SEBAC Public Statement

The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) voted this afternoon to open formal discussions with the Malloy administration around a framework that will save jobs and save costs to help address the ongoing revenue shortfalls that have caused Connecticut’s budget deficit.

Click here for union leaders’ framework.

This framework and potential savings are a clear example of why collective bargaining is so imperative for our state.  Without collective bargaining, the billions of dollars in savings from years of agreed upon state worker concessions would not have been realized. This was an important first step as middle-class workers are doing their part to help solve the budget deficit. Now is the time for legislators to ask the same of the state’s most wealthy and the corporate elite.

A final SEBAC agreement will rescind the layoff notices that have been issued since April, provide four years of layoff protection and extend state health care and retiree health care benefits for five years.

Within this framework, the administration must complete all unit negotiations before SEBAC can move forward towards a membership vote.

There are critics who have already come out against this framework because they believe that it does not cause enough pain for working families. These critics would undoubtedly stand against any agreement with SEBAC.  Those individuals need to be reminded of the fact that state employees continue to save the state $1 billion annually through concessions.

We have always been willing to do our part.

 

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Obscenities And Posturing Abound At The State Capitol

New Britain – With only days to go until the end of the regular 2017 Legislative Session, political posturing is abundant at the Capitol.

Republican leadership is making new forays into text-book examples of bad faith negotiating. Meanwhile, the GOP gears up to chip away at the foundations of our democracy by eliminating collective bargaining. Never mind that the United Nations Human Rights Commission declared collective bargaining a fundamental human right.

And the Dreamers’ bill has becomes a public relations nightmare. It’s all in the latest issue of Capitol Monitor. Click here to read all about it. 

In the final days of the session, with bills being debated and amendments being proposed at lightening speed, some Republican amendments are designed to undermine collective bargaining. These GOP amendments would:

  • Prohibit state employees from being able to negotiate for their pension and health care.
  • Increase state employee pension contributions by as much as three fold.
  • Strip overtime from being included in state and municipal pension calculations.

The entire Republican caucus (and apparently several Democratic legislators) are prepared to support these attacks on our bargaining rights. But we can stop it!

Click here to locate your state representative and state senator, and call them with a message to stop the attacks on public workers and instead pass a fair budget.

Click here for a list of Democrats and the phone number to call them. Urge these democrats to reject Republican actions that would remove our democratic right to collective bargaining.

Click here to contact your representatives with this message:

“Stop the attacks on our right to bargain for pay, pension and healthcare. Support a fair budget with real revenue solutions, instead of attacking state employees.”

The legislative session ends Wednesday, June 7, at midnight.   Make your call any time!

Posted in Collective Bargaining, Communication, Political, SEBAC, Wages & Working Conditions | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From CSU-AAUP President Elena Tapia: 2017 Cost Savings Framework Announcement Update

Dear Colleagues:

Leaders of the unions in the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) today met with officials from the governor’s administration as part of ongoing exploratory talks. We have voted to move forward with formal negotiations, based on an agreed-upon framework for providing job security and protecting benefits for members, while producing cost savings for taxpayers. This is a framework for an agreement; it is not an agreement in itself.

Click here for the framework that will serve as a guideline for negotiations.

This is but the first step in what will be a weeks-long process in which you and all state employees will have the opportunity to make your voices heard. The next step will be for members of local unions’ negotiating committees to finalize individual bargaining unit agreements covering wages and working conditions over the next five years.

Then there would be a two-part vote by all members of the CSU-AAUP bargaining unit. The first would be on the framework’s proposed changes to the coalition’s health and pension benefits agreement. The second would be on CSU-AAUP contracts, which would include the remaining provisions in the guideline, plus any CSU-AAUP specific issues.

Our collective decision, as union leaders, to move forward with asking members to consider a cost-savings agreement is based on the need to protect principles fundamental to our movement. This is about defending your rights to collective bargaining and maintaining our historic role as advocates for the American middle class in these uncertain times.

If you need further information about the 2017 Framework, please got to the Documents Tab on our home page where we have compiled a list of common questions and answers.

More to come,

Elena Tapia

President, CSU-AAUP

 

Posted in Collective Bargaining, Communication, Contract & Grievance Administration, Council, Healthcare/Retirement, Member Benefits, SEBAC, Wages & Working Conditions | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Statement from CSU-AAUP reacting to Ojakian’s budget announcement

NEW BRITAIN – Responding to BOR President Mark Ojakian’s May 17, 2017, letter on falling state budget revenues and how the CSCU system will be affected, CSU-AAUP President Elena Tapia issued the following statement:

In his statement today, President Ojakian argues that the best-case outcome of these competing austerity budgets presented at the state legislature is cuts of “$62 million for the system in the next biennium.”  He continues: “These decreases in funding have the potential to profoundly change how we educate our students. These cuts would greatly impact the sustainability of many of our institutions. These budget figures go well beyond the savings targets we were planning for under the Students First strategies. If our system does get a cut of this magnitude, it will force us to go back and explore options that we frankly did not want to consider including closing campuses, eliminating certain student services and making significant workforce reductions.”

The BOR and President Ojakian should not compound a budgetary crisis by engaging in educational violence against our system. Instead, they should lead the political fight to raise revenue, increase taxation on the ultra-wealthy and corporate elites. President Ojakian should be advocating for a millionaires’ tax in CT with proceeds going to public education. Why? Because public higher education is an investment in a state’s most essential resource: human capital.

