The layoffs, furloughs and higher teaching loads announced today by administration at UW – Oshkosh represent a shameful failure of our state to provide educational resources in line with what our students need and what our state needs. When we have billions of dollars in surplus and our university system receives a cut in funding to advance the ideological agenda of far-right Republicans in the legislature, that’s a political decision to strip away the resources working people across Wisconsin need to ensure they can meet their goals through higher education. We fear that other campuses will wrongly choose to solve this funding problem with further layoffs, and our members will organize to prevent that from happening.
“We’d save additional money by eliminating high-paid administrative posts, of course, but that doesn’t seem to be a part of the plan” said President of United Faculty and Staff of Oshkosh, AFT local chapter 6506, David Siemers. “But the point of a University is not to save money,” he continued, “it is to help the state thrive and have its graduates contribute great benefits to their communities. That requires a level of investment in higher education that the state is currently unwilling to make.”
We stood against this budget from the beginning, seeing it for the blatant attack on education that it is. An undemocratic gerrymandered legislature stripped our funding for fear of honest education and the workers that keep our universities running are now the collateral of their disgraceful games.