Morning Briefs

People’s Republic of Cambridge Cracks Down on MIT

The politburo has spoken: Don’t you dare try to balance your budget by laying people off or cutting salaries, MIT.

City Councilor Marjorie Decker is not amused with the behavior of her subjects over at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Commissar Decker and the Cambridge City Council issued a fiat in April ordering MIT to maintain full employment, “to halt layoffs and any cuts in hours, salary or benefits for employees.” MIT, however, faced a budget shortfall and was forced to cut $125 million from its budget, of which 10% came from job layoffs. The Chronicle quotes MIT HR director Alison Alden: “Layoffs were a last resort at MIT. We worked very hard to avoid this.”

The enraged Decker went public with a threat summarized in the Chronicle headline, that she will, “Ignore MIT until it respects workers.” No doubt MIT’s feelings won’t be hurt if the City Council ignores them, but Decker’s threat entails more than ignorance; she announced that she will vote against any permits or licenses that MIT applies for. In other words, Councilor Decker’s votes on a license will be decided not by the merits of the application, but by an unrelated human resources issue.

Alternately, they could do the Obama thing and Nationalize MIT for its insolence.


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