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‘Come to YSU, we even have computers’



Published: Sun, September 20, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)


By Bertram de Souza

To hear Youngstown State University’s administration tell it, the $4,500 bonuses that 400 or so employees will receive are justified because they played such an important role in the institution recording its highest enrollment in seven years.

Indeed, this is the second year in a row they received bonuses tied to student numbers. In 2008, the largess amounted to $1,125 each.

So, who are these individuals who persuaded high school grads and others to come to YSU?

Were they members of the faculty touting the academic prowess of the urban, open admissions institution and holding out the promise of high-paying jobs upon graduation? No, they weren’t.

Were they administrative staffers whose responsibilities include recruitment and other student-related programs? No.

The beneficiaries of the taxpayer-funded gift are members of the Association of Classified Employees.

But the administration, led by President Dr. David Sweet, and the board of trustees must believe that they are extremely valuable to the university, or else they would not have agreed to bonuses in the midst of an national economic recession.

Dedication

Such dedication to the well-being of YSU deserves to be rewarded — and recognized.

On the university’s Web site there’s a link to Classified Civil Service Job Classifications. The jobs are listed in alphabetical order.

It’s easy to be sarcastic about the role such employees played in the enrollment sweepstakes, considering the jobs they have.

For instance, what pitch would a Secretary 2 make to a prospective college student? (The sarcastic headline reflects the reality that members of ACE have little or nothing to do with enrollment.)

This isn’t just the opinion of a columnist who has long questioned the expenditure of taxpayer dollars by the public sector, including governments at all levels.

Consider the following e-mail sent within the past week:

“Did you know that members of the ACE union at YSU are going to get a bonus ... because (enrollment) is up? What’s this going to cost? With the economy in the crapper and tuition on the rise this stinks! This group of people have (absolutely) NOTHING to do with the increase of enrollment either!

“I’m sure there is nothing anyone can do but (embarrassment may) keep them in check next time!”

So, what are some of the other job classifications?

Air quality technician has a certain intriguing quality to it in the context of recruitment. Consider this sales pitch: Come to Youngstown State, the air in our buildings smells like fresh mountain dew.

Then there’s the Inventory Control Specialist Supervisor. It’s such an officious sounding title that any high school grad would be impressed just meeting the individual.

Or, how about the Employee Benefits Coordinator?

“So, what do you do in your job?” asks the prospective student.

“I make sure that members of the classified service get all the benefits they’re entitled to.”

“Who pays for the benefits?”

“You do. That’s why I’m out here making sure our enrollment increases. You know we’ll get a bonus if there’s an increase.”

The bottom line is this: Justifying the bonuses by touting the work done by members of ACE on the enrollment is ridiculous.

It should be pointed out that the other unions representing the faculty, administrative staff and police also rolled the administration and trustees.

Money, money, money

Take the faculty, please! For the 2008-09 school year, there was a 2.5 percent increase in base salary and a bonus, which resulted in a full professor, for instance, receiving $1,800 that was added to the base.

Then, a member of the faculty union hired before June 1, 2008, received a longevity increase of $50 for each year of service. Thus, a faculty member with 30 years received $1,500 — that also was added to the base salary.

At least the ACE bonuses aren’t rolled into the base salary. That should make students who were hit with a tuition and fee increase feel much better.


Comments

1Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

I received no raise because of the economy and had to absorb price increases on many avenues . Wish I could get $4,500. in easy money .

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2IsThatSo(5 comments)posted 5 years ago

Desouza should look at YSU employees as job security. It seems that is one of the two subjects he can write about, the other being Jim Traficant.

If it wasn't for his constant whining about Jim Traficant and YSU, he would be out of a job. I was going to buy the Vindy one day, then I saw his picture on the front page with a caption of his column about Traficant. That stopped me from buying the paper.

As for the dollar amounts of the YSU bonuses, get the facts straight before you make a total a$$ out of yourself. Sorry, I should have said, before you make a total a$$ out of your self once again.

Sheesh, he is nothing but a jealous crybaby who does nothing but whine, whine, whine. He is no way an asset to the Vindy, His constant crying and criticism of the Youngstown area an it's people has become very old and boring. Perhaps the Vindy should consider hiring a YSU graduate who is able to write a column that has more substance and variety.

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3TheLostPatrol(756 comments)posted 5 years ago

I cannot believe that the student body is not holding candlelight vigils in protesting this ridiculus agreement included in a state employee's contract. Where are the old hippies that would be crowded around "the Rock" like the good old days? Oh, I forgot, they are the ones that are paying the stipend (including an increase in this years tuition) for the students that are currently enrolled. This cost them $1.8 Million-dollars to pay out, unbelieveable!

