Letters to the Editor Friday, Chapel Hill News, September 29, 2000
Prosperity hasn't hit state workers
In the fall of 1994, just before the election, I went
to Toy Lounge in Dey Hall to hear Howard Lee
The lounge was packed with university employees.
When the floor was opened for questions, the first came from a single mother who
said she had been working at UNC for over nine years. She complained that new
hires in her department were making as much as she was.
She told how her low salary kept her living on the edge. If her car broke down, she
wouldn't have enough money to fix it, and she didn't know how she would get to
work. She told how her child needed a new pair of shoes at the start of the school
year, and she hadn't been able to afford them.
The room was hushed in the face of this impassioned plea and awaited the senator's
response. Howard Lee was caught off-guard. He answered with anger and a touch
of sarcasm, "Be happy you have a job! "
I was stunned, as were the rest in attendance.
During a decade of the greatest prosperity this nation has ever known, while the
economy of North Carolina has been growing in leaps and bounds, state employees
have always come last and have always had to take the hindmost. While everyone
else is allowed their share of the pie, state employees are never rewarded for the
prosperity we help create.
We're only allowed to inch along, and thousands of us live on the margins. Howard
Lee's attitude, that we should just be happy to have jobs, is the attitude of many in the
The way to change this situation is to follow SEANC's lead. Vote in those candidates
SEANC endorses. Vote out those who have been targeted for defeat. Vote against
all the Howard Lees by voting for Bill Boyd.