General Electric left Connecticut for Boston not because of high taxes in our state but because, in Boston, GE would have access to a highly educated workforce. If Connecticut is to compete for businesses coming to our state, then we must invest in our students who will become an educated population that is workforce ready, able to problem solve, and to think critically around a host of issues. Closures, consolidations and cuts will not achieve the educated workforce that companies demand today.

The equation is simple: when more community members hold higher education degrees, tax revenues increase, and state spending on entitlements decreases. The research shows that those who hold college degrees earn higher incomes, are healthier, happier and live longer than those with only a high school diploma.[i]  Connecticut would obtain increased tax revenues and decreased spending on social services and prisons when more of our citizens hold higher education degrees.[ii]

Balancing the budget on the backs of Connecticut students and at the expense of quality public higher education is akin to shooting oneself in the foot just as the marathon begins.

Click here to see media coverage of Ojakian’s announcement in Inside HigherEd.

NOTES

[i] Philip Trostel, “It’s Not Just the Money; the Benefits of College Education to Individuals and to Society” (Lumina Foundation, n.d.).

[ii] Philip Trostel, “The Fiscal Impacts of College Attainment” (New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, n.d.).

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From SEBAC Talks To Consolidation Chaos, We’ve Got You Covered

NEW BRITAIN – Wondering what’s happening with SEBAC Talks? How about the Board of Regent’s latest plan to “transform” the CSUs? Want to know what Higher Education Chair Sen. Beth Bye said about faculty as she left the BOR meeting May 11? Click here to read all about it in the latest Union News, which also includes special insights from CSU-AAUP Business Manager Steve Greatorex on retirement.

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It’s All About The Money

HARTFORD – With revenue estimates plummeting further nearly every day, lawmakers have been at odds over how to craft a budget that would preserve programs and services – like public higher education – that work toward the common good. Across-the-board cuts have been a common theme, as is “no new taxes.”

The latest edition of Capitol Monitor takes a look at where we are now in the budget process.  Click here to read all about it.

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Education Unions Join In Support Of Accessible Education For All Students

Cropped Education Unions Presser April 26HARTFORD – Connecticut’s education unions and the Connecticut AFL-CIO stood shoulder-to-shoulder with undocumented immigrant students at the Legislative Office Building on April 26, 2017, to unite behind two bills – Senate Bill 17 and House Bill 7000.

CSU-AAUP member and ECSU professor Dr. William Lugo, pictured above at the microphone, spoke in support of the bills at the press conference.

These bills allow all Connecticut in-state resident students who contribute to the institutional aid fund to have access regardless of their immigration status. Having passed out of committee and now waiting to be called for a vote, the bills have no fiscal note and would cost nothing to taxpayers or Connecticut’s public colleges and universities.

Institutional aid is comprised of student-generated funds that colleges set aside from tuition revenue for use as need-based aid to support students. Under current law, undocumented students are ineligible for financial aid despite paying into the fund with their tuition dollars.

The state’s public universities and colleges have already testified in support of expanding aide to undocumented students. Along with support from administration, faculty and staff at the state universities also support increased access to financial aid for all students.

“Research shows that when a community’s residents obtain higher education, those communities enjoy greater employment, higher incomes, lower crime rates, lower entitlement spending and lower disability rates,” said Elena Tapia, President of CSU-AAUP, which represents professors in the CT State University system. “Access to affordable and quality public higher education is a common good and a path to a more prosperous future not only for students but also for Connecticut.”

Professors at UConn agreed. Diana Rios, UConn-AAUP President, said her members believe strongly that “it is in the best interest of our country and state to encourage access to education resources so that all segments of society may be lifted upwards.”

The bill even received backing of the state’s largest labor organization – the AFL-CIO. “It is extremely challenging, if not impossible, for undocumented students to afford college as options for financial aid are very limited,” said Lori J. Pelletier, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, which represents over 220,000 workers in the state. “All public universities in the state set a portion of tuition revenue aside to assist students with financial need. Nonetheless, because of current law, undocumented students have to contribute to this fund but are barred from accessing it. This is fundamentally unfair and needs to change this year.”

UAW Region 9A Director Julie Kushner, who represents graduate Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants at the University of Connecticut, has worked extensively with Connecticut Students for a Dream, which is the lead advocate on this issue. “If our lawmakers do not pass this legislation, they are allowing the undocumented students to subsidize institutional financial aid for other students,” said Kushner. “It is grossly unfair and unjust, and our union will do everything it can to promote the passage of this legislation.”

The state’s education unions vowed to put their support behind this effort and finally achieve passage of this legislation after a demanding three-year fight.

 

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Job opening at UCHC-AAUP

The University of Connecticut Health Center-American Association of University Professors (UCHC-AAUP) is seeking candidates for the position of Executive Director. UCHC-AAUP represents the faculty at UConn Health, consisting of over 500 researchers, educators and clinicians, including physicians and dentists. The Executive Director reports directly to the elected union leadership and facilitates all aspects of chapter operations, including:

  • Oversee operation of union office (one other full-time employee); work with accounting firm, auditors, and others to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations
  • Respond to member grievances, complaints, questions; represent bargaining unit members in disciplinary hearings, grievances, and appeals, in coordination with union counsel
  • Assist chief negotiator and union counsel with contract negotiations
  • Assist elected officers, Executive Council and Collective Bargaining Council, and keep them informed of developments/issues that need to be acted upon. Prepare agendas for and schedule EC and CBC meetings.
  • Foster good communication with bargaining unit members; recruit new members
  • Provide outreach to senior University administration, state legislature, and governor’s office; coordinate activities of lobbyists and advocates
  • Oversee publicity, including newsletters and website
  • Serve as liaison to national AAUP, state AAUP conference, and SEBAC (coalition of state employee unions)

Candidates should submit a resume and a statement summarizing their experience to Susan Hunt (shunt2468@gmail.com). Specific questions about the position can be addressed to Bruce Mayer (bmayeruchc@gmail.com).

