Jan 242011
 
 January 24, 2011

Come to our membership meeting next Monday where we’ll discuss preparations for upcoming contract negotiations with the University and our ongoing struggle for fair budgeting priorities.

As you are no doubt aware, the Washington State Legislature is contemplating severe cuts to core services and programs. The Governor’s budget proposal includes a complete eradication of health coverage for thousands of low and middle-income children and families throughout the state. It also proposes further cuts to higher education AND double-digit increases to in-state undergraduate tuition.

Tax loopholes and subsidies – like core programs – cost the state money. UAW Local 4121, in coalition with other unions and progressive organizations, is calling on the Legislature to find sources of revenue that reflect more just and humane priorities. Should lawmakers eliminate the Basic Health Plan or provide $100 million in tax giveaways to out-of-state banks? Should we keep tuition affordable or maintain tax exemptions for cosmetic surgery and private jet owners?

Our contract negotiations with the University this year will take place within this context, and our collective ability to make progress on a fair contract depends on you!

Your work as an Academic Student Employee drives the higher education economic engine by ensuring that Washington has one of the country’s most educated workforces, and by conducting the innovative research necessary to start up and sustain businesses. In Olympia and at the University, we must urge decision-makers to invest in Washington’s future prosperity by investing in Academic Student Employees.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Contact your senator and representative. Tell them to take a balanced approach to solving the revenue crisis, and that investment in higher education (especially Academic Student Employees) is key to securing jobs and economic growth.

Mark your calendar for February 11th: Higher Education Lobby Day in Olympia. Join us in urging legislators to maintain funding for higher education. The Graduate and Professional Student Senate will be providing lunch and transportation.

Attend your department or hiring unit’s meeting this month to help prepare a strategy for negotiations. Contact us at uaw4121@uaw4121.org if you can organize a meeting. If you missed yours let us know, so a representative can speak with you individually.

We’ll be in touch regularly in the coming months – please do everything you can to step up and be involved.