Minnesota State University Association of Administrative and Service Faculty

Higher Education Alert!

Today the Higher Education Conference Committee (combined committee of select House and Senate legislators) will meet and decide how much money our higher education institutions will receive in state funding. The Committee’s deliberations may last for days but we must contact those committee members as soon as possible.

What’s at stake?

  • In the House the MnSCU system is provided $105 million towards its $142 million goal.
  • In the House the University of Minnesota is provided no (zero) additional monies towards its $95 million goal.
  • In the Senate the MnSCU system is provided $60 million towards its $142 million goal. Furthermore, the Senate position includes language regarding performance funding. We are concerned with this strategy, and any strategy that potentially reduces college and university budgets, especially at a time when campuses are already experiencing financial distress.
  • In the Senate the University of Minnesota is provided with $85 million towards its $95 million goal.

As you can see for yourself, the House and Senate are extremely sporadic and exceptionally divided regarding Minnesota’s higher education priorities. However, Governor Mark Dayton has recommended to the State Legislature to fully fund the MnSCU system’s budget request as well as fully funding the University of Minnesota’s budget request.

Please understand that if the MnSCU system and the University of Minnesota fall short on their budget requests that union members will have challenges during contract negotiations with wages and benefits. The monies that the Higher Ed intuitions are requesting are directly tied to wage and benefit increase for faculty and staff.

Please contact the Conference Committee members now and ask them to support Governor Dayton’s position. Also, share this information with your coworkers!

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Lobby Day 2015

call-in-lobby-day

We strongly encourage you to post our Lobby Day 2015 flyer at your worksite and to share the information with your Union co-workers. Lobby Day is very important this year because it is a budget year for state agencies and institutions that Teamsters rely on for their wages and benefits. Biennial budgets for Higher Education, Public Defense, and State Courts will all be decided during the 2015 legislative session.

There will be attacks on the funding formula for state aid to local governments (LGA/CPA). House Chairman of the State Local Government Tax Committee, Representative Steve Drazkowski, has called last session’s boost to LGA and CPA “gluttony” and signaled his intent to reduce state aid expenditures and place more burden on local property taxes (St. Paul Legal Ledger, Capitol Report 2014).

The Higher Education Budget for MnSCU and the U of M are under intense scrutiny as the institutions push ahead with ambitious budgets to backfill the devastating cuts during the Great Recession and to finance the continued tuition freeze (without adjusting for inflation!)

The State Courts and Board of Public Defense are supporting the enhancement of salary equity for employees within their budget requests and this should be a major priority for state court reporters, clerks and public defense employees.

All the priorities we have mentioned must be measured against the looming fight of competing interests over the projected $1 billion state budget surplus. Currently, there are State Legislators who want to spend up to half ($500 million) of the projected surplus on tax cuts for corporations! This type of spending would undermine important budget items for Teamsters including wage increases and combating healthcare cost inflation. Simply put, more money for corporations will result in less money for your pocket books!

We look forward to seeing you at Teamsters Local 320’s Third Annual Lobby Day!

Lobby Day Flyer (PDF)

Lobby Day Q&A Flyer (PDF)

Click to sign up for Lobby Day!