 

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Unions Respond To Malloy’s Layoff Announcement

HARTFORD – Governor Malloy announced today his administration will begin notifying union leaders of contingency plans for layoffs. The governor said this action is being done now because of requirements in various collective bargaining agreements.

More public service layoffs would only make things worse for Connecticut.

While SEBAC leaders continue to explore ways to help meet the state’s fiscal challenges, over the last eight years state employees have given back more than $1 billion annually through their 2009 and 2011 concession agreements. And all while the state workforce is the smallest it’s been since 1960.  Further layoffs and cuts to services threaten public health and safety, our children’s education, and our state’s future.

Contrary to the wailing of wealthy and corporate special interests, we need a balanced, fair-minded approach to generating revenue that will keep our communities vibrant by protecting the public services and structures that are critical to our economic health.

Here’s what you can do to help:

Click here to contact your legislators and tell them to stand up for public higher education and Connecticut’s working and middle class families.

Tell them about the new study done by our own CCSU economists and the Center for Public Policy and Social Research that shows Connecticut not only has the lowest Total Effective Business Tax Rate (TEBTR) in the region, including New York and New Jersey, but also in the United States. Connecticut also has the lowest business taxes per private sector worker in the region, and the lowest business taxes as a share of state and local taxes in the United States.

Connecticut does not exist in isolation. In neighboring states, New York is implementing free public college tuition for middle-class residents and will raise the minimum wage to $15 over the next few years. Massachusetts, which has invested heavily in education, successfully wooed General Electric away from Connecticut last year despite their higher taxes.

A budget that works for everyone is possible!

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SEBAC Talks and CSU-AAUP Contract Negotiations Update

CSU-AAUP President and Chief Negotiator Elena Tapia gave an update on the CSU-AAUP Negotiations and the SEBAC Talks on Thursday, April 13, 2017. This is general information about the SEBAC Talks and more specific information about the local bargaining. When there is something more concrete from SEBAC Elena will visit each campus. 

Please click here to see the video from her April 13, 2017, presentation at ECSU.

Posted in Collective Bargaining, Communication, Council, Healthcare/Retirement, Political, SEBAC | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Results are in for the 2017 CSU-AAUP officer elections

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Voting for the CSU-AAUP Officer Election ended at noon on April 14, 2017. The following candidates have been elected:

CSU-AAUP President – Elena Tapia (ECSU)
CSU-AAUP Vice President – Patricia O’Neill (WCSU)
CSU-AAUP Secretary – Stephen Adair (CCSU)
CSU-AAUP Treasurer – Harlan Shakun (CCSU)

Their term of office begins June 1, 2017, and lasts for two years.
Congratulations to the elected candidates.

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From the O-Bomb to Negotiations Update: Read All About It in Union News

NEW BRITAIN, Conn., – The most recent issue of Union News is now available and includes details on the faculty reaction to BOR President Ojakian’s O-Bomb, also known as his consolidation announcement. Details about the April 13 SEBAC Talks and CSU-AAUP Contract Negotiations Update being held at ECSU, national AAUP’s Summer Institute, and the Connecticut State Conference AAUP’s Annual Spring Meeting are also included in this issue.

Click here to read the most recent Union News. 

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From President Tapia on the History of the CSU Faculty Leadership Group

The CSU Faculty Leadership group has existed since Fall 2010, when past CSU-AAUP President Vijay Nair first convened this group. Vijay had long considered convening such a group, and did so, when he became President in 2010.

At the time, no one had any idea what was to come. There was no CSCU, no BOR, and no Faculty Advisory Committee to the BOR (FAC). Thus, the CSU Faculty Leadership Group preceded all those entities.

Then, in 2011, Gov. Malloy introduced his bill (HB 1011) to create CSCU and the BOR and do away with the BOT. When that happened, Vijay recalls, “We were ready for the fight.”

According to Vijay, “The group spent many hours writing legislation and, even though we lost the big fight (to not consolidate), there were many small victories. The legislation would have been a lot worse if we had not mobilized as we did.”

I, myself, served on that committee as did faculty representatives from all four campuses. Its original purpose was to facilitate communication between the AAUP and University Governance at the system level.  It was the four Senate Presidents, the four AAUP Chapter Presidents, and the four CSU-AAUP Officers — a total of 12. The Curriculum Committee Chairs and the Graduate Council Chairs were invited to join the group depending on what was on the agenda. They were never official members.  After the legislation to create the Faculty Advisory Committee to the BOR, CSU FAC members became part of the group, making it a total of 16.

