Coalition seeks to expose & end UF job discrimination
Candi Churchill and Lori Tinney of Campus NOW along with other members of the Anti-Discirmination Coalition
November/December 1998

A woman said she was fired from UF after questioning her supervisors about the lack of minority employees in her office.

Another woman reports she was terminated when management shifted and she spoke up about their poor leadership. This happened after being promoted several times prior to the changes.

African-American women complain of unfair practices including personal phone calls, email, and leave-time being monitored more strictly than other white employees, as well as not being adequately compensated for their seniority and skills while other staff continue to be developed and promoted.

It is illegal for an employer to ask during a job interview if you have any children, yet women report that this not only goes on, but it is keeping them from getting promotions and positions for which they are qualified.

Physical Plant workers (approximately 90% black) say that black employees are reprimanded publicly by white supervisors without sufficient cause. Workers continue to be pressured to move from day to night shifts.

Authorities assigned to deal with discrimination at UF are unhelpful, women report. They remain anonymous to keep their jobs and avoid repercussions people face for pointing out injustices in our nation and community.

These stories and more stimulated several groups to form the Anti-Discrimination Coalition (ADC). These groups include the UF/SFCC Campus and Gainesville Area chapters of the National Organization for Women (NOW), the Alachua County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Gainesville Chapter of the Industrial Workers of the World and members of the Black Student Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME--a UF staff union), and Gainesville Women's Liberation. The ADC came together to work towards exposing and ending any and all discrimination based on race and/or sex, and to enforce workers' rights in our community.

Over ten years ago UF Faculty union members Hernan Vera and Kris Anderson conducted a salary equity study that demonstrated gross inequities against women and minorities at UF. According to some faculty, a few top level minorities and females were hired, but other than that, little has changed since the study was completed and presented to UF administrators. More recently, the Alachua County NAACP has been studying employment in the county and has come up with similar data showing discrimination (see the Iguana, Oct. 1998). UF's policies on these matters produce a pleasant image of a fair, just university, while in reality, these black women are harassed, intimidated, treated like they are expendable without redress, and even fired. The Anti-Discrimination Coalition's "Employment Discrimination Survey" was developed in order to document how large these problems are so we can work towards changing them. It is time for UF to take these complaints seriously and stop discriminating against its employees.

If you are in this situation, please know that you are not alone. If we come together we can take steps forward to improve the situation on the UF campus and beyond. Individual complaints are swept under the rug, but united we can make change. You can fill out the survey confidentially, but it would help us more if we have a way to contact you--you may still remain anonymous.

The survey is reprinted on the next page (page 18-19). Additional surveys are available at the Civic Media Center, 1021 W. University Ave. or you can contact one of the groups involved.

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