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UVI Faculty, Staff Stage Major Sickout

Oct. 28, 2004 – The University of the Virgin Islands faculty and staff staged a job action Thursday on both campuses in apparent protest to a proposed compensation package.
Patrice Johnson, UVI spokeswoman, said Thursday morning, "It appears that about 80 percent of the [St. Croix campus] faculty and staff are out sick, and as many as 50 percent on the St. Thomas campus."
She said,"President LaVerne Ragster and the administration staff are trying to determine the impact on the services UVI can provide."
"Basically," Johnson said, "it is in response to a compensation package revealed last week." (See "UVI Board Approves Restructuring, Pay Plans"). She said, "A very well-attended meeting with the faculty, staff and the administration was held last Friday to discuss the compensation package. It was a contentious session, with lots of questions to the administration."
Johnson said two meetings are being held by the administration and Ragster Thursday at the UVI Chase Auditorium to discuss academic restruturing. These were regularly scheduled meetings, which do not directly affect the compensation issue, Johnson said.
Ragster meets with the staff from noon to 1 p.m., and with the faculty from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Those meetings are being videoconferenced to St. Croix employees as well.
Ragster said Thursday that she was awaiting something in writing from faculty and staff, Johnson said. "She's not sure the sickout is a reaction to the package revealed last week." The package, which was approved by the UVI board, has not yet been put in effect.
"It was a resolution, Johnson said, "based on a package. If accepted, it would be effective when allotments become available from the government."

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