As we went through a painful series of bungling CSCU Presidents, the Leadership Group wrote statements such as “The Role of the Connecticut State Universities in Public Higher Education,” (2012) also called “Who We Are,” that defined our challenges, our goals, our priorities, and our individual missions, which we fought diligently (and successfully) to preserve. The group also wrote “The Academic Imperative” when, to everyone’s horror, Gray’s “Transform” plan had omitted academics altogether! In 2014, the Leadership Group battled the Boston Consulting Group in various ways, when its $1,973,328 million-dollar price tag and lack of any experience with higher education were discovered. On the heels of that, came much discussion and collaboration to bring votes of no confidence against Pres. Gray and the “Transform” travesty.

The leaders are elected by the faculty. They represent deliberative bodies of the faculty such as the Senates, the FAC, and the AAUP chapters and CSU-AAUP Council. It is among those bodies that information is presented and discussion takes place. The CSU Faculty Leadership Group provides a context for elected faculty leaders from the four campuses to communicate and collaborate in ways that did not exist before.

 

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CSU Faculty Leadership Group Statement on President Ojakian’s “Students First” Proposal

On April 3, 2017, CSCU President Mark Ojakian dropped a bombshell — the “Students First” Plan — into the hands of the employees of the CSCU System.  Three days later, the Board of Regents approved that plan with little discussion or questioning: a plan that will change the lives and traditions of thousands of students, faculty, and staff across the system.  Surprisingly,  BOR Chair Matt Fleury merely recited the resolution without providing advance written copies to the public, and a vote followed.  The CSU Faculty Leadership Group, while acknowledging the need for change, is concerned about the process by which this plan was developed and by which it will be implemented.  More specifically, we:

  • acknowledge that the CSCU system is facing the severe consequences of many years of shrinking state appropriations;
  • understand that the plan purportedly will accomplish a $41 million savings via a two-pronged strategy that would “eliminate redundancies” in certain “back office” functions and “operationally consolidate 12 community colleges into one;”
  • commend the fact that the plan is intended to protect learning, teaching and student services and to allow for an increase in the number of tenure-track faculty across the system;
  • are greatly dismayed, however, that deliberations creating the plan were not public and were essentially clandestine;
  • are deeply concerned — as professors and professionals in higher education — that the likelihood of sweeping changes to our system is based on a 15-page PowerPoint Presentation, completely lacking in details regarding how such savings would be achieved.

The plan calls for Implementation Teams to flesh out all those missing details. The deadline for that work to be completed – an implausible 84 days away (July I, 2017), will prevent these teams from conducting the careful information gathering, strategy development, and solicitation of community input necessary to ensure a thoughtful, prudent, and reasonable implementation process.  Despite our misgivings, we

  • will exercise our right to shared governance and will participate in this process and expect that faculty will have substantial representation on all Implementation Teams;
  • insist that we determine the manner in which the CSU faculty representatives are selected;
  • agree to participate on the condition that our colleagues in other higher education unions in CSCU also be on the Implementation Teams; and
  • expect that the work our members do on the teams be of substance, be recognized by the BOR as having true influence and given fair consideration, and that our participation not be window-dressing in the guise of shared governance.

The CSU Faculty Leadership Group

Stephen Adair (Sociology), Faculty Advisory Committee to the BOR & member of the BOR, CCSU
Daniel Barrett (Psychology), Senate President, WCSU
Jay Brower (Communication & Media Arts), Faculty Advisory Committee to the BOR, WCSU
Maryanne Clifford (Economics), Senate President, ECSU
Stephen Cohen (English), Senate President, CCSU
Luis Cordón (Psychology), ECSU-AAUP President
Maria Diamantis (Mathematics), Senate President, SCSU
William Lugo (Sociology), Faculty Advisory Committee to the BOR, ECSU
Julian Madison (History), SCSU-AAUP President
Mary Ann Mahony (History), CCSU-AAUP President
Patricia O’Neill (Psychology), WCSU-AAUP President, CSU-AAUP Vice President
Harlan Shakun (Accounting), CSU-AAUP Treasurer, CCSU
Michael Shea (English), Faculty Advisory Committee to the BOR, SCSU
Elena Tapia (English), CSU-AAUP President, ECSU
Rebecca Wood (Psychological Science), CSU-AAUP Secretary, CCSU

 

April 7, 2017

 

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Negotiations And SEBAC Talks Update Being Held April 13

CSU-AAUP Contract Negotiations

& SEBAC Talks Update

When:  Thursday, April 13, 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

Where: President’s Dining Room (PDR), Hurley Hall, ECSU,

Willimantic, CT, 06226

  • Lunch provided.
  • Come when you can.

Speaker: Elena Tapia, CSU-AAUP President & Chief Negotiator

Can’t attend? No worries!

If you can’t attend, email your questions to CSU-AAUP Communication Associate Liz Newberg at newberge@ccsu.edu no later than April 11, 5 p.m.

  • The emailed questions received will be answered during the event.
  • This information session will be video-taped and posted on the CSU-AAUP website.

 

 

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Cast Your Vote: CSU-AAUP Officer Elections Are Underway!

Dear CSU-AAUP Member:

If you are a voting member of CSU-AAUP, you are eligible to vote in the CSU-AAUP Officer election. The CSU-AAUP election is underway, beginning today, April 3, 2017, at 6 a.m. and will continue until noon on Friday, April 14, 2017. Voting will be conducted via Votenet web-based voting software. The offices of CSU-AAUP President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer are open for election. You must be a CSU-AAUP member in order to vote. All non-members were sent a letter and given an opportunity to change their membership status before the close of voter registration on Thursday, March 2, 2017.

