News Briefs

Gintautas Dumcius

Snow Day Wreaks Havoc

Misinformation flew around campus and the region as some came in Monday for work and classes, while others, having heard false reports that the campus was closed, stayed home with hot chocolate at their sides and Columbo reruns on their screens.

As early as Sunday, when some campus activities were cancelled, television stations were calling Monday a snow day for UMass Boston, as were some on Monday morning. People say, WRKO, and Channels 7 and 5 were broadcasting that the campus was closed.

Some accidentally called Enrollment Services (617-287-6000), mistaking it for the snow day hotline of x5000. Callers to the 6000 line were greeted with a confusing message stating that if the lines are busy, it means the operators are busy or “that we’re closed.”

Campus Shutdown No Go A Go Go

UMass administration officials met with unions from across campus and their lawyers for a discussion about the status of the campus shutdowns, which had been suggested by the university as a cost-cutting measure. At the last minute before Thanksgiving break and after a union vote in support of the shutdowns, the UMass president’s office handed down a decision nixing them.

Thirty to forty union members met with Vice Chancellor of Finance David MacKenzie and Director of Human Resources Mark Preble. Unions mistakenly thought that they would be meeting with representatives from the president’s office.

The president’s office believed that the agreement reached was “too generous” to the unions, on top of getting negative feedback from the other campuses who felt it was unfair, according to MacKenzie at a recent Faculty Council meeting. “Too bad,” he said about the cancellation, “especially for classified staff; it would’ve been a good morale booster.”

UMass has asked for a proposal to deal with any staff member who had suffered because of the sudden cancellation.

Unions are still deliberating whether to file an unfair labor practice charge against the university for the short notice given, unless they can get UMass to address “individual issues,” according to union representative Tom Goodkind. “If a remedy can be achieved with administration right now, it will be called off.”