Category Archives: Tuition increase

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

APSCUF Scholarship information

Students–if you need money to help pay for school, especially if the Governor and Legislature ignore us and raise your tuition, you may be eligible for one of these scholarships!

We WANT to give money away (but only responsibly, of course).  Help us do it!

Faculty: Help spread the word.

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Filed under APSCUF, Budget, Scholarships, Tuition increase, Uncategorized, West Chester University

The good news is good BECAUSE of what we’re doing. That means we need to keep doing it.

This article from CBS Philly should sound two chords at once:

1. PASSHE’s position in the Legislature is improving; even some very conservative Republicans, who otherwise don’t support much public anything, seem to be on board with protecting at least most of our budget allocation.

2. The reason the Legislature is coming around to this position is that WE ARE MAKING THEM. It’s our efforts on the streets, in the press, in hallways, and everywhere else that are pushing an otherwise not-often-friendly legislature in the right direction.

The upshot is, as our colleague Cherise Pollard (who pointed me to this link) put it, we have to keep working.  We should take this news as ENCOURAGING, but it’s encouraging us to KEEP PUSHING.

Tired of getting yelled at in ALL CAPS?  Show us what you’re doing to protect our schools and we won’t have to :).

 

 

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Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, Links, PASSHE, Penn State University, Student activism, Tom Corbett, Tuition increase, University of Pittsburgh, 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

President Hicks’ Comments to the Board of Governors

From the State APSCUF blog.  President Hicks’ comments at their April meeting call on them to remind our state of the work we do and its importance.  I think it’s important for us as faculty to take up his call as well.

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Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, PASSHE, Public education, Tom Corbett, Tuition increase, 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

We Need YOU! For about half an hour…

Come join members of the campus community (students, faculty, staff, administrators, friends) in Sykes Ballroom C at 12:30 on Friday, April 1.

Legislators (members of the PA House and Senate) will be visiting campus to receive the hundreds of postcards students and others have filled out, explaining the impacts that Governor Corbett’s proposed budget cuts will have on us.  They will also talk to us about the situation from their points of view and help us refine our strategies as we move forward. 

It’s important that we draw a strong crowd to show our legislators that we really are committed to protecting our university at all levels and for the well-being of all campus community members. 

The event should be finished by 1 pm. 

I’d say “We hope to see you there,” but the need is bigger than that.  It’s really important we turn out in numbers.  Be there if you can. 

–Seth

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Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, Communities, PASSHE, 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

Corbett Makes “Worst Governors” List, and PASSHE Budget Cuts Are One Reason Why

They’re not in rank order, necessarily, but Tom Corbett makes this list of the 8 worst current governors in the US.  It’s worth reading the whole piece to see how Corbett compares/contrasts with some of his brothers in crime (Reverse Robin Hood, anyone?), but if you don’t have the time or stomach, here’s the section on Corbett (with apologies for a bit of R-rated language and a very snarky tone):

The Governor: Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania)

In order to deal with the state’s $4 billion deficit, the residents of Pennsylvania want Corbett to raise taxes on the natural gas industry. Plus, they don’t want him to cut funding for education.

And because Corbett is a man of the people, he plans to do the exact opposite.

WHUCK? (That’s shorthand for “What the fuck?”)

Corbett released his budget last week and it’s a doozy. He’s proposing massive cuts to education. He wants to cut state aid to public schools by a jaw-dropping $1 billion. He wants to freeze teacher salaries. And he wants to cut $625 million from higher education. That amounts to a 50 percent cut for the 14 state-owned universities and the four state-related schools (Penn State, Temple, Pitt and Lincoln University).

If this budget passes can you imagine all the services public schools will have to cut?

And I feel bad for the college students at these state schools. A 50 percent cut in state aid is horrifying. Those schools must find a way to replace all of that money. And you know what that means? It means the cost of tuition is going, in the words of Ralph Kramden, “TO THE MOON, ALICE!”

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Governor Corbett has given a coal company CEO unilateral authority to overturn laws and pass out drilling permits as he sees fit.

WHUCK?

Here’s something I bet you didn’t know. Because of natural gas drilling, there are certain parts of the state where the water is hazardous because it’s flammable. There are videos on Youtube where people set fire to the water as it comes out of their faucets. Drinking that water is dangerous. Number one, it might kill you. Number two, when you go to the bathroom to pee, there’s a good chance you might burn your house down!

You know what, Governor Corbett? This is an excellent idea. Let’s make this a national movement. Let’s appoint people to positions they have no business being within 100 feet of.

For example, let’s make high school dropout Bristol Palin the head of the Department of Education! Or how about Amy Winehouse as head of the Department of Health and Human Services? Or what if we made Charlie Sheen the Drug Czar?

Winning!

Last week Governor Corbett said, “Let’s make Pennsylvania the Texas of the natural gas boom!”

Yes, governor, let’s do that. Let’s give some coal executive power to pollute the state’s water supply as he sees fit.

And since you want Pennsylvania to be Texas, let’s cut billions of dollars in education so that the public schools disintegrate into barren wastelands. You know, just like in Texas!

 

And, not only does PASSHE make the article, but the writer actually understands the difference between the state-owned and state-related universities–which seems to be more than we can say for the Governor.

–Seth

 

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Filed under Budget, K-12 Education, PASSHE, Penn State University, Tom Corbett, Tuition increase