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News ::
UMass Amherst unions confront trustees, plan walkouts (english)
07 Nov 2002
Modified: 14 Nov 2002
On Nov. 6 over 200 rank-and-file workers from five University of Massachusetts unions confronted the system's Board of Trustees demanding the funding of their contracts. In a spirited face off students of color also demanded the restoration of advising and other services gutted in June.
Walkouts planned
Umass unions confront trustees, demand funding of contracts

By Bryan G. Pfeifer
Amherst, Mass.

"Fund the contracts or we won't work."

This militant message from over 200 rank-and-file members from the campuses' five unions rang through the Mullins Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Nov. 6.

Responding to Acting Gov. Jane Swift's veto of pay raises for thousands of union members at all 28 state colleges and universities in July, the workers demanded that the Umass System Board of Trustees help get their contracts funded. All unions at the 28 campuses have organized under the coalition Higher Ed Unions United.

Umass President William M. Bulger, who attended the trustee meeting, was the major focus of the unions because, to date, he has failed to pressure House of Representatives speaker Thomas Finneran to permit a vote in the House this fall to override Swift's veto. Instead he has focused on more "entrepreneurial," activities like securing more Pentagon and corporate welfare contracts for the Umass system and has been engaging in attempted union-busting.

Unions at campuses in Massachusetts bargain separate contracts with respective campus administrations. They are then passed on to the governor for consultation. When the legislature votes in the necessary funding, the governor approves the contracts.

Traditionally, once the legislature allocated funds for the contracts, the governor signed off on them. Swift is believed to be the first Massachusetts governor to have vetoed contract funding for campus unions.

Beginning outside in the rain and marching up three flights of stairs to the elegant meeting room where the trustees held their meeting, the rank-and-file and their supporters led the face off with civil-rights era songs and spirited, foot-stomping chants including "Hey, Hey. Ho Ho. Billy Bulger's got to go," "No contracts, no peace", and "Stop the threats, stop the lies, we are strong and organized." Some union members wore bright yellow shirts with the message: "Promises broken."

Presenting a stack of petitions with over 7,700 signatures from higher education workers and students, Ronald Story, president of the Massachusetts Society of Professors, declared, "To our knowledge, this is the largest multi-campus petition drive in the history of American university systems."

This "represents a new militancy in the Umass community, one that is likely to grow and expand. We can work together rather than split and start a war." added Story, one of three union presidents to address Bulger and the trustees.

Donna Johnson, University Staff Association (USA) president, a union of clerical and technical workers, said due to budget cuts, lack of funding and forced early retirements, her union staff has dropped from 1,200 to 1,000 members resulting in more work with no increased pay as the cost of living, especially rent, skyrockets.

Johnson told the trustees and her union sisters and brothers that, despite being employed at the university, some of her members were homeless because their wages didn't cover all their expenses. She demanded that the trustees and Bulger immediately help get the contracts funded, start back filling lost positions, and guarantee that students, staff and faculty have sufficient resources to do their jobs correctly.

Thomas Coish, president of SEIU Local 509, representing 1,100 members and a campus worker for over two decades, said campus morale is at the lowest he's seen it, members feel "a real sense of distrust and betrayal" and most feel the university is in a crisis. But they're not giving up.

"The general feeling is, we're going to give (Bulger) one more chance to work with us, to get the contracts funded," added Coish. He reminded the trustees that the AFSCME chapter on campus with over 1,000 members, has voted to authorize its union leaders to call a walkout and two other campus unions, the Graduate Employee Organization with over 6,000 members and the USA have given Bulger a "no confidence" vote.

Over a dozen members of the African/ Latino/a, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American affairs (ALANA) student organization were also in attendance demanding the restoration of affirmative action at the university. They also demanded the reinstatement of the vice-chancellor of ALANA affairs, who was fired in June for being sympathetic to students and fighting the gutting of oppressed students' advising services and other support programs which stripped many cultural components. Labor Studies graduate student Jose Perez received applause from the rank-and-file when he demanded of the trustees: "Stop the racism."

