GTFF, LERC rally after cramming Board of Trustees meeting

Protesters rally in the EMU Amphitheater May 23 after the Board of Trustees meeting on behalf of the GTFF, LERC and other labor unions who face budget cuts or a contract negotiation standstill. (Becca Robbins/Emerald Archives)

The University of Oregon’s Labor Education & Research Center, a state program that researches and offers services to Oregon workers, has regained its funding for the next two years after lobbying the state legislature.

LERC’s efforts to regain its funding for the next two years came after UO announced in April that it’d be cutting the programs funding by almost 70%, according to an Oct. 14 LERC newsletter. UO would have cut $70,000 from LERC this year, an additional $280,000 next year and a total of $488,000 in cuts in fiscal year 2022.

“We couldn’t have done it without you, and we want to extend our heartfelt thanks. Through all the stress and uncertainty, it’s been inspiring to hear from people all over the country who value the work we do, and see LERC a critical part of the Oregon labor movement,” LERC wrote in the email to followers and supporters.

University spokesperson Kay Jarvis said Oregon State Legislature reallocated $349,000 to LERC from the Dispute Resolution Program.

Related: “Students and staff hang in the balance as UO faces financial strife”

During a University Senate meeting in April, when administrators proposed budget cuts to a number of arts and culture campus resources — including the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and LERC — the labor research center faced the largest proportion in cuts. Administrators proposed to cut 45% of LERC’s $1 million budget.

The center also announced in the newsletter that it would be expanding its number of for-credit courses and would be exploring adding an undergraduate minor in labor studies, a certification program, online offerings and an internship program.