“Chop from the top.”

That’s the message union members with United Campus Worker of Arizona had for University of Arizona President. Dr Robert Robbins and the Arizona Board of Regents Monday.

“We are not going to shoulder the repercussions of their own actions,” said union member Maria Sohn Hasman.

As the University of Arizona continues to deal with its $177 million deficit, employees are worried they’ll be paying the price for miscalculations and overspending on campus. UCW union members staged a rally on campus to articulate their frustration with the lack of answers and transparency.

“If we are going through a financial crisis, let’s talk about it, let’s talk about the budget reductions that we can ethically move forward on,” said union memeber Spencer Gantt.

According to Sohn Hasman, employees said they started hearing reports of people being laid off. Last week, Robbins, ABOR Chair Fred DuVal and Interim CFO John Arnold said in a public meeting that as the university works to reduce the deficit, departments should plan for budget cuts.

“We are here to say we are going to fight back,” said Sohn Hasman. “We are all just waking up every single day wondering if today is going to be the day we get notice that we are laid off.”

The United Campus Workers of Arizona sent a message Monday that transparency will be one of their key demands.

“They’re playing this information game with us and it’s not fun when it’s your job on the line,” Gantt told me.

Sohn Hasman said Monday’s rally was only the beginning of the union’s action as the university continues to sort through its finances. “We’re not going to stop. We are not going to sit back and allow this to happen. We are going to keep fighting.”

Union members say they’re making a clear stand that potential layoffs will be punishment for mistakes they didn’t make, and they plan to fight for a solution that won’t involve job loss.

Heidi Alagha: “If you could say something to those people on topwhat would you say? Spencer Gantt: “Can I look in the camera?” Heidi Alagha: “Yes.” Spencer Gantt: “President Robbins and ABOR, if you are watching me and looking at us, we need you to meet with us as human beingsas individuals, as workers.”

They’re hoping that conversation can lead to a solution that works for everyonenot just those on top.

Governor Katie Hobbs also made demands of transparency, along with a detailed plan of financial action from ABOR and the university. The governor asked for that plan to be presented to her by this Friday, Feb. 9.