Takeaway: Management displayed their contempt once again for our people-centered priorities of stopping layoffs, protecting the vulnerable, and shared governance. This time, it’s at SAS New Brunswick, but they won’t stop there. We need to talk as a union at an all-member town hall meeting on Thursday, October 29, at 7–8:30 p.m. Click here to RSVP and save the date!
Executive Dean Peter March has told our SAS colleagues in New Brunswick that he doesn’t care what they think—and he’s going to do whatever he wants to simply because he can. March wrote in an email yesterday that he is going ahead with threatened layoffs of PTLs and administrative staff despite an overwhelming 482–46 vote in favor of a faculty resolution calling for layoffs to be rescinded and the creation of a joint committee to develop budgetary alternatives.
At an emergency SAS meeting the week before, attended by more than 400 people, speakers supported the resolution and described the devastating impact of layoffs on staff and teaching faculty who would lose their livelihoods, on students who already face swollen class sizes, and on staff and faculty who have to try to navigate the resulting chaos.
March’s own evasions and rationalizations for “position elimination” at the meeting persuaded no one. But he’s decided he doesn’t care. His memo yesterday stated that he was ignoring the resolution, on the say-so of his superiors: Chancellor Malloy, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Moghe, and President Holloway.
In his email, March repeated the same number he’s used before to justify the layoffs: $9 million, SAS New Brunswick’s estimated budget deficit for the current year. But March didn’t mention another relevant number: $120 million. That’s how much SAS will pay this year in an effective tax to the central administration under Rutgers’ “Responsibility Centered Management” budget system. The central administration sucks huge sums of money out of academic units and spends it on whatever it wants—on, for example, the money-wasting football program that will run a much bigger deficit than SAS this year.
March left out another number, too: Rutgers’ financial rainy day fund of unrestricted reserves is at least half a billion dollars. A $9 million “tax credit” returned to SAS this year to help it through an emergency would barely be noticed.
We’ve said it many times before: #RUHasTheMoney. We need to talk as a union about how we’re going to organize to get it. We’ll be holding a town hall meeting for all members on Thursday, October 29, at 7 p.m., and we need all of you to participate if you can. Please RSVP here for the Zoom link. We need to hear from each other about what we think and discuss what actions members are willing to take.
Todd and Becky
Todd Wolfson, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Rebecca Givan, Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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