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4Viewpoint(89 comments)posted 5 years ago

ACE members can attempt to defend this greed until hell freezes over, but to no avail. It smells. And the vigorous defense is really an attempt to justify this outrageous farce. You members of ACE that keep posting about how those in the private sector can complain about your greed without divulging likesame wage information really should understand that we work in the private sector, you don't. Your payroll comes from the taxpayers and the tuition payments, that is who you work for, the university is only a conduit from our wallet to yours. At a time when our wallet is being sqeezed by every possible source, we resent your attitude and your greed.

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5apollo(1227 comments)posted 5 years ago

As usual, ALLBS likes to ask the posters what we make. Since he's simply another trough feeder, and therefore his salary is public information (Boardman) he doesn't like that his salary can be bantered about in the public domain. The difference ALLBS is that WE PAY YOUR SALARY and YOU DON'T PAY OURS. Factor in the ridiculous fact that public sector employment has far exceeded the average private sector employment in wages and benefits, and you have the groundwork for a taxpayers revolt. We are tired of public workers having higher wages, better benefits, and sweeter retirements all funded by taxpayers feeling the pinch of economic reality. It's time for the public sector to face reality.

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6IsThatSo(5 comments)posted 5 years ago

"This cost them $1.8 Million-dollars to pay out,"

So tell me.... where did you come up with this figure?

"I cannot believe that the student body is not holding candlelight vigils in protesting this ridiculus"

Maybe if you learned how to spell, you too could work at YSU.

And don't forget that every one of the YSU employees PAY TAXES too.

This is article is typical Dasousa (misspelling is intentional) tactics.

I don't hear anyone complaining about the benefits and the pay that GM workers make. Paying someone $20/hour to "test" a trunk by opening and closing it. Now THAT is ridiculous and the reason you have to pay so much for your car. And don't forget Obama's bailout of GM. That is also your tax dollars at work.

The bottom line is that YSU has one of the lowest tuition cost of any university in Ohio. Try going to Ohio State or Kent and see what it will cost for 4 years of education.

By the way, I do not work at YSU.

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7Woody(451 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

IsThatSo,

"This cost them $1.8 Million-dollars to pay out,"

So tell me.... where did you come up with this figure?

Can someone buy this guy a calculator?

$4,500 per employee, that was paid out to 400 employees.
$4,500 x 400 = $1,800,000 (or as the other poster wrote $1.8 million)

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8Aptenodytes(8 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

So Bertram, what does your headline have to do with anything? Again this moron is spewing his hatred of this valley's last great asset. Why isn't this imbecil cheering for YSU and Youngstown? The University has a new STEM college, designated Centers of Excellance, exciting research, etc... But maybe DeSozo wouldn't know about any of this because he wasn't invited along with Congressman Ryan and Chancellor Fingerhut to tour the research labs. Gee... I wonder why????
I'm not the only one who is sick and tired of reading this hater's vitriol. It's about time the people of Youngstown demand better reporting from the Vindicator. What we need in this town is people who love this valley, its people and its assets. If Youngstown and YSU suck so much, why don't you just go back to Afghanistan or wherever you come from and see how much better things are there.

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9apollo(1227 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

There is ALLBS with his usual flawless logic. He feels that because he buys something at Walmart, he should be privy to their salaries. Just another trough feeder who doesn't like that PUBLIC employees wages and bennies are PUBLIC knowledge. In fact, here is Boardman's first half 2009 salaries. No wonder Boardman is broke.

http://www.boardmanfacts.com/uploads/...

2008's numbers are here:

http://www.boardmanfacts.com/uploads/...

Factor in bennies that are about 35-40% of the salary and you have pretty sweet employment paid for by taxpayers who don't have anywhere near those wages and benefits.

Any of you taxpayers have pensions? How about nice going away presents of 50-100K of accumulated sick and vacation time? Company provided cars? Can you retire at 50?

Time for taxpayers to take back control and straighten out the inequity between private and public sector wages and benefits.

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10penguinswin(21 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

de Souza, you are the Valley's worst enemy. Crawl in the hole you crawled out of. You are aptly named (Sousaphone) because you are a windy blowhard! No wonder the readership of the Vindicator is down. Go YSU, Go Penguins, Go Valley

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11Viewpoint(89 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

When the message cannot be defended or refuted, it is so much easier to attack the messenger.

