UMass Amherst pulled back its threat to lay off approximately 450 workers after two unions representing thousands of campus employees mounted an aggressive organizing and activism campaign.
Faced with the threat of hundreds of unjustified job cuts, two unions representing thousands of employees at UMass Amherst have filed charges with state labor officials, claiming that the university administration is failing in its obligation to negotiate alternatives to massive layoffs.
Today, the Amherst Chapter of the Professional Staff Union, MTA/NEA, representing 1,400 workers at UMass Amherst, released this statement addressing Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy's turn towards threats of layoffs and forced furloughs.
Demanding a Safe and Equitable Fall
The PSU has been working with other unions across UMass and across all of public higher education to demand that our Commonwealth ensure that our campuses are fully funded so that all workers and programs can continue, and that we can continue to do our work safely. You can read the MTA’s statement online.
Here are some useful resources for our PSU members.
Statement of Solidarity with the Graduate Workers of GEO UAW 2322 by the Amherst Chapter of Professional Staff Union, MTA, NEA
"As professional staff workers at UMass Amherst, we stand in solidarity with the graduate workers of GEO as they struggle with economic and employment insecurity, and evictions from university-owned housing. Graduate workers are crucial to the function of our university, and our university must take all steps necessary to assist them in their struggles against hunger, loss of housing, and loss of school status.
The Amherst chapter for PSU has bargained and signed an agreement with the administration governing policies during the COVID-19 outbreak.
First and foremost, it is the shared intention of PSU and the administration that no member will fall off of payroll during this crisis. Secondly, the Amherst chapter is working with the administration to reduce the number of employees on the onsite list, and to ease the burden on those who remain. Here are the major points of the agreement:
Onsite employees ...
The MA legislature's Joint Committee on Higher Education has been touring all the public higher ed campuses across the state. Last Friday they came to UMass Boston. PSU president Anneta Argyres was allowed to attend the session for the legislative representatives to hear from faculty; no session had been set up for them to hear from staff.