- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 5, 2017

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - University of Wyoming faculty members are hoping to get salary raises approved - something that hasn’t happened since 2008.

Representatives from the university’s staff senate met with President Laurie Nichols last week to discuss wages, the Casper Star-Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/2tqkq9N ).

Before 2008, the salary system was updated every two years, senate President Rachel Stevens said. Since then, staff wages have not changed. The senate feels wages have actually declined since the cumulative inflation rate has been more than 17 percent.

The senate states 83 percent of the university’s staff earns less than their counterparts at other Wyoming state agencies.

“We know the staff are concerned about this and want it to be a priority,” Stevens said. “We’re pushing on it this year.”

The push for increased salaries comes at a time when staff members are being asked to take on more duties since 370 positions have been eliminated since spring 2016, including 37 lay-offs announced last month.

“I think maybe we’ve started receiving more feedback on the topic just because people are frustrated seeing their workloads increase and feeling a sense of insecurity about what’s going on makes them more concerned,” Stevens said. “‘So I’m going to stay here and do twice as much work for the same pay, even as my real wages are decreasing.’”

Stevens said her meeting with Nichols went well. Nichols was not available for comment Monday.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, https://www.trib.com

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