They came from all parts of the State with the same message- “No more cuts to education!” On March 1st and 2nd NYSUT members rallied for a show of support at this year’s Higher Education Lobby Day in Albany, New York. Hundreds gathered at the state capital to voice their opposition to Governor Patterson’s proposed 2010-11 Executive budget. NCCFT representatives Janet Johnson and Dawn Smith joined the large group of educators, support staff and other union members to meet one on one with Senators Charles Fuschillo, Senator Dean Skelos and Senator Carl Marcellino. They also spoke with Assembly members, Tom KcKevitt, Joseph Saladino, Harvey Weisenberg, Charles Lavine and Bob Barra. The message from NCC was simple and clear: “Don’t cut needed funds! “ NCC is still recovering from the Governor’s midyear cuts of $130 per FTE. If Patterson’s devastating 2010/2011 proposed state budget passes, NCC will lose a total of $10 million in state funding. Our union reps stressed the importance of junior colleges and the vital role they play in economic recovery. Each Senator and Assembly member were asked some tough questions on topics including ways to close the deficit, options to reduce spending without cutting funds to education and the impact of privatizing SUNY schools. Their responses varied except for one item they all agreed upon- they would not consider imposing any additional taxes this coming year.
The climate in Albany is grim and at this point uncertain. The consensus of those we spoke with felt that with the current political turmoil in the Capital combined with the huge budget deficit, it is doubtful a state budget will be passed in the near future.
We encourage each of you to contact your Senators and Assembly members to voice your opinion concerning the proposed State budget and its negative effects on higher education. You can visit the NYSUT website, www.NYSUT.org for a listing of your Senators and Assembly members, access links to send faxes to our state officials, and get the latest developments. The faxes and letters we send do make a difference.
You can also click here to see photos of Higher Ed Lobby Day.
Janet Johnson, Chair, Political Action Committee NCCFT
Dawn Smith, Secretary, Political Action Committee NCCFT