Umass labor center loses director, some funding
By Laura Krantz, Globe Staff, September 07, 2016
A nationally respected center for labor studies at UMass Amherst has lost its director, and the university removed some of its funding — putting the center’s future in apparent jeopardy while worrying alumni and union activists around the country.
School administrators insist they support the center and have a plan to make it thrive. There are approximately 30 such centers nationwide, most of them at public universities, and the UMass program is known as one of the best...read more
Former director says Labor Center in peril;UMass says otherwise
By Diane Lederman | email@example.com on September 09, 2016 at 3:03 PM, updated September 09, 2016 at 6:48 PM
AMHERST — When former University of Massachusetts Labor Center Director Eve Weinbaum was concerned about a $30,000 budget cut to the department, she sent an email to alumni and center supporters.
She didn't expect the letter to take on a life of its own. "The email was for small group of supporters very involved with the Labor Center and know me personally," she said.
But it got forwarded widely and reposted online...read more
Daily Hampshire Gazette
Umass Labor Center roiled by layoffs, budget battle
By Chris Lindahl, Friday, September 9, 2016
AMHERST — Budget changes at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Labor Center have prompted faculty, students and allies to sound off against what they say is a siege by an administration eager to cut seemingly underperforming departments...read more
Equal Time Radio
Northeast’s Only Labor Studies Program Faces More Cuts
Friday, September 9, 2016
Chris Brooks, a UMass-Amherst Labor Studies grad student and staffer at Labor Notes, joined by former program instructors, Dave Cohen and Judy Atkins, explain that the UMass Amherst administration has been cutting the Labor Center’s budget for many years. Chris, Dave and Judy talk about why Workers Education is so important. This is the Northeast’s only Labor Studies Program. The Center has been told to shrink the curriculum, to cut electives and to eliminate some required courses including Collective Bargaining and Contract Administration, Current Issues and Debates in Labor, and possibly Labor Law, among others in order to lay off faculty and cut costs. With cuts to student financial assistance, the Labor Center can no longer welcome all students, labor leaders, and rank-and-file activists regardless of class, race, nationality, or ability to pay. Administrators insist that they will only allow the Labor Studies Master’s degree program to continue to exist if it serves as a “revenue generator” to fund other parts of the University.
Listen at: http://www.equaltimeradio.com/2016/northeast%E2%80%99s-only-labor-studies-program-faces-more-cuts
In These Times
The Fight to Save UMass Labor Center Is a Fight for Worker Power
By Shaun Richman, Tuesday, SEP 13, 2016, 6:53 PM
The Labor Center at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) at Amherst is in turmoil. Its director, Eve Weinbaum, says she was abruptly pushed out of the position. In an alarming e-mail to alumni, students and allies, she protested funding cuts to teaching assistants and part-time instructors and, more troublingly, threats to the “Labor Studies faculty’s autonomy to make programmatic decisions and to designate a Director.”...read more.
Defending Labor's School
By Chris Brooks & Rebecca Givan, September 15, 2016
The Labor Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is the flagship labor studies graduate program in the United States. Over the past five decades, nearly a thousand trade unionists have earned a master’s degree through the Labor Center, which is both academically rigorous and practically connected to the lives and experiences of the working class.
Perhaps this is why the Labor Center is now under direct assault by UMass administrators...read more.
Op-ED: Pat Greenfield, Dale Melcher and Harris Freeman: UMass Labor Center cuts a body blow
September 15, 2016
We just celebrated Labor Day to honor the contributions of labor and working people. It is ironic and disappointing that at this time of year, the UMass Amherst administration has taken steps that will undermine the viability of its Labor Center, the Commonwealth’s signature graduate program committed to research, teaching and service on behalf of workers and the labor movement.
The master’s degree offered by the Labor Center is unique, providing graduates with pathways to civic-minded careers advancing the rights of workers and their organizations, while tackling the intractable problems surrounding workplace inequality and low-wage work...read more.
As UMass Higher-Ups Gut Labor Center, Students and Alums Speak Out
September 15, 2016On the eve of Labor Day, students and alumni of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Labor Center discovered that the program was under attack.
Professor Eve Weinbaum, the center’s respected director, alerted alumni and students by email that she was being ousted, and that the university administration was slashing funding for many aspects of the nationally recognized program.. Read more...
Gutting the UMass Labor Center
By Ben Taylor, September 27, 2016
IF YOU set foot on the shady walkways of the University of Massachusetts' (UMass) flagship campus in the bucolic Pioneer Valley, you'd be forgiven if you thought that the school's money woes of the past few decades were a thing of the past...Read more.
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian
Former Labor Center director describes gradual cuts over the past decade to esteemed program
By Stuart Foster, October 13, 2016
Since a letter written by the former University of Massachusetts Labor Center director describing cuts to the program by the University was published on several blogs in early Sept., the program has been surrounded by controversy over whether the University is trying to eliminate the program.
Since then a petition asking the University to protect the Labor Center by restoring teaching assistantships, externships and the employment of part-time faculty members has acquired 4,700 signatures on Change.org.... Read more.
UMass, labor leaders to meet Monday to continue talks about Labor Center
By Diane Lederman, October 14, 2016 at 3:29 PM
AMHERST — Following a meeting in Boston last month, union leaders and University of Massachusetts officials are meeting Monday to continue to talk about ways to strengthen the Labor Center...Read more.
Supporters rally for UMass Labor Center
By Chris Lindahl, October 17, 2016
AMHERST — More than 100 labor activists rallied at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Monday ahead of a meeting where top union officials and other stakeholders discussed the future of the beleaguered Labor Center....Read more.
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian
Sixty gather to rally in support of Labor Center
By Hannah Depin, October 18, 2016
Roughly 60 people gathered outside the Student Union Monday afternoon to rally in support of the Labor Center, which has been surrounded by controversy amid claims that the University of Massachusetts is aiming to eliminate the program.
Professors, students and other activists criticized the University’s cuts to the program and emphasized its fight for the Labor Center is part of a larger battle to protect the rights of working class people and keep higher education affordable....Read more
Daily Hampshire Gazette
UMass, union work out Labor Center deal
By Jack Suntrup, Tuesday, December 06, 2016
AMHERST — After months of upheaval concerning the future of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Labor Center, stakeholders announced Tuesday plans to restore teaching assistant positions and revamp efforts to boost enrollment.
In a news release, university leaders said they would aim to “revitalize” the Labor Center, which got its start after a 1964 commencement address by then-AFL-CIO President George Meany. The center is a nationally recognized program that trains students in matters such as workers’ rights and collective bargaining...Read more.