I hesitated about posting this, but I'd appreciate getting a different perspective on if I'm even correct in my feelings about the matter. Here's some back-ground. First of all, I work for a public research university, and hold a masters degree in chemistry from that same institution. I work in the chemistry department of that same university. My current position was created by the department chair for a couple of reasons: 1. To supplement someone who had hired into a different position and really was not qualified for certain aspects of that position. 2. To "keep me there" until the scientific instrument specialist retired(at the time, he'd planned to do it about a year from the time I was hired). The pay was MUCH lower than I expected, but I had an informal promise that it would be brought to where it should be with teaching pay and of course would get there when I moved into the scientific instrument specialist position. For a while, this worked well. I was teaching a couple of credit hours a semester, which did move me into what I thought was reasonable compensation. In the past few months, though, a few things have changed. First of all, HR has cracked down on enforcing a couple of policies with regard to hourly employees(things that I didn't know existed) which have meant that I've gone from teaching ~15 credit hours last year to only 4 this year. That's a significant financial hit, as it's basically a loss of $10K in income for me over the course of the year. This is not at the department level either-they've had to scramble and find people to fill the courses I'd normally teach, and in fact have cancelled a couple just because they couldn't find anyone. Second, the scientific instrument specialist retired Sept. 30, 2016. I immediately took on the majority of his duties. This wasn't an issue then, as I had a gentleman's agreement with the chair that they were working on a reclassification. I don't want to oversell myself, but having someone in that position is absolutely critical to the operation of the department. We drug things on, and I signed the reclassification/revised job description on Jan. 3 of this year. Our business manager submitted it(to HR) a few weeks later. Per published university policy, this must be processed within 30 days, although at the time HR said "6 to 8 weeks." In the mean time, something big happened. The interim president issued a sweeping edict effectively halting all spending and essentially any other expenditures. It slackened up after a week or so, but I still have to justify any expenditure out my rear end even if it's a critical teaching-related expense. In the interim, my reclassification has been halted at the HR level. I've been waiting it out, but am nearly to my breaking point on this. Scientific instrument specialists(a job title which I'm fully qualified to have, both by education and experience) do not grow on trees, and even in this area I'm currently making a little over half of the low salary for one. I don't want to oversell myself, but were I to leave my department would be in trouble both in terms of education and research until I were replaced-and the simple fact of the matter is that they CAN'T replace me for what I'm currently being paid. That's not to mention other non-quantifiable stuff like the fact that I know the quirks of our department instruments as well as that I already have good working relationships with the vast majority of our faculty. I've been in the department nearly 8 years, and even though I can't claim this as much as someone who has been there 30+ years I do have a fair bit of institutional memory. In any case, the department chair and the unit business manager(the person to whom I directly report) are "on my side" so to speak, but there's nothing that they can do to push it with the higher ups. I'm actively looking for jobs in my field, but I'm not sure about how much I should "tip my hand" on this so to speak. I really DON'T want to leave, but at the same time it's going to be necessary if I can't get a fair wage for what I know and do. I know that to a point the "squeaky wheel" gets the grease, but I'm beyond being the squeaky wheel and am afraid I may be at the point where the squeaky wheel gets replaced. Budget pressure is such all over the university that I don't have any escalation paths beyond the department level. I called HR once, and basically they said "don't ever bother us again-we only communicate these things with your supervisor." I am unable to even get in touch with the dean of my college(she will not answer emails and her secretary won't answer or return phone calls), but from what I've been told she will not be sympathetic. I know that my business manager and chair are actively fighting for me(I know that not just based on what they tell me, but also things other people have told me), but at the same time there's only so much I can do. Can anyone give any advice? As much as anything, I'm just venting but at the same time I'd still appreciate some advice.