Save the Labor Center
This petition had 5,055 supporters
In the past year, UMass administrators have eliminated all funding for graduate students (including teaching and research assistantships) and all funding for part-time faculty who have taught the required curriculum for many years. They have made efforts to take governance of the program out of the hands of Labor Center faculty, effectively eliminated the Center’s professional staff administrator position, and removed the Center’s director. With these changes, it becomes impossible for the Labor Center to continue to welcome all students, labor leaders, and rank-and-file activists regardless of class, race, nationality, or ability to pay.
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To protect the Labor Center’s future and prevent the same kind of death by a thousand cuts that so many other university labor centers around the country have already experienced, we demand the following from the UMass administration:
- Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant positions for full-time graduate students who need them
- Externship positions for graduate students who need them, so that the Labor Center can accept working-class and diverse students who can’t pay out-of-state tuition
- Centrally funded part-time faculty positions to deliver the full curriculum including Labor Law, Collective Bargaining, Labor Economics, and other key courses.
- Centrally funded staff positions that are dedicated to the Labor Center
- Faculty governance of the Labor Center—not by the Sociology department or the dean's office—and the right of faculty to choose the next director
- A commitment that the Labor Center is an integral part of the University's educational mission, not just a profit center to subsidize other programs.
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