1. UO Proposes Devastating Budget Cut for LERC
On April 8, 2019, without previous warning, the University of Oregon administration notified LERC that it was cutting its budget by 68 percent. Two-thirds of LERC’s annual budget of just over $1,000,000 comes from the UO, the other one-third from the Oregon legislature’s state public programs line.
2. Deep, Disproportional Cuts Would Decimate LERC and Violate Shared Commitment of Legislature and UO to Fund LERC
UO does face a budget shortfall. However, subjecting LERC to a cut that is much greater than that faced by other university units is unfair and short-sighted. It subverts the historic commitment made by the legislature and the university to adequately fund LERC. A cut of this magnitude would irreparably damage LERC’s ability to provide the affordable and accessible services its diverse constituencies have come to expect.
3. LERC: 40 Years of Distinguished Service to Oregon’s Workers and Unions
For over 40 years, LERC has functioned as the premier institution in Oregon that integrates education, research, and public service on behalf of working-class Oregonians. No other educational institution in Oregon provides a similar service to the state’s workers and unions.
4. LERC Has Educated and Trained Generations of Oregon Union Leaders
LERC has helped generations of Oregon’s union leaders develop their skills as effective representatives and practitioners of positive labor relations. LERC training also prepares workers to act as effective participants in community and civic affairs.
5. LERC Produces Vital Research on Important Work and Employment Issues
LERC faculty have conducted extensive scholarly and applied research on vital issues such as apprenticeship, fair scheduling, the minimum wage, education policy, and immigration. Most recently, our faculty have produced a first-ever study of the union effect on living standards and the Oregon economy. Elected officials and community leaders have consistently relied on LERC’s research to develop policies that improve labor standards and protections.
6. LERC Supports the Academic Mission of the University of Oregon and Actively Promotes Equity and Inclusion
LERC faculty publish scholarly work, teach and advise students, and collaborate with other UO scholars and graduate students to produce relevant research. Its Labor Black History Month events, curriculum and training on racial and gender justice, and active engagement with groups supporting immigrant integration underscore LERC’s commitment to promote the principles of equity and inclusion both on campus and in the community.
7. Treat LERC With Fairness and Proportionality
UO should treat LERC fairly and proportionally during a time of budget cutting. The proposed reduction demonstrates disrespect for the state’s union movement and working class. It subverts the university’s stated commitment “to enrich the human condition through collaboration, teaching, outreach, and public service.” Instead, UO needs to affirm its longstanding commitment to LERC as a valued resource and continue to provide it with sufficient support to fulfill its vital mission.