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12IsThatSo(5 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Woody and the rest of you people that believe that every word from the Vindy is gospel,`,

There is absolutely NO WAY that the employees were paid $4,500 each. That figure is just something that desoupa pulled out of his a$$.

"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."
~Mark Twain~

So true of the Vindy.

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13TheLostPatrol(756 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

"IsThatSo" states that it doesn't work at YSU but in one of the earlier postings it was noted by "IsThatSo" that, "BTW, I retired as a 25 year employee from YSU so I do know a little of how the administration works."; contrary to the above, "I do not work at YSU."

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14TheLostPatrol(756 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Almost forgot. "IsThatSo", before you take a shot at Kent State University and The Ohio State University, what is the percentage of YSU students that graduate in four years? 20% or let me spell this one out for you since you have a difficult time performing simple math, that would be 1 out of every 5 currently enrolled students?

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15IsThatSo(5 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Lostpatrol

Apparently you need some basic reading comprehension skills. i said I DO NOT work at YSU. That means exactly what I stated. I don't work there. I retired from there years ago, so don't get your panties in a bunch thinking I am receiving any of these bonuses from there.

The employees have nothing to do with the percentage of graduating students. You are comparing apples to oranges.

Graduation rates are based on the students themselves and how they apply themselves to their studies.

Of course there are those students look at going to school as just another way to get free money and when that runs out, they quit school.

I did not take a shot at the other schools, I just said to compare their tuition with YSU. It costs a whole lot more to go to a school out of town than locally.

Instead of being glad that there is an affordable State University in Youngstown, you would love it if the University would close putting all of these "greedy" folks out of work wouldn't you?

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16TheLostPatrol(756 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

...and all I did was quote what "IsThatSo" stated in her previous postings and I get downgraded to someone who doesn't know how to spell, perform simple math, and compose sentences. Then I get "Westsider" who cannot answer a simple question that I had asked about YSU students graduating in four years; instead getting a chapter out of "War and Peace". Thank goodness both of you got out of YSU; at least maybe both of your departures will somewhat help current students graduate in four years; getting rid of excess baggage via the "buyout" program.

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17Woody(451 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

If it wasn't $4,500 then what was it?

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18TheLostPatrol(756 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Hey "Woody" , if they took back the $4500 per employee, and gave it back in scholarships, they could basically pay a FULL YEARS tuition for two hundred (200) current students. For us that can perform simple math it goes like this, $4500 x 400 classified employees = $1,800,000.00. Then, 200 students x $9,000 per (two semesters) = $1,800,000.00. Now, wouldn't that money have been better used by RETURNING it back to well-deserving YSU undergraduate students?

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19Woody(451 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

LostPatrol,

You are preaching to the choir. I was responding to "IsThatSo". He was challenging the $4500 figure. I did the math problem for him a couple of posts ago. I did not go a step further with the scholarships.

I agree the money could have been used better.

The Convention Center Money could have been used better. Maybe invest in a research center in partnership with the university that could have been leveraged promote high tech investments and creating well paying jobs.

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20TheLostPatrol(756 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

I agree with you "Woody", and was just adding to your previous post, too. Imagine how many Kevlar vests the City of Youngstown could purchase with just the interest $ their paying on the debt for the "George McKelvey Tourist & Convention Center".

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21Ytownboy(142 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Well, we are still seeing multi million dollar bonuses for the people who got us into this mess in the first place: the financial industry. So why not bonuses for the YSU folks? At least they didn't sink the country into a great recession, take bail out money and then award bonuses to the people who did it.

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22apollo(1227 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Great, 2 wrongs suddenly make a right! Hey, Wall Street did it, so why not us.

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23penguin4life(2 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Bertram,

I am a PROUD employee of YSU! I'm a member of 'one' of the unions here on campus; that being ACE. I'm also an alumni and very proud that I was able to attend such a wonderful university. Working here is a 'bonus' in and of itself. I'm truly lucky and blessed.

I come into contact daily with our students. Students who I'm proud to associate with. After all, I was one of them. At least two or three times a week, a student will be in need of assistance. Knowing that I wouldn't have a job without him/her, I quickly jump to their aid to help them in whatever way that I can. Sometimes it's giving them directions, sometimes it's walking them to where they need to go, sometimes it's describing the history of something on campus. They are always polite and thankful. That's just me. Now multiply that x 400!

