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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Layoffs are not the only solution

    The recession may technically be over, but plenty of Americans are still suffering from financial difficulties. About 1,620,000 people were laid off in 2011, and companies are still laying off employees every day. But the faculty at New England College in New Hampshire has demonstrated a way to deal with budget cuts that shows everyone has each other’s back.

    New England College faculty members were distraught when they found out that some of their 175 staff members would have to be laid off due to budget cuts. In response to the news, they held a meeting and decided to donate $100,000 out of their paychecks to keep everyone on the payroll.

    “(We) learned that among the various options some staff people could be laid off as a budget cutting measure,” said Christopher Dale, a faculty member, to the Concord Monitor. “It just seemed like the right thing to do.”

    The school, which only has 961 undergraduate students, had expected 100 more graduate students this year than actually enrolled. But since 175 faculty members were willing to take furloughs, everyone will still have a source of income.

    This kind of selfless act is inspiring, and ideal for the workplace. It surely would have been easier for these faculty members to keep their pay and just let some of their colleagues go, but they couldn’t stand to see anyone cut loose. There was no incentive to give their hard-earned money away except to help their fellow man.

    Businesses should take pay cuts from all of their workers before resorting to layoffs, and leaving someone with no income at all. Unless an employee is hindering progress or is genuinely unnecessary to a business or institution, it’s not fair that someone who has worked hard should suddenly have no income, while an equally qualified employee keeps everything.

    If all workers felt the same solidarity with their colleagues as the faculty at New England College do, then everyone would suffer equally with the same pay cuts.

    However, it’s sad that these professors had to dig into their own pockets rather than get help from the public. College professors are valuable and the students who benefit from instruction should help fund them.

    Everyone hates rising tuition rates, but sometimes they are necessary for the long-term benefit of education. If a professor is truly educating students, then they shouldn’t lose their job because of budget cuts. Layoffs are not the only option.

    — Lauren Shores is a journalism sophomore. She can reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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