MonthDecember 2017

UMass United at Board of Trustees Meeting in Lowell

The four UMass campuses united at the December 4, 2017 Board of Trustees’ meeting in Lowell.

Tom Goodkind, President of the Professional Staff Union, and Janelle Quareles, President of the Classified Staff Union, excoriated the Board for absolving themselves of all responsibility for approving UMB’s construction plans that have slid UMB into debt and prompted budget cuts that risk destroying UMass’s “diversity flagship campus”.  They also emphasized how the Trustee’s actions have led to dedicated UMB employees losing their jobs. What’s particularly galling is that many of these former employees are near retirement-age and unlikely to obtain other jobs in the future.

The Lowell adjunct faculty has suffered as well from low pay and a lack of healthcare benefits. In fact, UMass Lowell is notably the only campus in the UMass system that does not provide adjuncts health care benefits. Communication Director of the UMass Lowell Union of Adjunct Faculty (part of the United Auto Workers Local 1596) Teresa George pilloried the Board for their treatment of these adjuncts, which has resulted in faculty members dying from preventable causes. Forty adjuncts attended the meeting in solidarity, holdings signs demanding “Adjunct Justice” during her talk.

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Upcoming Actions – 12/7/17 State House, 12/8/17 UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center

On Thursday, December 7th at 11:30 am, UMass Boston campus community members will have an opportunity to give testimony at the State House about why some of the debt should be shifted to the state as well as the impact of the recent cuts.

Contact Anneta Argyres at for more information.

On Friday, December 8th at 9 am, FSU will work with PSU and CSU to keep pressure on the Board of Trustees during their next meeting at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center at 50 Warren St., Lowell, MA in the Main Ballroom, 1st Floor.

Join your colleagues to demand that the Trustees back our proposal that the state pay for the utility corridor, the substructure, and the new buildings at UMB.


Fixing the Faulty Foundations of UMass Boston’s Budget Cuts

In part one of this series on UMass Boston’s budget crisis, we reviewed the causes of this deficit. Now, we’ll look at the various ways the FSU has been fighting these cuts by working with our sister unions, the Classified and Professional Staff Unions (CSU and PSU) and our state affiliate, Massachusetts Teachers Association, and offering alternative solutions that wouldn’t hurt the students, faculty, and staff.

In April 2017, over 200 protestors came together outside the Board of Trustees meeting at UMB to protest the cuts. FSU President Marlene Kim spoke to the Trustees, telling them how the cuts were harming students and faculty, and that CAPS courses were being cancelled that summer which many students needed to graduate. UMass system President Marty Meehan told the Trustees that they had no intention of cutting these courses, since they were profitable. But they were wrong: CAPS courses had been cut, without their knowledge. The courses were reinstated that afternoon.

The FSU wrote a petition to protest these cuts, the lack of faculty input, and the lack of transparency in the budget cutting process. This petition garnered over 500 signatures and was presented to the Trustees at this April meeting and to Interim Chancellor Barry Mills. We also put out a call to faculty to report to us any problems in their departments  that resulted from these cuts. The FSU reported these problems to the administration so they could be resolved…but they were not, and the administration continues to insist there have been no problems affecting students or faculty whatsoever.

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