Sometimes a student will call me at my work desk, yes, I do WORK here. Many of my fellow ACE members work extremely hard here, day and/or night. Weekends and holidays. We set aside and sacrifice many personal situations, most often, gladly. We appreciate the opportunity to do so! Now multiply that x 400!

Many of us support scholarship programs here on campus. Myself and others have also endowed scholarships here on campus in which our students are very thankful for. Again, multiply that x 400!

I know that you are doing YOUR job. Controversy is good business for the newspapers.

The 'bonus' I and my fellow ACE employees will be receiving, is good business too. As you mentioned, the YSU Administration recognizes this. Every student or prospective student that we help here on campus, or encourage to come to school here on campus, is good business. Rewarding fellow employees who like myself, have never missed a day of work, is good business.

It's just not good business for all the reasons I stated above, most importantly, it's good business for the future of our students, and in turn, the future of our valley.

Good day to you sir!

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24RFederer(116 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Dear Bertram, I am a senior at YSU. Daily, I come in contact with students who ask me questions regarding the university. Where is that building, which teacher should I take for this class. Did I get a bonus? No, in fact, I got a tuition increase probably to pay for the idiotic bonus of Penguin4life.

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25RFederer(116 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

I'll also bet that the number of postings on Vindy coming from employees of YSU are incredibly high! Yet, they claim to be hard at work.

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26YSUPenguin(30 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

penguin4life...why do you think doing your job entitles you to a $4500 bonus? You are paid a salary to do all the little tasks you mentioned in your post, so don't act like you are some big deal just for showing up to work. That's what people in the "real world" do everyday, and they probably make a lot less than you do since the ACE salaries are so inflated. I also work at YSU and the ACE members I come into contact with on a daily basis are some of the most miserable and ungrateful people I have ever met. They always remind everyone how hard they have it and how everyone is against them, even though they are all overpaid for the little work that they actually do. It's sad, especially in this economy, to see people act this way, with their constant complaining and "poor me" attitudes. They should be lucky they even have a job, yet they are never happy. This bonus is ridiculous and undeserved. These spoiled brats don't deserve 45 cents, let alone $4500!

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27TheLostPatrol(756 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Hey "RFederer". Suggestion: Why not get a group of current YSU students and do what we used to call a good old fashioned protest. Don't wait for next years tuition increase, because it will be coming, too. Especially after the Courts denied the State of Ohio permission to install slot machines until after the November 2010 General Election to generate $950M to soften the anticipated $3Billion-dollar+ budget deficit in the current two-year budget they just passed.

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28RFederer(116 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

TLP, there is talk of such a protest. What will it accomplish? Instead of a 8% increase in tuition, they'll lower it to 7%. I also know of YSU benefactors who routinely donate money to the university but are no longer going to because of this "bonus". This will cost the university much more than the $4500 per ACE idiot. They wonder why unions have such a poor reputation in this area. You only have to see things like this to see why. I can't wait to graduate so I can get as far away from Youngstown as possible.

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29CandyfromCanfield(172 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Penguin4life writes, "At least two or three times a week, a student will be in need of assistance. Knowing that I wouldn't have a job without him/her, I quickly jump to their aid to help them in whatever way that I can." Are you kidding? Obviously, this ACE employee does not work in admissions, registration, advising, financial aid, etc...(or else he or she would be seeing at least 4 students an HOUR...or more!). As I've stated previously, this person did NOTHING to increase enrollment, therefore, the bonus wasn't earned. Not to single you out, penguin4life, but at least have the decency to own up to the truth. And here's a direct question for you, penguin4life...just how much of that unearned bonus will you be donating back to the University to a scholarship fund, WYSU, etc.? It's amusing to be on campus, as none of the ACE people I know are saying a word about this bonus. They are terrified to discuss it at work, or make any attempt to defend it. They know faculty, administration, and professional staff think it's ridiculous. They also know that in two years when it's time to negotiate their contract, they'll have to pay the piper. The mouths of those union-busting shark lawyers in Cleveland are already watering!

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30TheLostPatrol(756 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Hey where is "Technology Tim", our Congressman to spearhead a Candelight vigil on the campus core of YSU to protest this $4500 giveaway?.. Even invite Bob Hagan; but you'll have to announce that he's there, or he'll leave. Let me know the Date and Time and I'll gladly join the YSU Students. BYOC..."Bring your own candle"!

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31penguin4life(2 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Um, I wish that I was paid a salary! Do you have connections?

Again, I've 'endowed' scholarships and will gladly be giving back ALL of my bonus to OUR students!

Yes, I have to agree to disagree. I do help increase enrollment here on campus. See 'scholarships' above. See 'endowed' above.