The following candidates are running for election:

Candidates for CSU-AAUP
Vote for One for each office

President – Julian Madison, History, SCSU
Elena Tapia, Linguistics, ECSU

Vice President – Patricia O’Neill, Psychology, WCSU
Stephen (Zak) Tomczak, Social Work, SCSU

Secretary – Stephen Adair, Sociology, CCSU

Treasurer – Harlan Shakun, Accounting, CCSU

To vote, members should:
Log on to https://eballot4.votenet.com/csu-aaup to access the ballots
• Use your last name as the username, and
• Use your Banner I.D. number as your password.
You can call the AAUP office to obtain your Banner I.D. number if you do not have it.

To read the candidate statements, please click here.

We strongly encourage all members to vote. If you have any questions or problems logging in, please contact your Chapter AAUP office or the CSU-AAUP office at (860) 832-3790.

Russell Gladstone, Chr. on behalf of
The CSU-AAUP Nomination/Election Committee
Theresa Bouley, Sue Holt

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SAVE BorrowIT from 100 Percent Defunding

HARTFORD, March 29, 2017 – Has your public library ever borrowed a book or video for you from another library because yours didn’t have it? What a great service!

Governor Malloy’s budget would end that service. Please read the message here from the CT Library Association and contact your legislators!

The borrowIT CT program needs your support!  Take Action NOW!

BorrowIT CT is a cooperative program among public libraries in Connecticut that allows a resident in the state who holds a valid library card to borrow materials from any of the 192 participating public libraries. Using their hometown cards, non-residents may borrow any of the materials that participating libraries lend to their local borrowers.

The Governor’s proposed budget for FY2018 – FY2019 ELIMINATES ALL FUNDING for borrowIT CT ($781,820 in cuts each year)

This program has been in existence since 1973 and has been a successful example of regionalization and resource sharing.

Last year throughout the state, 3,891,944 items were loaned – that is approximately $58.4 million dollars worth of materials. These materials are not just for pleasure reading – they are resources on education, employment, and difficult personal topics. In our state, that is almost 4 million opportunities for personal growth, self-directed education, and self-improvement. Our town, our state, and our country are much better places when our residents and citizens have access to vital resources on education, employment, and personal growth.

Please support our state libraries with full restoration of borrowIT CT funding and let’s keep Connecticut libraries in the business of sharing.

Use our online advocacy center to send a pre-drafted, editable letter to the Governor, your State Senator and Representative. Just enter your address and our system will direct your letter to your members inbox!

CLICK HERE to Take Action NOW!

Sincerely,

The CLA Legislative Committee

 

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Connecticut State Conference AAUP Annual Spring Meeting

=2017 CSC-AAUP DinnerThe year’s Annual Spring Meeting for the Connecticut State Conference of the American Association of University Professors features keynote speaker Cornell Labor and Employment Law Chair Risa Lieberwitz. She is also General Counsel of the national AAUP and has served as a member of the AAUP Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

The dinner meeting is Friday, May 12, 2017, from 5:30 p.m. to  9 p.m and is being held at The Graduate Club, 155 Elm Street, New Haven, CT.

The event is free to all CCSU-AAUP, ECSU-AAUP, SCSU-AAUP and WCSU-AAUP members. Please click here for more details about the evening and how to register.

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National AAUP leaders speak out on threats to faculty, higher education

Washington, D.C. – Shortly after the 2016 election, the AAUP warned that we could be facing the greatest threat to academic freedom since the McCarthy period. It now appears that such a warning was not misplaced. Extremists in the administration, Congress, and several state houses have created an atmosphere in which “alternative facts” reign supreme, and which encourages the introduction of legislation that threatens the core principles of our democracy.

The latest examples of extreme legislation come from Iowa and North Carolina. In Iowa, a bill has been introduced that would prohibit the hiring of a professor or instructor at a public university or college if his or her most recent party affiliation would “cause the percentage of the faculty belonging to one political party to exceed by 10 percent” the percentage of the faculty belonging to the other dominant party.

In North Carolina, legislation (since tabled) was introduced that would require tenure-track and tenured faculty members to “reflect the ideological balance of the citizens of the state,” so that no campus “shall have a faculty ideological balance of greater or less than 2 percent of the ideological balance” of North Carolinians.

Many may rightly believe that  initiatives like these cannot pass and that if passed they would be overturned immediately by the courts. However, the introduction of such legislation has a chilling effect. Moreover, implicit in these proposals is the demand that prospective and current faculty members disclose their political affiliations and personal political views as a condition of employment, which is precisely what happened during the McCarthy period.

The AAUP opposes in the strongest terms any legislation that would create an ideological or political litmus test as a qualification for employment as a faculty member at a university or college. Our commitment to academic freedom is rooted in a vision of democracy that thrives on dissent, critical inquiry, free speech, and free research. We will continue to join with other organizations to resist threats to academic freedom, legislative intrusions into higher education, and harassment of faculty.

Your membership has never been more important. Support the work of the AAUP on these issues by donating to the AAUP Foundation.

In solidarity,
Rudy Fichtenbaum, President, AAUP
Hank Reichman, First Vice-President, AAUP and Chair of Committee A on Academic Freedom


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Thousands descend on Capitol for Labor Committee hearing

Hartford, CT – Union Strong was the message of the day on Feb. 21 when thousands of union members – public and private sector workers alike – descended on the Capitol to push back legislation that would take away collective bargaining rights. Other legislation introduced Feb. 21 sought to raise the threshold for prevailing wage requirements on construction projects in Connecticut. That bill also faced tremendous opposition from union members.

