Political Action

Connecticut Voices for Children issued a policy brief on the state’s spending cap.
“The spending cap has become a central issue in the current bipartisan budget negotiations. While a spending cap can be vital for preventing runaway spending, an overly restrictive cap would limit the strategic investments necessary for long-term prosperity. Unfortunately, proposed changes to the spending cap would have that effect, limiting the state’s ability to meet vital needs today or key priorities tomorrow.”
Further, the organization urges everyone “to contact legislative leadership today and call for a spending cap driven by a commitment to meeting vital needs, strengthening our cities and towns, and spurring equitable economic growth.”
You can find your legislators and their contact information here.
Read more about these proposed changes in our new policy brief at ctvoices.org/spendingcap.

October 12th, 2017

Posted In: Political Action, State Budget

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On Wednesday, September 27, CSU faculty, staff, and students will hold a a press conference on the recent budget proposal that guts public higher education funding. The proposal would cut approximately $93 million from CSCU and eliminate the Robert Willis Scholarship Fund. Both of these actions could make the cost of higher education too great for students.
The press conference will be held at the Legislative Office Building, Room 1A, 300 Capitol Ave., Hartford at 11am. Following the press conference, faculty in full academic regalia will deliver “report cards” to legislators. Read more here.
The 4Cs is urging our members to take action. Attend the press conference and/or protest. Write op-eds. Contact your legislators (here)
The Community Colleges are being targeted. Take this recent quote:
State Rep. Terrie Wood, R-Norwalk, State Rep. Gail Lavielle, R-Wilton, and State Rep. Fred Wilms, R-Norwalk, claimed NCC would not see any impact from the budget cuts to community colleges…
One of the reasons community colleges were cut, and there was a decision most definitely, is there are four community colleges within 12 miles of Hartford,” Wood said. “We are asking one of those to be closed…  (article here)
We know it is short notice, but we need members to attend tomorrow and many others to support tomorrow’s action by writing letters and contacting legislators.
Let us know if you’ll be joining us tomorrow!

September 26th, 2017

Posted In: Political Action, State Budget

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The budget passed by the House and Senate over the weekend hurts our students and our colleges. In President Ojakian’s words, “Early Saturday morning the Connecticut General Assembly passed a budget that intends to cut approximately $93M from the CSCU system over the next two years. Funding for developmental education is completely eliminated, while the Roberta Willis scholarship fund is phased out…This amounts to an unprecedented denial of access and support to public higher education students in Connecticut.” Read the full statement here.

The budget would also dismantle our fundamental collective bargaining rights by:

  • Removing funding for cost-of-living increases for retired state employees;
  • Unilaterally changing how pensions are calculated– even for years already worked, and for all years through 2027;
  • And increasing pension contributions for ALL state employees to 7%.
If this budget were passed into law, SEBAC would be forced to litigate and defend our contractual and contract rights.
The Governor has pledged to veto the budget, but the Yankee Institute is encouraging people to contact the Governor and ask him to sign the budget.
We are asking you to do two things:
  1. Please contact your legislators to demand restoration of funding to the Community Colleges and the Willis Scholarship. You can locate your legislators and view our template email by visiting this link.
  2. Please email Governor Malloy to ask him to stand by his pledge to veto this budget and to restore funding for CSCU and the Willis Scholarship in the budget compromise. You can email him here.

 

September 20th, 2017

Posted In: Political Action, Unions

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The budget passed by the House and Senate over the weekend hurts our students and our colleges. In President Ojakian’s words, “Early Saturday morning the Connecticut General Assembly passed a budget that intends to cut approximately $93M from the CSCU system over the next two years. Funding for developmental education is completely eliminated, while the Roberta Willis scholarship fund is phased out…This amounts to an unprecedented denial of access and support to public higher education students in Connecticut.” Read the full statement here.
The budget would also dismantle our fundamental collective bargaining rights by:

  • Removing funding for cost-of-living increases for retired state employees;
  • Unilaterally changing how pensions are calculated– even for years already worked, and for all years through 2027;
  • And increasing pension contributions for ALL state employees to 7%.
If this budget were passed into law, SEBAC would be forced to litigate and defend our contractual and contract rights.
The Governor has pledged to veto the budget, but the Yankee Institute is encouraging people to contact the Governor and ask him to sign the budget.
We are asking you to do two things:
  1. Please contact your legislators to demand restoration of funding to the Community Colleges and the Willis Scholarship. You can locate your legislators and view our template email by visiting this link.
  2. Please email Governor Malloy to ask him to stand by his pledge to veto this budget and to restore funding for CSCU and the Willis Scholarship in the budget compromise. You can email him here.

