University of Missouri workers' union opposes paid time off proposal, vows to fight plan

·2 min read
The Francis Quadrangle at the University of Missouri.
The Francis Quadrangle at the University of Missouri.

The union representing workers in the University of Missouri System is opposing a proposal to change paid time off for more than 13,000 staff members and asking the UM System Board of Curators to vote against the plan.

The proposal would eliminate classifications for vacation, personal and sick days, replacing them with a designation of paid time off. It would reduce by 10 the number of paid days off available for hourly and salaried workers. It also would add parental or caregiver leave and short-term disability leave, which workers don't currently have.

"The union opposes any and all cuts to wages and benefits," Laborers International Union Local 955 said in a news release Tuesday. "We appreciate the university's desire to create paid parental leave, caregiver leave and short-term disability to encourage recruitment and retention, but we oppose any and all cuts to our current accrued leave."

More: Proposed change in paid time off for some UM System workers could happen in 2024

The release asked all UM System staff members to join in opposition to the proposal.

"We will fight this proposal just as we fought for $15 an hour minimum wage in 2019," the release states. "We will fight this proposal just as we fought against (and stopped) the outsourcing of nearly 300 custodial and landscaping jobs in 2020."

The input is welcome, said UM System spokesman Christian Basi.

"We brought this proposal to the board and we're continuing to discuss it," Basi said. "We are looking for feedback and all feedback is welcome."

Previously: 'Listen to your workers for God's sake': University of Missouri union rallies as contract nears its end

It's important for the system to create a benefits package that attracts and retains workers to remain competitive, Basi said.

"We will continue to talk about this for the next several weeks," Basi said.

The board is now scheduled to vote on the proposal at its September meeting, but Basi has said that could change.

If approved, the plan is scheduled to take effect in January 2024.

Roger McKinney is the education reporter at the Tribune. You can reach him at rmckinney@columbiatribune.com or 573-815-1719. He's on Twitter at @rmckinney9.

This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: MU workers' union says it it opposes leave proposal, but not all of it