UW-Green Bay Professors weigh in following wage, DEI deal rejection | WLUK
(WLUK) — Employees with the Universities of Wisconsin have yet to see a budget-approved increase in wages.
On Friday, a deal was initially reached by state Republicans and the Universities of Wisconsin President.
However, the deal was struck down by the UW Board of RegentsSaturday.
“I hope that they will reconsider,” said Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos in an interview on the Jay Weber Show with News-Talk 1130 WISN. “I mean, this deal was negotiated in good faith.”
Professors like Jon Shelton agree with the boards decision.
“We shouldn’t have to negotiate or give things up that our students need in order to get cost of living adjustments that were already funded,” said Shelton, a professor of Democracy & Justice Studies at UW-Green Bay.
Vos says he has no intention of budging.
“We’re not changing one thing in this deal. We are not going backwards, if anything, I’d prefer to go forward,” said Vos.
Christine Vandenhouten, UW-Green Bay’s Director of Nursing, says Vos’ stance is unfortunate.
“I’d like to think that like we would negotiate in good faith that the legislature would do the same,” said Vandenhouten.
Republican State Senator Devin LeMahieu released a statement on Monday regarding Saturday’s vote.
It read in part:
The resolution rejected by the board of regents on Saturday is the legislature’s last and best offer.
The board of regents should reconsider their vote; stop prioritizing woke liberal ideology over student achievement, and make the right decision on behalf of the university system and the state.
The wage increases were approved by the legislature in the state budget, but the increases were blocked by state Republicans, who want to get rid of diversity, equity and inclusion positions.
Outside of the pay raise for UW employees, Friday’s agreement included reducing DEI staffing numbers.
“I don’t know that it’s appropriate to hold the entire UW system employees pay raise for the sake of a political position on DEI,” said Vandenhouten.
The Board of Regents voted nine to eight against Friday’s deal.
Three members of the Board represent Northeast Wisconsin — they are Dr. Ashok Rai with Prevea Health, Robert Atwell of Nicolet National Bank, and UW-Green Bay student Evan Brenkus.
Rai and Atwell voted in favor of the deal, while Brenkus voted against.
Prevea Health directed FOX 11 to the Universities of Wisconsin for comment.
As of Monday night, December 11th, we have not heard back.
The UW Board of Regents is set to hold a special meeting on Tuesday, December 12th at 11 a.m.