Layoffs and Budget Cuts
Student Labor Alliance maintains that campus workers were not responsible for the millions of dollars lost from the university endowment in the financial crisis, and that consequentially, campus workers should not be forced to pay the price for the investment strategies that produced that loss. Balancing the university’s budget on low-wage workers’ backs through layoffs and cuts is fundamentally unfair. SLA calls for a re-hiring of all workers who have been fired for economic reasons as a result of the endowment drop, and an end to all such layoffs going forward. This includes 59 workers who were laid off in June 2010. SLA led a campaign against the layoffs in coordination with a variety of other student groups and Providence labor organizations. Read more about the anti-layoffs campaign and SLA’s position in this article in the Huffington Post.
Fair Contracts for All Campus Workers
Brown SLA is committed to standing with all campus workers in their fight to maintain their jobs, fair wages and conditions. This includes the Brown Dining Services workers in Service Employees International Union Local 615, the Facilities Management and Library workers in United Service and Allied Workers of Rhode Island, and the Public Safety workers. Recently, we have led student/community mobilizations in support of the Dining Services workers when their union contract was up for renegotiation in fall 2009, and the Library workers in the same situation in fall 2010. In both instances, the University tried to hike up health care costs, reduce bargaining unit power, and otherwise unfairly attempt to balance the University’s budget on the backs of some of its lowest-paid employees. Ultimately, both groups of workers, with student and community support, signed contracts that beat back many of the worst, most anti-worker proposals that had been put on the bargaining table by the University in negotiations. When the Facilities Management workers’ contract is up for renegotiation in fall 2011, Student Labor Alliance will likewise support their right to affordable health care and respect on the job. We also support the right to organize for non-unionized workers on campus (including graduate employees currently denied this right), and workers’ right to participate in that process free from intimidation and retaliation from management.