The 4Cs is asking for your help on an issue that could harm our students and our colleges. Last week the Department of Homeland Security officially published its proposed “public charge” rule that will restrict individuals receiving green cards. It will also likely increase fear among immigrant populations on using public services.
Many of our students need the safety net that public services provide. Our colleges have food banks because our students have food insecurity. The Hartford Courant has reported on the high level of housing insecurity in our system. Recently, the Connecticut Community Colleges became a leader is offering free courses to SNAP recipients as a means of obtaining education that will help them to become self-sufficient.
Even if our students are in the U.S. legally, there will likely be confusion and fear in immigrant families over use of the programs that lead to legal residents losing status.
Participation in the following programs will disqualify immigrants from green cards:
- SNAP (food stamps);
- Section 8 housing and other housing programs;
- Non-emergency Medicaid;
- Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy
Personal factors that will be counted against immigrants include:
- Too young (under 18) or too old (over 61),
- Existing medical conditions (and no insurance)
- Limited English fluency
Help us fight back and stop this rule from taking effect! The 4Cs is asking you to submit comments on how this proposed change could affect our colleges! The federal government will be accepting comments until December 10.
Go to SEIU.org/TakeCharge to submit a comment.
ebenson October 19th, 2018
Posted In: Immigration, SEIU
SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement on the newly-proposed public charge rule that would make it impossible for working people and low-income immigrants who participate in healthcare and social services programs to receive a green card:
“This proposed rule goes against who we are as Americans. We are a nation that welcomes immigrants, rescues refugees and aspires to treat people equally regardless of creed, color, or where they come from.
“If this proposal is finalized, it could force families to forego needed healthcare or go hungry or become homeless in exchange for the opportunity of becoming a green card holder in the future. Parents will have to choose between taking their children to the doctor or being able to watch their children grow and remain together as a family. It’s unconscionable to force this decision on people who are trying to build a better life at the same time that hundreds of children fleeing persecution have been forcibly separated from their parents.
“This will have lasting consequences not just on the well-being of working families, but also the communities in which they live. Immigrants pay city, county, state and federal taxes that contribute to their communities, and finance healthcare and social service programs. If they are driven into the shadows or out of this country, everyone will suffer.
“SEIU members are standing strong in our union to stand up and fight back. We are fighting for our nation’s soul and to protect immigrant communities across the country. “President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have the power to do the right thing. If they don’t, we will hold them accountable for standing in the way of immigrant families and turning their back on working people.”
The 4Cs will be sharing more information about the public charge rule when the public comment period opens.
ebenson October 1st, 2018
Posted In: Immigration, SEIU
On Saturday, September 15, 4Cs Chapter Chairs and Delegates were invited to attend a meeting to discuss better ways to engage new members! Ideas were exchanged, tools were previewed, and challenges were discussed.
We will be implementing new ideas throughout the year!
ebenson September 15th, 2018
Posted In: 4Cs President, Delegate Assembly, SEIU, Unions
As you know, the 4Cs is expecting a decision in the the Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME that may change how our union functions in the future (learn more here).
4Cs members will not let any court case stand in the way of our fight for the good union jobs our families, communities, and country need.
One way to show you’re standing up for your co-workers, your community, and yourself through your union is to take the SEIU Norma Rae Challenge.
Here’s what you can do:
- Grab a piece of paper, cardboard, poster board, or anything you can write on, and write “UNION” on the sign!
- Raise the sign above your head-you can stand on your desk or chair, or in your work place.
- Have a friend take your photo.
- Upload to your favorite social media site & share it using the hashtags #Union and #WeRise.
If it is okay for the 4Cs to use the image on our social media channels, please email it to Ellen Benson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ebenson April 19th, 2018
Posted In: SEIU, Unions
Join fellow workers across Connecticut to rise up against the rich and powerful who are using the Supreme Court and Janus v. AFSCME to divide us. Unions and supporters will be at the following locations on Monday, February 26 at noon-1pm:
- Hartford Supreme Court (Capitol Ave)
- UConn-Storrs Student Union
- New Haven City Hall (Church St)
- Stamford Government Center (Washington Blvd.)
The 4Cs will have staff at both the Hartford and UConn locations.
If you can’t join one of these actions, you can support us by:
- Watching the actions nationally with co-workers at www.SEIU.org/WatchLive and share photos or videos of your group on your social media channels using: #WeRise
- Sharing images to your social media pages by downloading one of the images here.
- Updating your Facebook and Twitter profiles by using images here.
- Recommitting to the 4Cs here.
ebenson February 22nd, 2018
Posted In: SEIU, Unions
This week, we celebrate Campus Equity Week!
