Stop Retaliation, Stop Layoffs at UMass Lowell

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First we were essential, now they say we are expendable.  

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, staff at UMass campuses immediately jumped into action to protect workers and students. For weeks while others stayed at home, we came to campus to make sure the students who could not leave and the workers who had to work on site would be safe. We put ourselves and our families at risk. We take our mission of providing safe, quality public education seriously. We think it is essential.

Now UMass Lowell faces less than a .25% budget shortfall, and their solution is to layoff half of the maintenance and trades staff, and half the clerical and technical staff—all the lowest paid benefited employees on campus. What happened to us being essential? Now are we expendable?

Workers began receiving layoff notices Friday evening, May 1, despite wishing to continue discussions with the university to find an equitable, workable solution that does not leave workers out in the cold. The unions entered into formal negotiations with the employer having received a written proposal on Thursday, May 14, 2020. While actively engaging in bargaining on Friday, the unions in Lowell held a protest over the 66 MTU layoffs. Upon the car caravan reaching the Chancellor’s home, UMass Lowell started emailing Friday afternoon layoff notices to 16 CTU members. This is unacceptable. They need to hear from you.

Please join us in contacting UMass President Marty Meehan, UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Maloney, and your Senator and Congressperson, to say it isn’t OK to simply discard workers when you need an extra penny or threaten workers or lay them off for engaging in protected, concerted activities. UMass Lowell must continue to negotiate with workers and treat them as essential, not expendable.

Thank you for your support and action

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