Monday, November 22, 2021

AFT Local 1904 Attends Rally to Oppose Mass Layoffs at William Paterson University

On Friday, November 19th, 2021, Several hundred people gathered in 40 degree weather at a Rally outside of WPU’s Shea Auditorium to stand in solidarity against proposed layoffs of approximately 40% of full-time WPU faculty (including those with tenure) and numerous members of WPU professional staff. The crowd consisted of members from William Paterson University’s AFT Local 1796, our own AFT Local 1904, as well as other various Locals and our Statewide Council. Various elected officials and other public figures were also in attendance to speak against these draconian measures. Speakers, cheered on by the crowd, condemned as patently false the Administration’s claim that mass layoffs are the one, unavoidable pathway to address the University’s budget exigencies.

Photo above (from left to right): Brian Abrams, Hugh Curnutt, Joe Moore, Joan Ficke, and Rich Wolfson of the AFT Local 1904

Just prior to the rally, the Administration’s plan was presented to the Board of Trustees during their morning meeting. That meeting included a special session during which union members, leaders, and two students voiced their opposition to the plan.

These planned layoffs represent not only a devastating blow to the impacted WPU employees and their families, but also to WPU students, particularly given the University’s status as a minority-serving institution. More broadly, the magnitude and scale of these layoffs at WPU represent a potentially damaging threat to the future of public higher education in New Jersey.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Rally to Protest Layoffs at William Paterson University

When: Friday, November 19th, 11:45am-12:45pm
Where: WPU's Shea Auditorium, 300 Pompton Road, Wayne, NJ
Parking: Lot 3 or 4

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, our AFT colleagues at William Paterson University (WPU) have made numerous concessions to avoid layoffs. In addition to the unpaid furloughs that were negotiated statewide, cost-savings measures there have included cancellation of sabbatical leaves, of load time reassignment (for scholarship or administrative duties), of funding for travel and conference attendance, and of other various programs. Despite these sacrifices, the WPU administration has announced that approximately 40% of its full-time faculty—including both untenured and tenured—along with a significant number of professional staff members, will be laid off over the next three years. WPU is a minority serving institution, which makes the proposed layoffs particularly troubling for the students and greater community that the WPU faculty and staff serve.
This Friday, November 19, 2021, the WPU Board of Trustees will meet to discuss the administration’s layoff proposal. We ask that you show your solidarity with our colleagues at WPU by joining together with others this Friday at a public rally opposing these layoffs, to be held from 11:45am-12:45pm at WPU’s Shea Auditorium, 300 Pompton Road, Wayne, NJ (only eight miles from MSU). You may park in Lot 3 or 4. Directions to the University are here.
For those who cannot physically be there, there is a discussion of a virtual attendance option (we will report back on this, as further information becomes available).
Please consider attending this important demonstration against draconian measures that could deal a very damaging blow to public higher education in New Jersey.