Reedies gathered at Eliot Circle on Friday afternoon to protest proposed staff pay changes, which had been placed on hold after outcry from staff and faculty. Photography by Kaz Posley.

Ongoing objections from staff and faculty have led to the changes being placed “under review until further notice”

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 been placed on indefinite hold for “further review” at the time of this writing. As several audience members noted at Tuesday’s staff meeting, the proposed changes have often been somewhat technical and opaque. 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 Tuesday’s all staff and faculty meeting, and the questions, comments, and concerns staff raised for HR.

“This really felt like we were down, and we were getting kicked.”

– Anonymous Staff Member, Tuesday staff meeting

Student protestors brought handmade signs to Friday's rally objecting to proposed staff pay changes, now on hold
Photography by Kaz Posley.

And in Faculty Raise Concerns Over Staff Pay-Scale Reconfiguration, Madeleine Voth recounts the events of last week’s faculty meeting. Meanwhile, Sabrina Blasik sits down with HR Director Heather Quinn-Brown for a Q&A, and Madeleine interviews anonymous staff members on their experiences with the proposed changes. Finally, in Breaking Point, Declan shares live updates from a staff pay protest at Eliot Circle.

We understand, of course, that this is both incomplete and rushed, as breaking news often is, and welcome any and all corrections from staff, faculty, or administration. Comment below, or shoot us an email, and we’ll do our best to update this page in real time as we learn more.

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 in which the college functions. Staff includes any person employed…

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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 who attended), saying that she valued all staff at Reed…

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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…

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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…

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Explore the Data

Data analysis by Declan Bradley.

A Note on How We Obtained this Data

This analysis is based on a series of four files posted to the Reed HR website: staff-pay-ranges.pdf, job-titles-and-grades.xlsx, non-exempt-grades.xlsx, and exempt-grades.xlsx. Three of these four files have since been taken down, and only job-titles-and-grades.xlsx remains, but the Quest is working from locally saved copies. Upon close examination of the data, Quest reporters discovered that two of the files, exempt-ranges.xlsx and non-exempt-grades.xlsx, contained secondary data tables titled “Exempt Ranges – Hidden” and “Non-Exempt Grades – Hidden” respectively.

These two hidden tables appear to contain data on proposed pay ranges for grades 11-17, which staff had requested at Tuesday’s staff meeting and been denied. The Quest’s working theory is that, at some point, someone working in a large Excel project intended to export only a single sheet tab, likely “Exempt Ranges” or “Non-Exempt Grades,” but instead accidentally exported and published the entire Excel project, including the hidden tables.

After consulting with lawyers from the Student Press Law Center, the Quest has decided that, in light of staff questions on the matter, we have an obligation to publish this data.

We would like to make clear that none of our reporters engaged in unprofessional tactics or attempted to gain access to confidential information. These are the exact files that Reed HR published on their own website, and anyone with an internet connection had access to them for several days before they were taken down. Nevertheless, as a concession to privacy concerns, the editorial board has decided not to publish the raw data tables or source code — as we do in other data driven stories — and instead will only refer to the data in visualizations and generalized ranges for each pay grade.

Protest: In Photos

Photography by Kaz Posley.

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About the Authors

Sabrina Blasik

Sabrina is an English major and Quest contributor, and was an editor of the Quest from January to December of 2022. She frequently reports on important breaking stories at Reed. She also sometimes writes movie reviews, and runs the Bird of the Week column which she started in 2020.

Declan Bradley

As a new editor of the Quest, Declan is already at work on a new version of the Quest site. Declan looks forward to working with both new and returning Quest writers this semester, and plans to spend more than a few late nights in the Quest office (before staggering into his 9 AM history class on Thursday morning).

L Urena

L is a CS major who spends their free time knitting, drawing, and writing for the Quest. You can frequently find them with another cup of coffee at increasingly concerning hours of the day.

Madeleine Voth

As a second semester editor, Madeleine is feeling good about this semester, mainly because she no longer has a 9am on Thursday mornings. She is looking forward to another semester of singing along to Mamma Mia in the Quest room, and is hoping for little to no scandals this semester (fingers crossed!)