CSU-AAUP leaders and members testified at both the Feb. 21 Labor Committee hearing and the Feb. 15 Appropriations Higher Education hearing to advocate for adequate funding for public higher education and to protect collective bargaining rights. Elena on CTN (2)

Click here to read more in the latest issue of Capitol Monitor.

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Proposed bill would “manage” faculty out of their rights

NEW BRITAIN, Feb. 23, 2017 –  With a plethora of anti-union and anti-state worker bills being introduced this session in the Connecticut General Assembly, there is one that stands out as the most egregious from a faculty perspective.

SB 596 AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEFINITION OF A MANAGERIAL EMPLOYEE would reclassify faculty at the four CSUs as managers, thereby making faculty ineligible to engage in collective bargaining.

Introduced by Sen. Len Fasano, a Republican representing the 34th district, SB 596 is an unbridled attempt to bring the 1980 Supreme Court Yeshiva decision to Connecticut public colleges and universities. In 2015, in a decision about the bargaining unit at Pacific Lutheran University, the NLRB began to walk back Yeshiva. National AAUP played a major roll in winning that Pacific Lutheran decision. Click here to read the case and the AAUP legal department’s analysis.

Be prepared for more legislative alerts and calls to action to beat down this bill and many others making their way through legislative committees. Make no mistake, bills like SB 596 – and many others being proposed – would directly affect academic freedom, tenure, and shared governance. If passed into law, they would be the death knell of quality public higher education in Connecticut.

Posted in Collective Bargaining, Communication, Political, SEBAC, Wages & Working Conditions | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

CSU-AAUP Officer Nominations Underway

Message on behalf of the CSU-AAUP Nominations/Elections Committee: Russell Gladstone WCSU, Chr.; Theresa Bouley ECSU; Sue Holt, CCSU; Zak Tomczak, SCSU

The CSU-AAUP Constitution requires us to elect new officers in odd-numbered years. Therefore, we are soliciting nominations for the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, all to serve two-year terms commencing June 1, 2017.

Click here for the CSU-AAUP Nominations Request Form. On the reverse side of this form you will find a brief description of the duties associated with various offices. Please send all nomination forms to Russ Gladstone, Chair, CSU-AAUP Nominations/Elections Committee c/o CSU-AAUP, Marcus White Hall, Room 319.

CSU-AAUP members may nominate themselves or any other member for any position as officer. Use this form and facsimiles to nominate as many people as you like. Nominees must be CSU-AAUP members. The chair of the Nominations/Elections Committee will accept nominations until 12:00 noon on Thursday March 2nd. E-Voting will commence on or about April 3rd and end at noon on April 14th. On April 14th the ballots will be tabulated electronically. The results will be announced via email and a Newsletter announcing the election results will subsequently be distributed.

For questions, contact Michelle Malinowski at 860-832-3790.

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Call to Action -Testify in Support of Higher Educaiton

NEW BRITAIN, Feb. 13, 2017 – CSU-AAUP members know why higher education matters to a community, a state, a society, and a nation. Now is the time to share this knowledge with the legislators who control the lifeblood funding of our Connecticut State Universities. Join CSU-AAUP at the Legislative Office Building Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. to testify before the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee about why higher education must be funded adequately and not on the backs of students or their families. Check out the most recent issue of Capitol Monitor for details on testifying or email Liz Newberg.

 

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How wrong they are about “Right to Work”

January 23, 2017, – Right to Work legislation threatened to rear its ugly head this last week in the Labor and Public Employees Committee. Thankfully, that effort was quashed but there is more where that came from. Check out the latest Capitol Monitor for a list of negative bills that were unleashed on the legislature that take specific aim at state employees and unions.  And then join us at our Day of Action this Thursday to fight for quality public higher education. Higher education is not a luxury; it’s a necessity for today’s economy.

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New legislative session off to a roaring start

New Britain, Jan. 9, 2017 – The start of the 2017 Legislative Session saw many changes in leadership and committee chairs, as well as the introduction of legislation that is nothing more than attempts at union busting and attacks on state workers.

Click here to read the January 9, 2017, issue of Capitol Monitor and read all about it.

Then email Liz Newberg and sign up for our Day of Action for Public Higher Education on Jan. 26, 2017.

Join in the fight to protect public higher education as a public good.

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And so it begins…CSU-AAUP responds to Governor’s State of the State Address

HARTFORD, Jan. 4, 2017 – Gov. Malloy’s reference to “state employee concessions” during his State of the State address may give some the impression that the governor expects a small minority of the population to resolve Connecticut’s fiscal challenges. The reality is that the scope of the problems facing us all requires a broader, far more comprehensive approach.

As always, our union is willing to work with state elected leaders to find a way forward in a difficult economic environment. Our members do important work and are an economic asset.

Click here for the Economic Policy Institute Study on CT Public Sector Workers.

But we are not willing to be scapegoats or political cover for legislators unwilling to make better choices. We are not willing to abandon our defense of public services and public higher education — and the women and men who provide them — that make Connecticut a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Click here for the news article Connecticut a great place to do business.

Members of the unions in the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) are already providing over $1 billion dollars annually in ongoing budget savings. Over the past eight years they have ratified two separate agreements to sacrifice wages and benefits in exchange for protecting the vital services they provide for residents.

