Category Archives: Rally

A raise by any other name

From an article published widely around PA today, attributed to the Associated Press:

Chancellor John Cavanaugh told a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in downtown Harrisburg that university administrators hadn’t had a raise in two-and-a-half years. The average 3 percent merit raise went into effect Jan. 1 at a cost of about $6 million a year out of a $1.4 billion system budget, a system spokesman said.

To borrow a phrase from everybody’s favorite President, Ronald Reagan: Here we go again…

It’s become common, during negotiations years, for management to claim that they’ve forgone raises for years while those greedy faculty take huge raises at every opportunity. Chancellor Cavanaugh didn’t miss his opportunity to point this out:

Asked if he would return his raise or ask other administrators to do so, Cavanaugh said the system board of governors sets compensation levels. He also noted that the system’s unionized work force of about 12,000 received raises last year.

Of course, as he says this, he leaves out a handful of salient points:

1. I won’t speak for AFSCME (They’ve spoken for themselves here) or the other unions because I haven’t done the research, but I do know that APSCUF raises haven’t kept up with the pace of inflation for many, many years.

2.  Probably more important, the reason we got raises last year and the years before that is that HIS SIDE AGREED TO THEM TOO.  PASSHE had to sign the collective bargaining AGREEMENT just the same as we did.  For the Chancellor then to assert, no matter how tacitly, that we’d somehow have gamed the system if we got raises and they didn’t is absurd.

3.  Along similar lines: we (all the unions) negotiate our raises with management.  But we get nothing to say about management raises!  If they’ve chosen not to give themselves raises, then fine–but to make us complicit in that is misleading at best.

There’s a lot more to say about this, and I’m sure the Office of the Chancellor will provide opportunities to say it.

REMINDER: Rally for Public Education! April 27, 7 pm, Chester County Courthouse!

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Filed under APSCUF, Budget, Budget Cuts, Collective Bargaining, Contract Negotiations, Office of the Chancellor, PASSHE, Rally, Uncategorized

Change of Date for Chester County Rally for Public Education

As soon as I can make the technology work, I’ll post the flyer for Sen. Dinniman’s rally at the Chester County Courthouse, the date of which has MOVED–

New Date: Wed, April 27

So you can have Wed, April 20 back for yourselves, but the 27th?  We need you there.

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Filed under APSCUF, Budget, Communities, K-12 Education, PASSHE, Penn State University, Public education, Rally, Student activism, Tom Corbett, Tuition increase, University of Pittsburgh, West Chester University

Common ground is fine, but it doesn’t guarantee fairness

By now you’ve probably seen the news out of State APSCUF of management’s announcement that they plan to issue retrenchment letters on all fourteen PASSHE campuses for the 2012-13 school year.

We’ll have plenty more to say about the specifics of that announcement and how we respond to it in the near future; it wasn’t entirely unexpected, but neither do we take it as anything other than hostile.

In the meantime, this morning’s Inside Higher Education features an article on a labor conference last week at which faculty union leaders and university managers got together to talk about how to find common ground from which to advance the mutual interests of universities and systems.

Ironically, the article mentions Pennsylvania specifically as an example of a place where faculty and management ought to fighting together against outrageous budget proposals–and it published one day after management announced that they may retrench faculty all across the system.

Knowing that managers in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and other places actually respect the faculty in their states made this announcement out of PASSHE even that much more toxic.  At a time when we should all be fighting desperately to win over legislators who can protect our budget, and we’re seeing examples of state system managers doing just that, instead the Office of the Chancellor (OOC) is firing shots across the bow.

So what does this mean for you as WCU faculty?  A few things:

1. If you haven’t already written letters and made phone calls to your legislators about the budget, do it NOW.  Our campus management has been with us on these efforts, but the OOC just isn’t.  Don’t wait around for PASSHE to do its thing–do it for them.

2.  Go to rallies and show your face: April 26 in Harrisburg; April 27 at the Courthouse in downtown West Chester; May 3 in Harrisburg.

