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Stand up for affordable college on March 27


 

APSCUF faculty and coaches believe higher education should be affordable, and we stand behind the Pennsylvania Promise plan to make it so. We’ll be rallying 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 27, at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, and we want you to stand with us. We’re offering complimentary transportation and lunch to State System students, faculty, and coaches who share our view that students who have the aptitude and desire to go to college shouldn’t be priced out of the opportunity. For information about rides to the rally, contact your university’s APSCUF chapter. The Pennsylvania Promise would cover state-related and community-college students as well, and anyone who supports the cause — high school students, state-related or community-college students, parents, legislators, etc. — are welcome at the event.

What should you bring to the rally? Your voice! A handmade sign would be fantastic, too. If you forget yours, we’ll have a few on hand that day. We’d also love for you to share your story in advance. Pennsylvania Promise will pass it along to Gov. Tom Wolf to encourage him to support the legislation already introduced in the House and Senate. Learn more about Pennsylvania Promise – Higher Ed and the bills at PApromise.org. Additional statistics are in this Pennsylvania Promise fact sheet. Before you board the bus, make sure you’re following Pennsylvania Promise on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Share #PApromise posts and use that hashtag and #affordablecollegenow in your discussions to help spread the word. You can even add a PA Promise overlay to your Facebook profile photo by clicking here.

The rally also will focus on student debt, and APSCUF supports legislation that eases the burden of student debt.

Questions about the rally? Email Sean Crampsie at scrampsie@apscuf.org.

Spring cleaning on forms-and-benefits page


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After changes with the Pennsylvania Faculty Health and Welfare Fund, plus general housekeeping in the new year, we’ve tidied and updated our forms-and-benefits page. This repository of forms for health, dental, vision, and more never requires a login, so you can access important information at any time. Click here to visit the forms-and-benefits page. Direct questions about benefits to Bim Arthun, membership-services specialist, at barthun@apscuf.org or 800-932-0587, ext. 3021.

Talking higher education and Gov. Tom Wolf’s Pennsylvania budget proposal

After Gov. Tom Wolf’s Feb. 5 budget address, we talked with legislators about the governor’s proposal related to higher education. Wolf’s plan includes $7 million more for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, a 1.5 percent increase from last year.

“It’s a good foundation,” Sen. Vincent Hughes said of the investment in the State System. “Hopefully we can build on top of that.”

“We must continue to hold our commitment to those young people, understanding that they are the future workers that fuel Pennsylvania,” Rep. Jordan Harris said.

Wolf’s proposal is a “step in the right direction,” Rep. Matthew Bradford said.

Sen. Andy Dinniman discussed the importance of funding the State System when we encountered him in the Capitol rotunda.

“Hopefully we can keep that (State System funding increase) in there, and maybe we can get a little more for our kids, but I think it’s a good start,” Sen. Lindsey Williams said.

“Putting that foot forward with an increase, not a cut, not a level fund, I think is a statement of big proportions that we recognize the value of higher education,” Rep. David Millard told us.

APSCUF President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash weighed in as well:

Watch APSCUF’s newsletter and website for more information about advocating for State System funding as the budget process continues. You can start by contacting your legislators to encourage them to support public high education in Pennsylvania.

Speaking of government relations, APSCUF has an additional Twitter account for all things public higher education in Pennsylvania. Be sure to follow @APSCUFGR on Twitter.

HealthyU rolls out program changes


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Healthy U is back online with Sharecare. On Feb. 1, 2019, Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education released information about its revamped Healthy U wellness program. Employees and their enrolled spouses/domestic partners who create a Sharecare account and complete the RealAge Test (wellness profile) before the May 31, 2019, deadline qualify for lower healthcare premiums beginning in July 2019. The current Healthy U program runs Jan. 1, 2019, through May 31, 2019. To get started, check out the Healthy U Information Guide.

Click here to visit APSCUF’s forms-and-benefits page to learn more about available resources. If you have questions about any benefits or services, please contact Bim Arthun, membership-services specialist, at 800-932-0587, ext. 3021, or email her at barthun@apscuf.org.

In solidarity with United Teachers Los Angeles

APSCUF stands in solidarity with United Teachers Los Angeles teachers who are on strike. Below is APSCUF President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash’s letter to the UTLA president.

Jan. 22, 2019

Dear President Caputo-Pearl,

On behalf of the more than 5,000 faculty and coach members of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) employed at the 14 state-owned universities, I write to say that we continue to stand with you and your colleagues as your strike enters its second week.

As educators, we fully appreciate the importance of what you and your colleagues do for the city of Los Angeles, the State of California, and the future of our nation. APSCUF members went on strike in 2016, and we fully comprehend what a difficult decision it is. Nevertheless, there are times when we — educators — must be the ones to stick up for our students and their futures.

Your goals of manageable class sizes, increased staff, fair pay, and a sensible curriculum are necessary ingredients for students’ success. We are inspired by your resilience and your concern for your students.

We hope that the reports of progress are accurate, but we will stand with you until you believe you have achieved a successful outcome. Please let me know if there is anything we can do.

In solidarity,

Kenneth M. Mash
APSCUF president

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