Albany, N.Y. Jan. 28, 2019 — NYSUT President Andy Pallotta — joined by Professional Staff Congress President Barbara Bowen and United University Professions President Fred Kowal — provided testimony to the state Legislature today on proposed higher education funding in the governor’s executive budget.
Citing the critical role SUNY and CUNY four-year and two-year colleges play in offering students a path to the middle class, while strengthening the work force, Pallotta urged the Legislature to make operating aid for public higher education a priority in this year’s budget negotiations. Doing so will ensure that students receive the first-rate education that they deserve and address the longstanding unfair salaries for adjunct faculty.
“A quality, affordable higher education is an essential service we as a state must provide for all New Yorkers,” Pallotta said. “That service is one of the most important investments we can make in the future of New York.”
At four-year public colleges, increased state investment would help stave off difficult decisions about whether to eliminate programs, reduce student services or continue to over-rely on adjunct faculty.
At community colleges, the state is still not meeting its statutory obligation to pay 40 percent of the operating costs for these campuses, forcing students to again unfairly shoulder more of this burden. The executive budget proposes flat funding per full-time equivalent student, which likely will force campuses to raise tuition and/or eliminate more programs and student services. As at four-year SUNY and CUNY colleges, increased investment is essential to ensuring students continue to receive the services they need to graduate.
Pallotta also urged the Legislature to restore the state subsidy to SUNY hospitals.
Here’s NYSUT’s full testimony: https://www.nysut.org/news/2019/january/testimony-higher-education
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.