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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Trickle Rising River of Layoffs

Furloughs were pitched by UC administrators as an alternative to layoffs - sort of. Employees were threatened with layoffs - or at least more layoffs - if they didn't support and accept the furloughs/ pay cuts. Berkeley Law Dean and Yudof advisor Chris Edley's denunciation of the delay-the-cuts petition said that delay in pay cuts "would create many more layoffs -- because such a huge proportion of UC expenditures are in salaries."

Layoffs are happening anyway: 300 upcoming at UC Berkeley, 800 at UCSD last June, and, in July, the one year advance notice received by the 67 lecturers in the UCLA College of Letters and Sciences who are past their 6th-year review.

Please send more layoff news as you receive it locally, which is where layoff news often stays.

THANKS to commentators for correcting my mistake on the status of the UC lecturers. Please READ the comments, which contain much fuller information about layoffs than I linked to here.


Bob Samuels said...

Here are some of the lecturer layoffs that we know of (also, lecturers in their first six years do not have to get one-year layoff notices, and many have simply been not rehired:
UC Berkeley
Physical Education Program has been reduced by 50%, all the lecturers agreed to take a 50% cut, which avoided the least senior people being laid off
French Department issued layoffs for this coming year, rescinded them, and then promptly reissued them for 2010-11
Comp Lit department laid off two people effective 2010-11
School of Engineering issued layoff notices for 2010-11 to its entire continuing faculty
East Asian Languages has lost most of its pre-six faculty
Celtic Studies has issued a layoff or reduction notice to a CA for 2010-2011

UC Santa Barbara

Music- Laid off guitar lecturer and ended guitar instruction, cancelled theory courses and laid off theory lecturer
Drama Dance- Cut several courses
Korean Language Program- Program cancelled, 2 lecturers laid off effective July 1, 2010, these NSF were partially reinstated due to union grievance settlement

UC Los Angeles

Sixty-seven continuing appointment lecturers in the College of Letters and Sciences have been given layoff notices with effective dates of August 1, 2010.
Sociology: 2 lecturers given 1 year layoff notice eff 2010-11
Teacher Education: 1 lecturer reduced from 100% to 50%
School of Engineering: 1 lecturer laid off effective April 2010; 10 lecturers given appointment reductions effective this Fall 2009
Asian Languages & Cultures: For first year Japanese, Korean and Chinese the first year enrollments are being reduced from 160 students down to 60. The department only wants to offer language instruction to those enrolled in a department minor and major. There is talk of eliminating the foreign language requirement.
Summer Session: Asian Language TA's were reduced from 100% to 50%. Lecturers are expected to pick up the slack.
Writing Program: Class size was increased from 20 to 25 students.

UC Riverside

Campus is withholding almost all reappointment letters (fewer than 10 people campuswide have received annual reappointment letters, out of approximately 150 pre-6 lecturers). We have filed a grievance over failure to make a good faith effort to meet the June 15 deadline.

UC Irvine

Laid off 37 continuing appointees in sciences and social sciences

Anonymous said...

Chris, I suppose the 67 lecturers at UCLA were "post-6" lecturers, not SOE lecturers, right? (the latter are for all practical purposes tenured, senate members etc).

Bronwen Rowlands said...

Layoffs have already gone beyond a trickle, and are about to gush. In their most recent negotiations, my union at Berkeley was told that UC plans to layoff clericals (some? all? who decides?) if an agreement was not reached by Sept 1--today. "Agreement" was impossible by definition, as UC stonewalled throughout.

I agree that layoff news tends to stay local, the pain is private and no one has the big picture. It's an excellent idea to collect layoff news in one place, for organizing reasons and to support those who are suffering brutal losses in income.

Here's what I know about Berkeley layoffs to date: The Environmental Science student affairs officer for grad students (with 29 years in the job), was laid off and his position eliminated. Admin staff have been laid off in History of Art. The front-desk worker in Rhetoric/Film's job has been reduced to 50%. (These may be among the first layoffs of academic-department staff in Cal's history.) Admin staff for separate research groups on campus have been laid off and "invited" to re-apply for fewer jobs in a centralized unit. The Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (!) position has been eliminated, as has the deanship for International and Area Studies. The front line of workers at the Registrar's Office has been decimated and supervisors are answering the phones. Ditto for Letters & Science student advising staff. 20 people (of about 120) are being laid off in the central offices that process payroll and reimbursements.
Workers are worn and desperate. This isn't just wrong; it's cruel.

Chris Newfield said...

many thanks for the additional info. also true about the bad title. Anon asks a good question about SOE - Bob do you have clarification on that at UCLA? Chris

Anonymous said...

The School of Public Health at UC Berkeley will be laying off at least a dozen staff persons in the next month or so-- this, on top of approximately 8 layoffs that happened earlier in the year.

Bob Samuels said...

Lecturers with SOE have tenure and are not being subject to layoff. There are only about 100 in the whole system. They are not part of the union contract. I want to stress that UCOP has refused to discuss furloughs with UC-AFT in any meaningful way, and they have signaled to us that they prefer to reduce our salaries through layoffs. This means that many classes will be cut this year and many more next year.

AndrewD said...

Strictly the article for UCSD says: "The downsizing includes at least 172 layoffs, 222 positions left vacant and 428 that have been eliminated, said Stacie Spector, associate vice chancellor for communications."

Not clear whether people were "eliminated" along with the positions or whether this was normal turnover that left vacant positions that were then eliminated.

Either way, the increased workload on remaining staff is real, and almost certainly not evenly distributed!

Andrea Bertozzi said...

At the UCLA faculty assoc meeting we were told that the administration may not lay off all those lecturers. We were told that the union requires the University to give a one year notice if there is going to be a layoff and that all of those people were sent a "default" letter to cover the case in which they might actually be laid off. Just reporting what I remember hearing at the meeting. I am in a department (Math) where the bulk of "lecturers" and similar staff are actually postdocs who are here for a short time (a couple of years) on a temporary contract and use the job as a stepping stone to a tenure track position somewhere else. This is considered "industry standard" in my field - they need teaching experience - and we could not teach the bulk of our service courses without them. Nevertheless I believe these people are on a different career track/stage from the people under discussion here.

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