New reports this week from CWA's United Campus Workers members reveal the impact of unnecessary pandemic job and budget cuts on university workers.
In Georgia, an analysis of salary data by members of UCW-CWA Local 3265 showed that Black employees at 25 University System of Georgia (USG) campuses were disproportionately impacted by job cuts during the pandemic. Higher job cut rates hit service and clerical workers as well as part-time faculty.
The report revealed that USG cut jobs despite a strong financial position, and the university system could have maintained staffing levels throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The workers are calling on USG to recommit to diversifying employee ranks, return staffing levels to at least the pre-pandemic baseline, and ensure that initiatives to hire diverse staff prioritize rehiring people of color and women whose jobs were cut over the past year.
In Colorado, UCW-CWA Local 7799 members found that the University of Colorado (CU) system used the COVID-19 pandemic to make a series of drastic budget cuts that were passed on to workers even though better choices that prioritized good jobs and affordable education were available. UCW Colorado is calling on CU to shift its budget priorities, make transparent budget decisions, provide a living wage for all employees and impose a temporary pause on debt-financed capital construction projects.