Times of economic crisis create problems for every worker. Universities are not immune to these conditions; everyone from tenured professors to part-time landscapers feel the full strain of budget cuts. On Feb. 25th, Governor Perdue asked for an additional 2% immediate spending reduction by state agencies, totaling 9% in temporary cuts for our current academic year (WRAL, 25 Feb.). Next semester promises permanent cuts in public funds to UNC of at least 7%. According to a report released by university administration, the current level of expected cuts for next year will result in elimination of 198 staff members and 203 faculty and teaching positions (Daily Tarheel, 5 Feb. 2009).
Now, more than ever, workers are vulnerable to exploitation at work. Administrators and management have larger pools of potentially cheap labor and face less pressure to listen to worker demands. Hard earned tax money from the masses are funneled into the coffers of corporate billionaires with little to no accountability of how they spend the funds. Home foreclosures in conjunction with massive layoffs not only create hundreds of thousands without jobs but also without homes as well. What’s more, government programs meant to alleviate the people in times of crisis face severe cuts of up to half their funds. In such uncertain times, workers must unify to demand transparency in the budget cutting process, access to equal information vital to making sustainable, long-term economic decisions and a democratic voice in their workplace.
SAW stands in solidarity with students and workers affected by economic depression. In this historic time of duress, we are most compelled to establish that which all workers deserve: equality and ownership in every occupation.
WRAL article: http://www.wral.com/news/local/politics/story/4614648/