Holub vs. Abby and Sharla

Dear Abby and Sharla,

I’ve written to you several times over the last few months to try to
keep you posted on the ongoing fiscal crisis here at UMass Amherst and
how we as a university community are responding to it.

There has been speculation and assertions made about the budget plans
that, frankly, aren’t accurate. Today, I want to tell you what we know
about the current budget situation, and to provide you with as many
facts as I can. It is critically important that we as a university
community communicate openly and honestly, and work together to face the
serious challenges ahead. As you know, we’ve created a Budget Planning
Task Force of faculty, students and staff to assist in this process and
to make recommendations – and they have been hard at work discussing
budget cuts, fee increases, reorganization plans, potential layoffs, and
other issues tied to the upcoming budget year. I expect to receive
additional recommendations from this group soon and will, of course,
share with you my decisions on how we go forward.


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Bargaining Update

O% Pay Raise

GEO returned to the bargaining table last Monday February 2, heading
into our 8th month of negotiations. The University presented GEO with
a wage proposal on September 25th which included a three year contract
with an annual 2.5% pay increase. After consulting the membership,
GEO accepted this original offer, which the University, in light of
the progressive economic crisis refused to discuss. Susan Chinman,
the Universities Chief Negotiator refused to bargain over economic
issues up until the winter break.

Upon returning Monday, the university presented us with new economic
perimeters, officially withdrawing the original offer. The new offer
included a three year contract–with stipend “increases” as follows:
Effective August 31st, 2008, stipends increase in the amount of 0%, as
of August 30, 2009 stipends increase by 1.5%, and effective September
5, 2010 stipends will increase by 2.5%.

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