3.  Continue to get ready for what now appears to be an even nastier negotiations season than we already expected.  Make sure your APSCUF reps know you to find you off-campus.  Try to put a little money aside in case of a job action.  Read the emails that come from State and Local APSCUF because they have information in them you need to know.

One last thing–it’s tempting to be (some combination of) scared, frustrated, and angry at the current state of affairs in our system.  Obviously I can’t dictate your emotional reactions, but I’ll make this pitch (which some of you have heard me say before).  In difficult times, the urge to panic, the urge to withdraw, and the urge to organize/mobilize are exactly the same.  MOBILIZE!  It’s a much healthier response.

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Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, Collective Bargaining, Contract Negotiations, Inside Higher Ed, PASSHE, Public education, Rally, Tom Corbett, Tuition increase, West Chester University

Information about another rally

From Kevin Mahoney at the KUXchange, news about a rally April 26 in Harrisburg.  This one merges issues of higher ed, K-12 ed, public and private sector unions.  Details about times/speakers/sponsors forthcoming.

For any student readers or community members–if you’re interested in co-sponsoring this rally, you can use the flyer that’s linked in the post and add your organization’s name and contact info.  Let me (Seth) know if you do this, so I can tell my colleague who designed the flyer to add you to the sponsor list.

Also, Kevin has designed and put up for sale t-shirts in support of the event.  As always, Kevin uses proceeds to support pro-education, pro-student, pro-workers-rights efforts.

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Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, Collective Bargaining, Communities, free speech, K-12 Education, Kutztown University, PASSHE, Public education, Rally, Student activism, Tom Corbett, Tuition increase, University of Pittsburgh, West Chester University

Save the date! Wed, April 20. 7 PM.

At today’s event on campus, Sen. Andy Dinniman announced a Chester-County-wide pro-public-education (pre through college) rally and made an awfully convincing case that WE NEED TO TURN OUT IN FORCE.

Details forthcoming, but here are the vitals–

Wed April 20

7 PM

Chester County Courthouse Steps/Lawn/Wherever else we spill over

If you care about anything on this list, you should be there–

*WCU/PASSHE

*K-12 Education in PA

*Pre-K educational opportunities

*Anybody you know who goes to school at any of those levels

*Anybody you know who works at any school at any of those levels

That just about covers it.  Senator Dinniman said two things today that really hit.  First, he said that without pressure from us, we can’t expect the State Legislator to do anything for us.  Second, he said that with enough pressure from us, they can’t say no!

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Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, Communities, K-12 Education, PASSHE, Public education, Rally, Student activism, Tom Corbett, Tuition increase, West Chester University

Coverage of Rallies, Links to Budget News

Folks: I’ve been a little slow getting this list of links out; fortunately, our colleague Kevin Mahoney at the KUXchange put them all together so I don’t have to.  Nothing I can say about these that he hasn’t already… 

–Seth

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Filed under APSCUF, Budget, Kutztown University, Links, Lock Haven University, PASSHE, Rally, Student activism, Tom Corbett, Tuition increase, West Chester University

Information on Monday’s Protest in H’burg

A couple of links, and then info on joining the WCU contingent–

From the State APSCUF blog, announcing the rally and the line-up of speakers

One of the coolest actions I’ve seen anybody undertake yet as part of this campaign: members of Lock Haven’t track team are running to the rally.  From Lock Haven.  To Harrisburg.

I know I’m cajoling you, but for goodness sakes, people.  If 30 track team members from Lock Haven can put together a 100-mile relay run, we can find 20 people to ride a bus to Harrisburg.

Go!  If you want to be on the bus, be in the parking lot behind Swope @ 8:15 Monday morning.  You’ll be back in town by 5 pm at the latest.  Lunch provided, no expense.  Go join fellow students from across PA to let the Legislature know they can’t do this!

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Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, Links, Lock Haven University, PASSHE, Rally, Student activism, Tom Corbett, West Chester University