To Prevent Job Loss
YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio
When Antioch College announced in February that a budget
shortfall would force permanent and temporary layoffs and reduction of hours,
some faculty members decided there had to be another way. They were willing to
take a temporary pay cut, and thought maybe others would, too.
They were right.
The Staff Salary Budget Relief Fund has pledges and cash from
nearly half of the college’s nearly 200 employees, said Susan Eklund-Leen,
Antioch associate professor and fund organizer. As a result of their voluntary
efforts, the layoffs and cutbacks have been suspended.
Two employees faced permanent layoffs; four others, members of
UE Local 767, faced furlough, and 16 other full-time support staff (also UE
members) would have seen their hours reduced by as much as 50 percent. The
college blamed a slower than expected growth in enrollment and investment in
technology and faculty on the budget shortfall.
'IT'S A COMMUNITY'
Explains Local 767 Pres. Virginia Garrette,
"Faculty volunteered to take a cut in pay, on an individual basis, at
least two hours pay per week for three months; some gave cash donations. The
faculty get paid once a month, they volunteered to either give cash or make a
pay roll deduction. Some emeritus faculty and some townspeople also
contributed to help prevent layoffs."
Local 767 endorsed the effort. UE members voted to
participate, on a voluntary basis. "Union members could donate hours or
pay," Garrettee says. "Half of the union people participated."
"Antioch talks about community often," Eklund-Leen
told the Dayton Daily News. "I think this reaching out and
supporting our co-workers is probably one of the best examples of community I’ve
Speaking with the UE NEWS, Garrette comments, "It’s
unique, but Antioch’s unique."
UE News - 04/01