and paid time off, many job seekers are surprised to find a total rewards package that matches or exceeds their current situation.

“Competitive” salaries is not how anyone would describe wages at Dartmouth. We overpay by a factor of about 50%. And then there are those benefits. Meanwhile at Harvard, everyone on the staff, without exception, has long paid at least 15% of the cost of their health insurance — and that figure is set to rise. And don’t forget that down in Massachusetts the state income tax is 5.25% of all income (0% in NH), and the sales tax is 6.25% (0% in NH).

All the above would be just another laughable example of Carol Folt’s ongoing managerial incompetence, if we weren’t talking about tens of millions of dollars that the College does not need to spend each year. If Dartmouth paid “competitive wages” (like we do for the faculty) we wouldn’t have to gouge students with costly dining plans, charge their parents the second highest tuition in the Ivy League, and make undergrads beg for acceptance to oversubscribed classes.

Here’s a radical plan: Dartmouth should stop overpaying its staff and use the money saved to become a better school.

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