Click here for the 2011 cost-savings agreement with the Malloy Administration.

If millionaires and billionaires contributed a percentage of their income in taxes equivalent to that which working families already pay, lawmakers would have a $1 billion surplus at their disposal. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), Connecticut’s state and local tax system is the 26th most regressive in the nation.

Click here for more on our state’s unfair tax system.

That simple fact alone is reason enough to demand real tax fairness — and for an adequately-funded state government that is able to provide the services that everyday people need.

While union members have time and again been willing to do their part, Connecticut’s budget issues cannot be resolved on the backs of middle class families. Nor can they be fixed by passing the burden to local communities or by decimating public higher education, public safety and other vital services our citizens deserve.

Last year’s experience in Connecticut proved it is impossible to balance budgets — let alone improve the economy, create decent jobs or reduce inequality — through cuts alone.

Click here for an economic analysis on the failure of austerity policies.

The truly “balanced and responsible” solution that the governor seeks calls for Connecticut’s wealthiest citizens and largest corporations to pay their fair share in taxes.

 

 

 

 

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Goodbye ugly sweaters; hello ugly session

December’s Union News takes a look at the upcoming legislative session, including a list of pre-filed bills that are anti-worker and anti-immigrant, as well as a letter from the Office of Policy and Management on the burgeoning budget deficit. These are all ingredients that make for another ugly legislative session in 2017. This is why your attendance at the Day of Action for Public Higher Education on Jan. 26 is imperative. Details of this day are in the December newsletter. Please come to show your support of quality public higher education. Every voice counts and together we will be heard.

Also included in December’s Union News is information about the insidious Professor Watch List and how to push back against its chilling effects, as well as an update on contract negotiations from CSU-AAUP President Elena Tapia.

To read December’s Union News, click here.

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Latest version of Table Talk is available

The latest version of Table Talk is now available. This Table Talk is a summary of Session 19, which occurred on Nov. 28, 2016. To read it, please click here.

Table Talk is produced by members of our CSU-AAUP Negotiating Team as a regular update to keep you informed of developments in each negotiating session between the Board of Regents and CSU-AAUP.

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Save the Date! Day of Action to Defend Public Higher Education Jan. 26, 2017

Save the Date! Day of Action to Defend Public Higher Education Jan. 26

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November issue of Union News is available

This month’s issue of Union News, CSU-AAUP’s monthly online newsletter, includes updates on contract negotiations from CSU-AAUP President and Chief Negotiator Elena Tapia. Also included is information on a Higher Education Day of Action, which is a state-wide effort being planned for January with other unions, students and community groups in support of quality public higher education.

To read the November issue of Union News, please click here.

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A message from the CSU-AAUP President

Dear CSU-AAUP Members:

The Malloy administration requested to meet informally with SEBAC Leaders, and that discussion occurred November 23, 2016. The parties plan to meet informally again. Union leaders will brief their leadership bodies and negotiating committees. Further briefings and information will be available, if discussions continue.

Elena Tapia
CSU-AAUP President

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Join AAUP in fighting for public higher education

Join the AAUP in saying no to Donald Trump’s idea of higher education. The Trump model involves fraudulent, corporatized education vs. a higher education system that serves the common good. Join the AAUP in fighting for higher education for the common good.   Sign onto our pledge.

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October’s CSU-AAUP Union News

The October issue of CSU-AAUP’s monthly newsletter Union News is available here.

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CSU-AAUP releases statement

CSU-AAUP leadership released a statement October 28, 2016, concerning a recent online political ad from Labor United. Click here to view the statement.

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Latest Table Talk is available

The CSU-AAUP Negotiating Team resumed contract negotiations with the Board of Regents negotiating team on October 24, 2016. Please click here to see the latest Table Talk, produced by members of our CSU-AAUP Negotiating Team to keep you informed of developments in each negotiating session.

Table Talk will be provided to you as a regular update after each contract negotiation session between the Board of Regents and CSU-AAUP.

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CSU-AAUP PAC announces candidate endorsements

CSU-AAUP’s Political Action Committee has made their endorsements of candidates in the 2016 election for the Connecticut General Assembly. Click HERE to see CSU-AAUP PAC’s  list of candidate endorsements.

If you’re not sure who your legislator is, please click here to find out. CSU-AAUP encourages all eligible AAUP members to vote on Nov. 8 in the general election. If you’re not sure where to vote, click here to find your polling place.

Through legislation affecting quality public higher education, the Connecticut General Assembly has a significant impact on the four Connecticut State Universities, their faculty, and students. As a result, the make-up of the Connecticut legislature is critically important to CSU.

This past summer, to determine which candidates to endorse, the CSU-AAUP Political Action Committee mailed questionnaires to all candidates for the Connecticut General Assembly. These questionnaires allowed the PAC to determine candidates’ views on public higher education, among other things. The candidate responses helped guide endorsements that the committee has made for this Nov. 8 election.

