Union President Tom
to union members
on Oct. 31 about
layoffs and budget
cuts expected at
UMass Boston. The
unions on campus
have argued that
should not be
forcing deep cuts
in order to pay for
Photo by Scott McLennan
T wo UMass Boston unions are girding for dozens of layoffs as they and a third union anticipate even more cuts — exacerbating
an already frustrating round of contract negotiations
with the administration of Governor Charlie Baker.
Almost all of the MTA’s higher education
units representing members at state universities,
community colleges and UMass campuses are
currently bargaining new contracts. But the situation is
particularly acute at UMass Boston, where the UMass
Board of Trustees is demanding massive spending
cuts based on the claim that the campus has to contend
with deficits totaling more than $30 million.
As MTA Today went to press, the Classified Staff
Union and the Professional Staff Union were bracing
for layoffs of between 40 and 70 employees. The
Faculty Staff Union is not facing layoffs, but it has
already lost several adjunct positions.
The CSU, PSU and FSU argue that the deficit
numbers are not accurate and that the university’s debt
is related to the cost of repairing buildings and other
structures that were poorly built in the first place.
At a meeting on Oct. 31, PSU and CSU leaders
urged members to stand in solidarity and fight back.
The unions are focusing on a “one person, one job”
campaign to emphasize the impact of the cuts as they
occur. “The layoffs are unnecessary and they will
hurt students,” said PSU President Tom Goodkind.
Members of the three locals and UMass Boston
students were preparing to attend an upcoming
meeting of the trustees’ Administration and Finance
Committee at which they planned to urge the trustees
to use UMass reserve funds to cover deficits.
“We are being punished for a problem that we
did not create,” said CSU President Janelle Quarles.
On the same day that UMass Boston staff
employees were meeting, members of the
Massachusetts State College Association and the
Association of Professional Administrators held a
demonstration at a meeting of the Board of Higher
Education at Westfield State University.
The state university locals conveyed their
disappointment about the slow pace of negotiations
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