Heard about recent layoffs? Now learn more…

  • In March, the University announced that it would layoff 60 staff members in June. This figure does not include the 139 staff members who have opted for early retirement packages.
  • The university is trying to use the current economic climate as rhetorical cover for layoffs and subcontracting, but ‘the economy made us do it’ shouldn’t be a blanket rationalization for any and every administrative action. The economic situation doesn’t justify or excuse a disregard for community members.
  • While Brown’s endowment has been impacted by the recession, its ability as a powerful, wealthy, tax-exempt institution to “weather the storm” and deal with those impacts is dramatically more than that of its individual workers, who have surely all also been impacted by this economy. Especially in times of economic difficulty, Brown has an obligation to its employees.
  • Brown has tried to cut labor costs through subcontracting, layoffs, increased workloads, increased healthcare premiums, and decreased pensions before—not just now but also when the endowment was at its peak. This history leads us to question to what extent Brown’s current actions are purely necessitated by the economic situation.
  • In all instances when fighting those cuts was successful, it was the result of broad community support and action on behalf of workers’ rights. This happened with Brown Dining Services’ contract negotiations in fall 2009 and can happen again now!!
  • Brown deliberately avoids releasing information about the layoffs to prevent transparency and make it more difficult to identify what’s going on. This allows the university to cloak the layoffs in the impersonal language of “efficiency” and “streamlining.”
  • In fact, what information we have been able to find out about the layoffs show that they aren’t increasing efficiency at all. Many cuts are coming from deeply valuable, already-understaffed offices.
  • The proposed cuts to the libraries would harm one of the most important aspects of the Brown student academic experience.
  • The layoffs and deep budget cuts at the Swearer Center for Public Service damage an office that does some of the most crucial work at Brown: engaging students to contribute meaningfully to the Providence community.
  • Both the priorities and the process of the layoffs were out of line.
  • We call on the university to refuse to enact any more layoffs moving forward, and to rehire all 60 laid-off workers, whether in their own positions or in the 139 positions that are being eliminated this June through “voluntary retirement” and unfulfilled vacancies.
  • To sign our online petition against the layoffs visit: http://tinyurl.com/brownlayoffs

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