The 4Cs has set up tables on some of our campuses to provide some visibility to this important event!
ebenson November 1st, 2017
Posted In: Part-Timers, SEIU, Uncategorized, Unions
Congratulations to the part-time faculty at the University of Hartford for filing for a union election last Thursday! Read all about it here
ebenson November 16th, 2016
Posted In: SEIU, Unions, University of Hartford
More than a week after, we are still dissecting the 2016 election. What happened and what does it mean for our collective future?
While much of the attention has been focused on the national elections, in Connecticut the Democratic Party kept control of the House of Representatives but only hold a 79-72 majority in the House. Republicans gained eleven seats.
The Senate will be evenly divided at 18-18, with Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman able to break ties as the presiding officer. However, it is yet to be determined if the Senate Democrats are technically the “majority” party and has the right to appoint committee chairs.
It has been reported that Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) has been elected Speaker of the House and Rep. Matthew Ritter (D-Hartford) as Majority Leader. Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) was elected as Minority Leader.
There will be new chairs of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee forthcoming as Rep. Roberta Willis did not seek re-election and Sen. Dante Bartolomeo did not win re-election.
SEIU released a statement on the election results, which follows:
After Tuesday’s election, our union’s path to our Vision for a Just Society is more important than ever.
Many of our members, their families and communities are waking up every day with a new level of anxiety and fear about the impact that the incoming Trump Administration and Republican-controlled Congress will have on their lives. Meanwhile, some of our members voted for Trump and are satisfied with the election outcome, something we want to dig deeper to understand.
If the rhetoric in the campaign is truly a bellwether, we can expect national “right to work” and other attacks on worker organization, increased criminalization and disenfranchisement of communities of color, more immigrant families being torn apart, and lower wages for millions of workers who already cannot make ends meet.
The outcome of the election threatens our agenda on many other fronts at the federal, state and local levels: millions stand to lose healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, funding is at risk for childcare, education and services that seniors and people with disabilities rely on, and the hopes that every community can have clean air and water, and that we can reverse the effects of climate change may become more distant.
At a time when the threats are so real, we can find hope in our union’s lived experience of creating opportunity and fighting forward time and again.
We see it every day when workers risk it all to stand up for a better future. We’ve seen it in the Fight for $15 movement where workers in home care, childcare, airports, and higher education have united to win higher wages and change the narrative in the United States and around the world.
We felt it together in Detroit, when delegates committed to a path that unites across the Fight for 15, racial, immigrant and environmental justice movements to become an “Unstoppable” force for change in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.”
To read SEIU’s entire statement and their path forward, please visit our website.
ebenson November 16th, 2016
Posted In: Political Action, SEIU
Panelists at this Town Hall will all be first-time voters from swing states organizing with the #FightFor15, including Duke graduate worker Imani Mosley who is organizing to form a union with SEIU Graduate Workers Forward.
Please join SEIU and the 4Cs at the Fight for 15 Facebook page
to discuss the intersection between race, gender, immigration status and the poverty wage system that leaves 42% of U.S. workers struggling to survive.
ebenson October 26th, 2016
Posted In: SEIU
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The semester is back in gear, pumpkin spice is all around you, and it’s officially election season! Higher education has traditionally received minimal attention during campaign season but this election cycle has witnessed sweeping proposals; higher ed has become a leading issue on campaign trails this year.
Candidates are out to earn YOUR vote, so it’s an important time to have legislators hear your priorities. When you meet legislators at events or they have knocked on your door, it’s an opportunity to ask them about the issues you care about like community college funding or debt-free higher education.
4Cs Bryan Bonina signs the pledge to be a Higher Education Voter!
Our parent union, SEIU, is launching GOTV U, led by higher education employees organizing under the banner Faculty Forward to bring faculty, staff, and students to the polls. Historically, campus turnout has been critical to candidates’ ability to win, with many crediting President Obama’s 2012 win to college turnout.
Join the 4Cs and other faculty, staff, students, and parents across the nation in pledging to be a higher education voter. What does it mean to #VoteHigher? We’re standing together and voting for candidates who will join the fight for quality, accessible higher education; help students graduate free of debt; and pay campus staff a minimum of $15/hour.
4Cs organizers will have pledge cards at chapter meetings and at other chapter events through elections. But you don’t have to wait to see one of the organizers in person; you can sign the pledge online here.
If you are active in politics, you know that GOTV stands for Get Out the Vote and the U signifies universities or colleges. (But also everything becomes an acronym now because of Twitter so you can Tweet #GOTVU and still have 134 characters left).
Join us in making higher education a powerful voice in this year’s elections, from local and state elections to the race for President!
ebenson September 15th, 2016
Posted In: Blog, Political Action, SEIU