For all coverage of the staff pay controversy, see reedquest.org/staffpay.
“Is it honorable to have staff wondering if they can afford groceries this month?”
During the protest, Charlie Wilcox spoke on the risks of high staff turnover and the difficulty of earning a living wage in a gentrifying Portland – watch video
Student Lily Larsen, who initiated the protest at Bilger’s office, contacted the Quest to apologize to the President’s secretaries and make clear that the majority of those present did not intend to antagonize college staff
“[We] decided that it would be a good idea to take some of the signs and leave them in the foyer for when Audrey Bilger returned to her office to see,” Larsen said, “My intention behind this was more quietly occupying the space or just leaving the signs, and the majority of people there came to just leave the signs. But there [were] a few people who were just really antagonizing the secretary. I just wanted to state that I believe that quietly occupying that space and leaving the signs there is something that’s productive [and] causes minimal harm, but…
During the protest, Professor Aaron Ramirez spoke on calls for a Reed Union discussion forum – watch video
A Reed Union is a college-wide discussion forum that bears no similarity to a labor union.
The Quest has previously covered staff pay issues, including staff discontent and a data-based explanation of the proposed changes
In Staff Pay Explained, Declan Bradley does his best to clarify what the proposed changes would have meant for staff across Reed’s campus. In Staff Continue Objections to Proposed Pay Changes, Declan and L Urena recount the events of an all staff and faculty meeting, and the questions, comments, and concerns staff raised for HR. And in Faculty Raise Concerns Over Staff Pay-Scale Reconfiguration, Madeleine Voth recounts the events of a prior week’s faculty meeting. Meanwhile, Sabrina Blasik sat down with HR Director Heather Quinn-Brown for a Q&A, and Madeleine interviewed anonymous staff members on their experiences with the proposed changes. See reedquest.org/staffpay for further coverage.
Quest photographer Kaz Posley took a series of photos throughout the demonstration
The 12 photos depict staff, faculty, and students in the midst of protest
The meeting reportedly took place in Eliot 314, directly opposite President Bilger’s office
This is the same space in which the Quest later found the message “living wages for all staff” written on the whiteboard. The meeting agenda had been erased by the time the Quest arrived. The space also has a large exterior window facing Eliot Circle, the site of the protest.
A group of students who contacted the Quest claimed to have witnessed a meeting between what they believed to be staff and administrators while the protest was taking place
The students arrived outside of President Bilger’s office shortly before 3:19 PM (Quest reporters arrived at 3:22), and took several photographs of the meeting and what seems to be an agenda written on the white board. “Pay evaluation” and “replicable job descriptions” are two notable agenda items.
During the demonstration, a speaker named a list of three demands to Reed administration – click to watch video
“Our demands are few and simple,” the speaker said.
“The betrayal I felt was indescribable,” said a student speaker
The student, an HA, was speaking in relation to changes in the HA job description, but also referred to staff pay issues.
“[Staff pay] was not the kindling, it was the match,” said another speaker
“We have a fire on our hands,”’ the same speaker said
In a speech, the same alumnus called the situation “a breaking point”
“We care about the well being of the institution, but does the institution care about the well being of us,” they finished.
In a speech, an alumnus of the college emphasized the importance of staff to students’ education
The speaker said that they would not be where they are today without Reed staff.
In a speech, faculty member Aaron Ramirez said that a Reed Union had been discussed in recent weeks
Professor Ramirez said that they had been approached about the idea of calling a Reed Union, a public forum for discussion traditional to Reed which is unrelated to a labor union, but that the idea was not currently being actively pursued. Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly suggested that the organization being called was in fact a labor union – this is not the case.
Reedies Gather to Protest Proposed Pay Changes
Staff, faculty, and students have gathered at Eliot Circle to protest the college’s proposed changes to staff pay at Reed.
Staff Pay Explained: What Would Have Changed, and Why Staff and Faculty Objected
Over the last several weeks, Reed College staff and faculty have raised ongoing objections to the college’s proposed changes to the staff compensation system, changes that have since been placed on indefinite hold for “further review.” As several audience members noted at Tuesday’s staff meeting, the proposed changes have often been somewhat technical and opaque.…
Staff Express Overall Discontent Following Pay-Range Changes
Note: interviews with staff discussed in this article have been anonymized as a result of alleged implied threats of retaliation from higher administration towards individuals who directly speak up, as described by staff. Staff members are an integral part of the Reed community, and their contributions can be seen in all aspects of the way…
Q&A with Director of HR Heather Quinn-Barron
As part of our coverage of recently proposed changes to staff pay scales, The Quest reached out to Director of Human Resources Heather Quinn-Barron over email with questions about the new system. Among other things, The Quest asked about the released pay grades, their suspension, staff reactions, and the introduction of job descriptions. This article…
Staff Continue Objections to Proposed Pay Changes, Now on Hold
At an all staff meeting on Tuesday, college employees expressed ongoing concerns about proposed changes to staff pay, which had been paused and placed “under review until further notice” by the time the meeting began. College President Audrey Bilger began the meeting by addressing the roughly 100 staff present (as estimated by two Quest reporters…
Faculty Raise Concerns Over Staff Pay-Scale Reconfiguration
Monday’s faculty meeting opened on a full house, and on top of other things, included discussions of additions of academic buildings and new classes, inclusive classroom dynamics, equitable distributions of work, and a lengthy discussion about the recent overhaul in the pay scale for the staff here at Reed. With the bang of a gavel…