AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Members of two different staff Unions at UMass Amherst were joined by local representatives on Campus Friday, protesting a proposed plan to privatize the university’s Advancement Division.

The Advancement Division handles the school’s donation, fundraising, and alumni relations. Shifting the department into private hands could impact more than 120 employees, according to union reps. “These folks in our advancement division, they’re really the heart of the university in some ways, right? They connect with our alumni and they help fundraise for the university, and they bring in significant amounts of money for the university as state employees,” says Brad Turner, Co-Chair for UMass Amherst Professional Staff Union.

22News reached out to the University for comment, they told us, the crux of the issue is that some Advancement staff weren’t compliant with the state pension system, and that’s why they’re shifting positions to the UMass Foundation, a private non-profit.