I don't know ANYONE who would turn down a bonus. As for giving them? Talk to the YSU president, administration, and board. They can answer your questions regarding the bonuses.

SMILE! =)

Life is great!

I live good. ;-)

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32CandyfromCanfield(172 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Quite frankly, I don't believe for one nanosecond you will endow the university with your entire bonus. In the words of Rep. Joe Wilson, "YOU LIE"!

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33jmpt37(43 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

bertram once again you have proven yourself to be an idiot. how much was your raise?

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34Viewpoint(89 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

He is not required to tell you anything. He works for a PRIVATE corporation not a publicly funded entity. If you don't like the public examination of your wage and benefit and BONUS package, join him in the private sector employment ranks.

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35RFederer(116 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

Let me guess NoBS, you're a high school educated public employee wasting work time at the expense of the tax paying public?

While I'm a senior on schedule to graduate with honors in the spring from the engineering school and likely to get half a dozen offers from firms all over America making twice what you make currently.

Instead of addressing the topic at hand, you do what the uneducated do, make it personal.

The ACE bonuses are a cruel joke on us students who have been seeing tuition skyrocket.

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36jmpt37(43 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

i apologize nobs for asking such a stupid question lol. im sure that now im on the hit list of the brain dead desouza fan club.

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37Viewpoint(89 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

The word clever comes to mind. Is that the one you were thinking of? And another thing, where have I ever stated I was a supported of DeSousa? All I have done is point out the fallacy in your arguments and/or misguided rants.

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38RFederer(116 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

NoBS is a one trick pony. If it's union, it's all good. A YSU grad? In what communications or criminal justice? Can't possibly be anything tough. As for my earlier posts, I was simply stating fact. The YSU ACE poster said that he was worth the bonus because at least 3 students a week asked him for assistance. Well, at least 3 students a week ask me for directions or advice. Do I get a tuition discount of $4500? The bottom line is the ACE workers are already overpaid and didn't earn the bonus. It's just another union scam that takes away from hard working students and gives to the workers from YSU who spend countless hours surfing the internet. I've seen it first hand. They're some of the easiest jobs on campus. DsSousa is one of the only local news people willing to step on the union toes. Kudos to Bert.

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39SpeedBuggy(8 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

As a "YSU" parent, I have made decisions based on the economy as the major decision for my kids higher education. One has graduated from Williamson School of Business, another will graduate in May 2010 from Rayen School of Engineering, and another enrolling in the fall of 2010. While there has been an increase in enrollment over the last several years, I believe that a lot has to do with the state of the economy. Maybe more parents are preferring to send their kids to local schools where the tuition costs a lot less than the bigger schools (i.e. OSU, BGSU, Miami)

Now, while the employees are not the major reason why parents and their children have made a decision to attend YSU, it should be one based on their willingness to assist the students, not their union contract. As I do not agree with these bonuses either, looks like fact of life that cannot be changed at this time.My question is what happens to these bonuses when enrollment drops due

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40SpeedBuggy(8 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Now, while the employees are not the major reason why parents and their children have made a decision to attend YSU, it should be one based on their willingness to assist the students, not their union contract. As I do not agree with these bonuses either, looks like fact of life that cannot be changed at this time.My question is what happens to these bonuses when enrollment drops due to the economy and no one can afford these higher education costs. I am a firm in getting my kids a higher education and while I disagree with this bonus, I will continue to pay tuition to YSU for my kids. We will have to give up a little more, hope the ACE union would see fit to do the same. One other question, does the union membership pay full tuition for their kids including the increase in tuition or do the receive a "discounted" tuition?

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412ez2c(17 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

bertram ... why dont you bless some other state with your presence ?you've done plenty of whining for our vally. instead of talking negative about a school and a former politician you fantasize about ,why dont you talk about solutions to problems? not just problems we know we have problems

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42RFederer(116 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, NoBS, the "good old days" will be sorely missed by you and your fellow union members as more and more people get educated and don't need the corrupt unions to extract more money and benefits than you deserve. I've already got feelers from companies like Honeywell, Martin Marietta, Boeing, and a few others making tons of money with great benefits. I have Engineer friends making 250,000 a year, one working on the missile defense shield. If you're an example of the older generation, it's no wonder the country is bankrupt.

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43SkyKing310B(253 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I don't know what the big deal is about the current enrollment at ysu. When I attended there back in the early seventies then eighties we had about 17-18,000 students going there then. So 13,000 is a big deal?

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