BRING STAFF BACK Professional Staff Union & University Staff Association
Where are we now? • 976 staff hit by furloughs/hours reductions since September • 427 STILL on furloughs/reductions including 102 PSU/USA staff* • All the rest of us have been forced to take three weeks unpaid • That’s a 6% pay cut for the year! • Chancellor Subbaswamy is still refusing to bring all staff back *Furloughs/reductions numbers as of 1/25/21
Who was impacted? • BIPOC & low-income staff disproportionally affected • Students • Disruption & reduction in services • Remaining staff and faculty • Increased workload & stress
How did this happen? • Staff agreed to take furloughs in a good-faith compromise based on projections from the administration • They said we would have a 5% drop in fall enrollment • WRONG — only 0. 5% drop • They said we would have a 10% cut in state funding • WRONG — no cut in state funding at all • Even VC Bill Brady now says, “our budget picture is better than it looked. ”
Much better, actually! • UMass Amherst just received $28 million in federal aid • $9 million for students • $19 million for institutional needs • That’s more than their projected $6. 5 million fiscal year deficit • We are looking at a $12. 5 million fiscal year SURPLUS! Hmm … what should we do with it?
University System Operating Margins $60 000 But wait, there’s more! $50 000 $40 000 $30 000 $20 000 $10 000 $0 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 -$10 000 -$20 000 • A recent MTA analysis has revealed that the UMass Board of Trustees have been squirreling away a LOT of extra tuition revenue: • Over $323, 000 in unrestricted endowment funds • PLUS $125, 000 in emergency reserves • But they say they won’t use the reserves without something like an asteroid strike. Seriously, they said that.
That’s why we’re demanding … • BRING ALL STAFF BACK NOW • The federal funds are to provide “fast and direct economic aid to the American people negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. ” • Not to put in the bank • We know they have the money! • Current fiscal year surplus for our campus • Plus MASSIVE cash reserves that CAN and SHOULD be used for emergencies like this
Our organizing and mobilizing is working! • Got administration to “Slow Down” and back off threats of mass layoffs in September • Petitions and stories to administrators • Support from state legislators and Town of Amherst • Press campaign • Level funding from legislature in November • Fought back against Gov. Baker’s veto of higher ed funding in December and won • Administration has recalled 73 PSU & USA staff due to our joint bargaining efforts and pressure
Now what? Topics for our group • How is our area/college being impacted? • Have we all signed the letter? • How can we reach everyone else in our area? • How can we keep information flowing in our area? • How can we increase the pressure?