Building on previous actions including a first-ever all-union membership meeting Sept. 18, picketing administration meetings and administrators homes, leafleting, and massive demonstrations, plans are in the works for campus-by-campus walkouts and possibly a system wide one during final exams in December if the contracts aren't funded.

"This refusal to fund our contracts isn't simply about the revenue shortfall. It's union-busting, pure and simple," declared a Umass Rank and File newsletter distributed at the Nov. 6 action.

"It's targeted union-busting-higher ed workers were the only public sector workers to not get their contracts funded. Are we, the workers of Umass, going to let this act of union-busting stand?"

For more information on support activities visit,, call (413) 545-5317 or email Umassrankandfile (at)

Pfeifer is a graduate student in the Labor Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.


2002 Bryan G. Pfeifer. Article may be used in full or in part with full attribution given to author.

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photo from protest (english)
09 Nov 2002
Members of campus unions and students protest the lack of state funding for collective bargaining agreements outside the Board of Trustees meeting in the Mullins Center on Nov. 6. (Stan Sherer photo)
Who Manipulates All "Our" MONEY? (english)
14 Nov 2002
"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks... will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."
- Thomas Jefferson

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance."
- James Madison

"If congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given them to use themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations."
- Andrew Jackson

"The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of consumers. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity."
- Abraham Lincoln

Despite these warnings, Woodrow Wilson signed the 1913 Federal Reserve Act. A few years later he wrote:

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men.

"We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."
- Woodrow Wilson

THE MONEY MASTERS is a 3 1/2 hour non-fiction, historical documentary that traces the origins of the political power structure that rules our nation and the world today.

The modern political power structure has its roots in the hidden manipulation and accumulation of gold and other forms of money.

The development of fractional reserve banking practices in the 17th century brought to a cunning sophistication the secret techniques initially used by goldsmiths fraudulently to accumulate wealth.

With the formation of the privately-owned Bank of England in 1694, the yoke of economic slavery to a privately owned "central" bank was first forced upon the backs of an entire nation, not removed but only made heavier with the passing of the three centuries to our day. Nation after nation, including America, has fallen prey to this cabal of international central bankers.

The success of the central banking scheme developed into a far-reaching plan described by President Clinton's mentor, Georgetown Professor Carroll Quigley, "to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.

This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations [or the UN's World Bank Group].

Each central bank sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the levels of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

Several short-lived attempts to impose the central banking scheme on the United States were defeated by the patriotic efforts of Presidents Madison, Jefferson, Jackson, Van Buren and Lincoln [and JFK].

But with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, America was firmly lashed to the same yoke, so that a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the masses a yoke little better than slavery itself. That yoke inevitably grows heavier with ever-compounding interest, and totals over $20 trillion of debt owed by the American people today ($80,000 per American) ultimately to these bankers.

This vast accumulation of wealth concentrates immense power and despotic economic domination in the hands of the few central bankers "who are able to govern credit and its allotment, for this reason supplying, so to speak, the life-blood to the entire economic body, and grasping, as it were, in their hands the very soul of the economy so that no one dare breathe against their will." A worldwide tyranny is gradually being imposed, hidden to most, by THE MONEY MASTERS.

Segments: The Problem; The Money Changers; Roman Empire; The Goldsmiths of Medieval England; Tally Sticks; The Bank of England; The Rise of the Rothschilds; The American Revolution; The Bank of North America; The Constitutional Convention; First Bank of the U.S.; Napoleon's Rise to Power; Death of the First Bank of the U.S. / War of 1812; Waterloo; Second Bank of the U.S.; Andrew Jackson; Abe Lincoln and the Civil War; The Return of the Gold Standard; Free Silver; J.P. Morgan / 1907 Crash; Jekyll Island; Fed Act of 1913; J.P. Morgan / WWI; Roaring 20s / Great Depression; FDR / WWII / Fort Knox; World Central Bank; Conclusions.

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