Northeast’s Only Labor Studies Program Faces More Cuts

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.