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CSU-AAUP stands in solidarity with Pennsylvania faculty

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Learn about social justice south of the border

Kidnappings, political persecutions, assassinations, land and water-grabs. These are some of the harrowing social justice issues facing our neighbors to the south. Come see and hear from Mexican social justice leaders and advocates when the Caravan Against Repression in Mexico visits CCSU Oct. 21 at Davidson Hall’s Torp Theater. A reception with refreshments will be held between 4 and 6 p.m. followed by a discussion from 6 to 9 p.m. All are welcome and the event is free. This event is sponsored in part by CSU-AAUP.mexican-event-at-ccsu

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Sign the pledge to be a Higher Education Voter

Please click here  and pledge to be a Higher Education Voter and vote for candidates this election year who support quality public higher education. This national pledge drive is brought to you by Faculty Forward. Public higher education has been facing a dramatic disinvestment over decades. The time has come to reverse this trend. Every vote matters and together we will affect positive change! copy-of-seiuff-2016-4003c_1200x630-20percent

 

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Call for Nominations for CSU-AAUP Vice President

From the CSU-AAUP Nominations/Elections Committee: Russell Gladstone WCSU, Chr.; Theresa Bouley ECSU; Sue Holt, CCSU; Zak Tomczak, SCSU

September 19, 2016 – Pursuant to the CSU-AAUP Constitution, on June 1, Elena Tapia, Linguistics, ECSU, former CSU-AAUP vice president, assumed the office of president after the resignation of Vijay Nair on May 31, 2016. This left a vacancy in the office of vice president. President Tapia appointed Patricia O’Neill, Psychology, WCSU, as interim vice president, however, since the length of the unexpired term of vice president is more than six months (May 31, 2017), the CSU-AAUP Constitution requires that a special election be held. Therefore, we are soliciting nominations for the office of vice president to serve through May 31, 2017. Click here to see the Nominations Form and a description of the CSU-AAUP officer positions.

CSU-AAUP members may nominate themselves or any other member for vice president. Use the attached Nominations form and facsimiles to nominate as many people as you like. Nominees must be CSU-AAUP members. The Nominations/Elections Committee will accept nominations until noon on Monday October 17th. The e-voting will commence on or about November 7th and end at noon on November 21st. On November 21st the ballots will be tabulated automatically. The results will be announced via email and a newsletter announcing the election results will subsequently be distributed.

 

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September’s Issue of Union News

Check out the latest Union News from CSU-AAUP here.

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CSU-AAUP signs contract extension agreement

With the current Collective Bargaining Agreement set to expire August 25, 2016, CSU-AAUP has signed a contract extension agreement with the Board of Regents. The agreement was signed by both parties on July 19, 2016.

Please click here to see a copy of the signed contract extension agreement.

Please click here to see a list of questions and answers on the contract extension agreement, which were developed by the CSU-AAUP leadership.

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Gallo & Robinson Issues 2016 Legislative Report for CSU-AAUP

CSU-AAUP enlists the services of Gallo & Robinson, a leading lobbying firm at the state capitol. With the help of Gallo & Robinson, CSU-AAUP members and staff work to advocate for legislation and state policies that will benefit public higher education in Connecticut.

To read Gallo & Robinson’s full 2016 Legislative Report for CSU-AAUP, please click here.

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SEBAC Response to Austerity Budget

As the Connecticut General Assembly votes this week on the state budget, SEBAC issued a statement responding to the draconian cuts that exist in the latest budget version negotiated between Democratic leaders and Governor Malloy. Read the SEBAC statement  here.

And to correct some misimpressions that legislators may have had regarding negotiations to avoid state employee layoffs, SEBAC Chief Negotiator sent a letter of clarification to the legislature May 11 stating: “The administration made no offer to SEBAC or its constituent unions to eliminate layoffs.”  You can read Attorney Livingston’s letter here.

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Newest Table Talk is available

Table Talk is written by the CSU-AAUP negotiating team after each negotiating session and distributed to members. To read the most recent issue of Table Talk, please click here.

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CSU-AAUP’s Union News Availalbe

CSU-AAUP’s latest edition of Union News is available and has been sent to all members. Please click here to read it online.

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Latest Capitol Monitor Available

CSU-AAUP’s Capitol Monitor gives you the skinny on what’s happening at the Connecticut General Assembly that could affect the future of quality higher education.

The most recent issue of Capitol Monitor is available now. Click here to read it.

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SEBAC Statement in Response to Governor’s Layoffs Announcement

State workers help protect our environment, provide public safety, and affordable public education, and provide essential services to the elderly, the disabled, veterans and others in need.

Eliminating more jobs from our economy is not the answer. 

What is called for here is  to  reduce waste, fraud and abuse, and the political courage  to require the rich to pay their fair share of taxes in the wealthiest state in the country.   In order to allow the rich to keep paying taxes at half the rate the rest of us pay, the governor and some legislators are pushing the largest cuts in public education and other critical services in our state’s history.   

We call on the governor and legislative leaders to take a step back and consider the irreparable harm they will do to the services upon which our communities and our economy depend and the people that provide them.   It may be frightening to tax the rich in an election year — at least to the political class —  but for the vast majority of people in this state, these are times that demand courage.

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New Capitol Monitor Available

CSU-AAUP’s Capitol Monitor gives you the skinny on what’s happening at the Connecticut General Assembly that could affect the future of quality higher education.

The most recent issue of Capitol Monitor is available now. Click here to read it.

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Newest Issue Of Table Talk Is Available

The most recent Table Talk is now available and can be read here. Table Talk will be provided to you as a regular update after each contact negotiation session between the Board of Regents and CSU-AAUP. Table Talk is written by members of the CSU-AAUP Negotiating Team.

Table Talk, March 31, 2016 is available here.

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