Hundreds of layoffs put on hold at UMass Amherst, looking into other cost-saving measures

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The University of Massachusetts in Amherst has withheld laying off nearly 450 workers after negotiations between the school and two labor unions.

The Professional Staff Union and University Staff Association made an agreement with UMass Amherst that guarantees no layoffs through January. It also creates joint labor-management committees that will look at cost-saving solutions.

The university had threatened last week to lay off as many as 450 workers due to the ongoing pandemic.

This new agreement doesn’t mean that there is still no threat for layoffs. It’s essentially buying officials more time to come up with other ways to save money. The two unions are calling for more transparency and accountability on the budget.

The unions have agreed to have most members take two-week furloughs.

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