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Understanding the Faulty Foundations of UMass Boston’s Budget Cuts

The administration has cut faculty, staff, and classes. The FSU is concerned that these cuts threaten the educational mission of our university and has been working on campus to mitigate this outcome.  This two-part blog will examine the cause of the deficit, what the union has been doing about these cuts, and how you can help.

Barry Mills, in a recent November 9 email to the UMass campus community, stated that the deficit was caused in part by the cost of substructure-related construction projects.  Why?  Because back in the 1970s, when McKee/Berger/Mansueto (MBM) was contracted to build the substructure upon which the UMass campus rests, rather than creating a solid foundation, MBM was so negligent and irresponsible that an engineering report in the mid-90s determined the substructure below all UMass campus buildings were in “imminent danger of collapse.”

Temporary fixes like repairing expansion joints, propping up wooden supports, filling potholes – none of these changed the fact that the substructure was a danger to the entire campus. Fire trucks can’t even drive onto the campus plaza due to the risk of falling through. The danger was deemed so great that the substructure — which used to serve as our campus parking facility — was shut down in 2006. Also, because the substructure houses campus utilities like electricity, air conditioning, water, and heat, the utilities must be moved, adding even more to the overall cost of repairs – costs which the UMB campus is being forced to pay.

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Welcome to the UMass Boston Faculty Staff Union Blog

Welcome to the new FSU Blog! We have launched this blog as a more flexible alternative to our newsletter. Instead of waiting for a newsletter in your campus mailbox twice a year, you can now visit our blog to find up-to-date posts several times a month. We believe that this is a more effective way to inform and build active membership.

You can look forward to reading posts about the budget crisis, contract issues, FSU initiatives, member activism, the workings of the grievance process, union struggles and victories beyond our campus, analysis of news coverage, profiles of members, Q&A with union leaders, and much more.

This blog is managed by the FSU Communications Committee. The Communications Committee encourages member involvement. Please email us at if you would like to get involved with the blog, have an idea for a post, or want to submit a guest post.


In solidarity,

Members of the FSU Communication Committee: Tina Mullins (chair), Sofya Aptekar, Linda Liu, Marlene Kim

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