We will also be joining with other higher education unions in an action at the Appropriations Committee on Friday afternoon between 1-3pm. The details are still being worked out, but if you are interested in learning more, please email Ellen and she will keep you informed.

September 19th, 2017

Posted In: Political Action, State Budget

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It’s mid-September and Connecticut is still without a state budget agreement. However, we may see a budget deal today.
The Finance Committee is scheduled to meet at 11:30 am, followed by a caucus, to consider revenue options. According to many news outlets, they are considering tax hikes on hospitals, cigarettes and tobacco products, and possibly cell phones (www.ctmirror.org).

As the budget is still being written, we have no way of knowing whether we support or oppose it yet. However, it is possible that the House could take up the budget later this evening.

Please check your personal email accounts later today. As we receive more information about the budget, we may be asking you to take action by calling or writing your legislators. 

September 15th, 2017

Posted In: Political Action, State Budget

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The Connecticut General Assembly is scheduled to end on Wednesday, June 7. As you may know, collective bargaining is coming under fire with GOP leaders calling for their caucus to vote no on the SEBAC agreement because it extends benefits to 2027.
Unions are encouraging their members to come to the Capitol Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to speak with their elected leaders about the importance of preserving collective bargaining.
If you are interested in attending, please contact Ellen Benson with your availability.

June 5th, 2017

Posted In: Political Action

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On Friday, March 24, the Appropriations Committee will hold a public hearing on 96 billsalmost exclusively anti-collective bargaining bills that aim to remove pensions and health care from collective bargaining; increase state employee contributions towards pensions and health care; eliminate overtime, mileage, longevity and more towards pension calculations; and increase governmental oversight on union contracts such as requiring union contracts to be approved by the General Assembly.
There will be a press conference by the unions and our coalition partners in D.U.E. Justice (Democracy, Unity, and Equity) at 11:30am and the day will end with a rally at 5pm on the lawn of the State Capitol.
Please help support our efforts to oppose this legislation by contacting your legislators and Appropriations Committee members (email addresses found under “Committee Membership”) and ask them to oppose these anti-collective bargaining bills.

March 22nd, 2017

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The 4Cs will be holding a joint Lobby Day with CSU-AAUP and UConn-AAUP to Reclaim Public Higher Education on Friday, March 31 from 9am-1pm. Sign up here!
Why should you attend?
  • Legislation has been filed to change the definition of a supervisor. If this legislation passes, any members that have supervisory duties will be removed from the union. Hundreds of 4Cs members may be affected by this including directors, coordinators, and department chairs.
  • The Governor’s budget did not include a separate budget for the Community Colleges – the college system, state university system, Charter Oak, and the BOR budgets were lumped together as one line item. If this stands, the BOR – not the General Assembly -will decide how much funding the colleges receive, with the possibility of impacting our mission. For example, the BOR could simply choose to make the colleges the developmental arm of the CSUs.
It is crucial that we have a strong showing at the Legislative Office Building on March 31 – including faculty, staff, and students. It’s time to Reclaim Public Higher Education! We will meet from 9am-10am at the State Armory (across the street from the Legislative Office Building) for breakfast and a legislative training before members meet with legislators. Sign up here.

March 22nd, 2017

Posted In: Political Action

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We Need YOUR Participation

Our members are facing many challenges and need YOU to help. The time is now to resist and protect our system of higher education. 

The 4Cs will be holding a joint Lobby Day with CSU-AAUP and UConn-AAUP to Reclaim Public Higher Education on Friday, March 31 from 9am-1pm. Sign up here!

It is crucial that we have a strong showing at the Legislative Office Building on March 31 – including faculty, staff, and students. It’s time to Reclaim Public Higher Education!

day-of-action-part-2b-save-the-date

March 8th, 2017

Posted In: Political Action

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On Wednesday, the Appropriations Committee heard testimony on the Governor’s budget recommendations for CSCU and other higher education.
President Ojakian testified mid-afternoon (written testimony here). The most important statement he made was that if the Governor’s budget was accepted and SEBAC did not produce savings, the CSCU would be looking at a 14% budget cut and would have to consider “fiscal exigency,” basically declaring bankruptcy. To be clear, he was not recommending a path to fiscal exigency, but he was very clear that the system requires restructuring to become fiscally stable.
President Ojakian’s testimony and question and answers with the Appropriations Committee can be viewed here (his testimony begins at 2:29:45).
For more information on the impact of the higher education recommendations, please read the following articles:
This is only the beginning of budget discussions in Hartford. To influence these decisions, it is crucial that everyone get involved. Call your legislators. Visit their office hours in district to talk about higher educaion. And attend our Lobby Day on Friday, March 31!

February 17th, 2017

Posted In: BOR, Consolidation, Political Action, Students

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