AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – As UMass embarks on restructuring its Advancement Division, some of the affected employees are expressing concerns about swapping from a public to private role,
with the threat of layoffs in the balance.

UMass plans to move 82 state employees to their private foundation to meet “legal compliance issues” but one employee is concerned about the changes that can bring along, particularly when it comes to benefits.

Ben Monat focuses on helping nursing students secure scholarships but he said he found out on Monday that he would have to transition to the private foundation or be laid off. He worries this means he won’t have job security, won’t be able to be a part of the union and won’t be able to build on his pension.

“That was a really big reason why I wanted to come back and work for my alma mater, was because of all of the state benefits but I think it would definitely affect me, but more importantly it would affect the students navigate the scholarship process,” said Monat.

A spokesperson for UMass said “all affected Advancement employees’ past service at UMass has been secured per the Massachusetts State Board of Retirement,” adding until and unless the unions agree to a transfer agreement, the university is forced under contract with the unions to implement layoffs.