Rebecca Clark - Pay Raise

In this oral history excerpt, Rebecca Clark discusses how she pressured management for a merit raise while working at the laundry for the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Audio File: 

Rebecca Clark Oral History - Pay Raise by ncdigitalhistory


Audio Transcript

Rebecca Clark
But right there on that job, you would get an income raise once a year. You would get a state raise. But after you're there so long, if you haven't had any problems, your work has been good, they didn't have to call you in for anything, you're supposed to have a merit raise. So I had talked to the orderlies, the aides, and asked them, "Have you all had a raise like that?" They said, "No, I don't think so." I said, "Tell me the truth, because I'm going to get busy." So, "No, I haven't had a raise." ( ) A merit raise, they hadn't had one. The onliest thing we had had was two or three state raises, that's all we could get. They never gave us that four-five percent.So we had this new director and I felt comfortable talking with her. So I went to her and told her, "Nobody said anything to me about my work. I've been up to par. They haven't called me in to anything." And she always called me "Squeaky" because I was always squeaking about something. She called me "Squeaky Clark." She said, "Clark, you haven't had a raise?" I said, "No. All I've had is a state raise and an increment raise when I came here." She said, "Well I sent up for all of them to get a raise." I said, "The orderlies and aides, they said they haven't had a raise." She said, "Well you go downstairs and talk to the director. He's in his office." Well I knew him well; I considered him being a fine man. I went down and I talked to him and he said, "Well that hasn't come to me." He had to sign over. So what had happened, this director had probably given it to the secretary or whatever. They, too, didn't see the need. But every time you turned around, RNs was getting one. So when I told him, apparently he called her back and in a few months, in our checks, we had a raise.

Usage Statement: 

Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

This item has a Creative Commons license for re-use.  The Creative Commons BY NC SA license means that you may use, remix, tweak, and build upon the work for non-commerical purposes purposes as long as you credit the original creator and as long as you license your new creation using the same license. That means that you cannot alter it. For more information about Creative Commons licensing and a link to the license, see full details at