This is the first of regular updates from the RAFO Executive Committee about ongoing negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with Roosevelt University (RU).
Negotiations have been spirited but clear. RAFO is fighting to ensure it will get the best deal possible for the years to come, both in the wake of the Robert Morris merger and the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. RAFO must also inform you that it has attempted to open negotiations to discuss the change in working conditions that took place due to the pandemic. To this point RU has denied this request. RAFO will press RU to live up to its social justice mission by opening these talks and will use every legal means at its disposal to do so.
Be on the lookout for more Zoom conferences and messages to find out about the status of all negotiations, changes at RU due to COVID, and the overall state of RU in these uncertain times. Your support of RAFO – both by communicating with us and by volunteering to help us do the work of helping your fellow adjuncts – is appreciated and necessary.
Major issues RAFO is fighting for include:
Coronavirus Pushes Colleges to the Breaking Point, Forcing 'Hard Choices' About Education; Forecast declines in enrollment and revenue trigger spending cuts and salary freezes; 'the world order has changed.'
by Melissa Korn, Douglas Belkin, and Juliet Chung. Wall Street Journal (Online). April 30, 2020
MacMurray College survived the Civil War, the Great Depression and two world wars, but not the coronavirus pandemic. The private liberal-arts school in central Illinois announced recently it will shut its doors for good in May, after 174 years.
Like many small schools, it faced declining enrollment and financial shortfalls. To lure prospective students, it was using steep discounts to its $30,000 listed tuition. Then the global health crisis brought unexpected costs for shifting classes online and partially reimbursing room and board for students forced to finish out the spring term at home. The loss of a $3-million-plus bridge loan was the final straw.
The pandemic "squeezed out the last rays of hope," said President Beverly Rodgers.
From schools already on the brink to the loftiest institutions, the pandemic is changing higher education in America with stunning speed.
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