850 UMass Workers to Be Furloughed

AMHERST — UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy has informed the campus community that, as a result of “incredible financial cost” associated with not fully reopening its campus, the school is facing nearly $169 million in budget losses, and is now placing 850 workers in indefinite furloughs.

These furloughs, effective Sept. 13, include dining and residence hall staff, Subbaswamy said in an e-mail, noting that because there are furloughs, and not layoffs, the workers affected by this action will retain their UMass benefits, including healthcare.

The chancellor, noting that the even with these workforce reductions, the campus will be left with a $20.3 million deficit, hinted strongly that additional steps will likely be taken when it comes to the workforce at the flagship Amherst campus.

“While some permanent layoffs are expected in the coming weeks, we are doing everything possible to lessen the number of layoffs,” he wrote, “and currently in discussions with other staff labor unions with the hope of reaching an agreement that prioritizes temporary reductions in hours and furloughs, which will likely impact approximately 450 additional campus employees.”

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