CWA Members Earned More in 1976 Than They Do Today

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Thu May 4 05:54:27 MDT 2000

President Kirwan <kirwan.1 at> writes to Anthony Libby:

Anthony: I hope you realize that your 4% raise figure is wrong. The University
has offered 18.5% over 3 years.
Brit Kirwan

***** Jamie Pietras, "Add It UP: CWA Members Earned More in 1976 Than They Do
Today," _Columbus Alive_ 4 May 2000: p. 12
Instead of asking for a small raise, the striking workers might just as well ask
to have their wages restored to the level of a quarter century ago. When
adjusted for inflation, entry-level OSU custodial workers today earn about $2 an
hour less than they did 25 years ago.
But inflation hasn't taken a bite out of everyone's paycheck. If there's one
class of workers at OSU that hasn't had a problem securing an occasional
raise--make that an occasional substantial raise--it's the suits behind the
Buckeyes' sporting success.
Just look back to the glory days of Woody Hayes, the venerable football
firebrand who led OSU to three national championships in his tenure as head
coach from 1951 to 1978.
As his career with OSU was winding down, Hayes earned $35,772 for the 1975-76
football season. Adjusted for inflation, that's the present-day equivalent of
$117,000. Men's basketball coach Fred Taylor earned $29,916, or about $98,000
today. The highest paid director in the athletic department was a guy named
Edward Weaver, who raked in what today would equal $125,000.
It wasn't a bad time to be a sports administrator, but the numbers pale in
comparison to what their athletics department counterparts make now.
Last year, men's football coach John Cooper inked a five-year deal with OSU
that's worth $1.1 million annually, with incentives that could raise the bar to
nearly $1.5 million. OSU provides about $170,000 from school coffers, with the
rest of the money guaranteed from endorsements.
That's a $983,000 raise for the football coach, spanning 25 years without a
national championship.
Men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien is guaranteed about $175,000 from OSU, but
like Cooper's contract, his includes an endorsement package for a grand total of
about $833,275 annually. As for Andy Geiger, the top-ranking director in the
athletic department, he pulls in $250,000 a year, about double what his
counterpart Weaver made 25 years ago.
And what about the top dog of them all? Ohio State President Brit Kirwan, whose
office at Bricker Hall has been taken under siege by protesters, is also faring
pretty well compared to presidents past. Today, the university president rakes
in $291,000 annually. His counterpart from 25 years ago, Harold Enarson, made
the equivalent of $150,500.
OSU's custodial workers would have been better off mopping the floors back in
Woody's day. Their current starting wages are $7.71 an hour. But in 1976, when
wages were set by the state, their entry-level pay was $3.32. Adjusted for
inflation, that's today's equivalent of $9.99--or about $2 an hour more than
they earn now.
But the striking workers may have the last laugh, as far as sports fans are
concerned. In a statement released by the union this week, AFL-CIO spokesperson
Don Slaiman said the CWA has the support of the leaders of construction workers
at Ohio Stadium. If--or when--the CWA strikers decide to picket the stadium, the
already-behind-schedule construction there could come to halt. And if the
stadium renovations aren't finished by the start of football season, Buckeye
fans will have lots of free time to sit at home and add up Cooper's huge raise.
<> *****

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