(Memphis) Dozens of people at the University of Memphis are being let go.
The administration won’t tell us how many people, or if it’s both staff and faculty. We do know dozens of workers are getting 90-day notices in the mail.
“I think folks are mostly feeling shocked,” said Tom Smith, an organizer for United Campus Workers.
Out of fear of getting in trouble, workers wouldn’t talk to WREG on camera, but Smith would, “Morale is horrible on campus right now.”
Smith is helping dozens of workers who got the letter in the mail.
It’s from the University of Memphis, letting them know they have 90 days before their last day on the job.
We know landscapers, greenhouse workers, and some in the athletics department have gotten a letter.
Smith says the administration hasn’t been open about which workers are being let go and why.
Students say they also feel left in the dark.
“If they can’t honestly just have a discussion with us about it, it feels like a betrayal,” said Razzan Quran, an anthropology student.
The university is using a new funding formula to tighten the budget and a campus spokesperson sent us this statement:
“The University of Memphis has realigned the institution to more efficiently and effectively accomplish what we do. We are making sure that student dollars and state dollars are spent wisely.”
Student Razzan Quran says this isn’t about dollars, it’s about people.
“The workers that I do know are single moms. They’re trying to put food on the table. They are working super hard.”
The university is offering to hire some of the workers back but not all of them.
“One of the scary things is that the money of the jobs they are posting are not at the level of pay,” said Smith. “You’re being told you can come back and work here for substantially less.”
We’ve asked the University multiple times to answer why this is happening and how many people it impacts but they haven’t gotten back to us.
Smith says he hopes the administration stops these layoffs and finds alternative ways to trim the budget.