AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The UMass Advancement unions are taking their case to Governor Healey.
Representatives this week from both the University Staff Association and the Professional Staff Union have been passing out leaflets titled, “Mass. Education, Not Mass Layoffs” that argue the school is planning to terminate 124 employees. While protests have been occurring for months now and many local and state politicians are behind these union workers, this time around they’re looking for the Governor’s help.
“We have had tremendous support from our legislators they have demanded that UMass stop this privatization effort and UMass isn’t listening so at this point we’re appealing to governor Healey and asking her to step in,” said Kim Fill, Assistant Director of Library Annual Giving and Donor Relations at UMass.
Fill has been working at UMass for nearly 29 years and while according to the University, “every affected employee including her is being given the opportunity to move with their current position to the UMass Amherst Foundation,” this means they would lose all state benefits and wouldn’t be able to continue growing their pensions.
For Fill, she told 22News that this potential layoff can have an even greater effect on her family, “Just two weeks ago our daughter Ashley was accepted to and if I get laid off, I will be losing all of my benefits including a tuition waiver for our daughter, so I’m not quite sure how we’re gonna pay for her education yet.”
The flyers that are getting passed out have a QR code on them to reach out to the Governor and Fill said she hopes as many people as possible do or else this may mean mass layoffs. Not only will over 100 workers be potentially out of their public positions but the Professional Staff Union stressed that this would also hurt many students as well.