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News :: Education
UMass, union work out Labor Center deal
11 Dec 2016
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UMAS Labor.jpg
AMHERST — After months of upheaval concerning the future of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Labor Center, stakeholders announced Tuesday plans to restore teaching assistant positions and revamp efforts to boost enrollment.

In a news release, university leaders said they would aim to “revitalize” the Labor Center, which got its start after a 1964 commencement address by then-AFL-CIO President George Meany. The center is a nationally recognized program that trains students in matters such as workers’ rights and collective bargaining.

“The steps we are announcing today reaffirm our commitment to this eminent program,” Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said in the statement.

Tom Juravich, interim Labor Center director, said the university will restore up to six teaching assistant positions that had before been in jeopardy. In addition, the university will support up to 12 graduate student externships, which will now be called internships.

To fund the positions, the university is committing to cover stipends for the teaching assistants, Juravich said. The university said it would provide stipends for three of these positions at 20 hours per week, for a total of $109,785. The Labor Center may, at its option, instead provide up to six such positions at 10 hours per week, according to the statement.
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