As the 2014 tax season ends, the May 20 primary election draws nearer and now is the time for APSCUF and its members to focus on participating in the election process.
The APSCUF Committee for Action through Politics has met in chapter meetings and as a statewide committee to review all candidates for the very important Pennsylvania 2014 General Assembly elections. CAP will make endorsement recommendations to the Executive Committee to consider at the Legislative Assembly on April 24, 25 and 26. Please check back for future updates on endorsements.
In advance of the May 20 Primary, please review this checklist before voting:
- Verify you are registered to vote
- If needed, Register to Vote (Deadline to register before the primary is April 21)
- Locate your polling place
- Vote on Primary Election Day, May 20
- Vote again on General Election Day, Nov. 4
By Amy Majani, APSCUF Intern, ESU Student
With flexibility as a recurring theme throughout its meeting, APSCUF President Steve Hicks addressed the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) to stress the importance of involving faculty in any potential curriculum changes in the future.
More so, he revisited concerns APSCUF had raised with flexibility with tuition and fees in January’s BOG meeting. Hicks echoed a concern about out-pricing students thereby having students major by price rather than their interests.
He also emphasized the need for PASSHE to embrace what it does best: provide a grounded liberal arts education to its students that can be applied to a wide array of careers.
Dear President Weiwel:
The 6,000 faculty and coaches of APSCUF (Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties) are proud to stand in solidarity to support the efforts of Portland State University AAUP's (PSU-AAUP) to reach a fair contract settlement.
APSCUF urges the PSU's administration to move quickly toward an agreement that reflects the value of the faculty and the academic professionals in the main mission of the Portland State University - educating students. That your budget fails to reflect student needs, including a stable, secure faculty and academic professionals does not enhance Portland State's image.
PSU-AAUP has shown patience in the face of your attempts to avoid their first collective bargaining agreement, now for a year. It's time you realized the image and the workplace you are presenting and offered a fair contract to the hard-working PSU faculty and academic professionals on your campus.
To further support PSU-AAUP sign their online petition
A special “Thank You” to our APSCUF members that emailed county commissioners last week to ask them to vote NO on Resolution 1 at the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) conference. We are pleased to inform our members that the County Commissioner who introduced the resolution withdrew it rather than allow a vote.
Resolution 1 supported House Bill 1507, the legislation that prohibits the collection of membership dues, legal defense fund contributions or fees, and political/campaign contributions by government as a matter for collective bargaining with public sector unions.
We thank the APSCUF members that quickly responded to this request and to the County leaders that rejected this misguided resolution.
This is one battle won, but the war is far from being over. The Pennsylvania Labor Movement in 2014 has been defined by the fight against anti-union legislation that would interfere with negotiated dues deduction. Backed by out-of-state billionaires, House Bill 1507 and Senate Bill 1034 would make it illegal for public sector unions to collectively bargain for automatic deduction of union dues. This is a critical next step towards making Pennsylvania the next “Right to Work” state.
Next week, the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) will be holding a vote on Resolution 1, which supports House Bill 1507 (the Paycheck Deception Bill.) Supporters of HB1507 (the Paycheck Deception Bill) claim that union collection of dues and political contributions through payroll deductions would be costly to employers. However, further review shows clear evidence in Pennsylvania and other states that it is virtually costless. From the United Way to Highmark, hundreds of groups benefit from automatic payroll deduction. If it is so costly to employers, why are they not subject to HB1507 too?
The Paycheck Deception Bill solely intends to weaken unions like APSCUF by making collection of dues as difficult as possible.Proponents of Paycheck Deception are losing the battle on the state level, where unions have stood up and exposed the true intent of the bill—to weaken unions and clear the way for Right-to-Work. Now they’re trying to build pressure from at the local level. Don’t let it happen.
Email your County Commissioners and ask them to VOTE NO on Resolution 1 at the CCAP Conference next week. Resolution 1 is IN SUPPORT of HB 1507, which is what we have all been working so hard to oppose. The strength of our union depends on it.
By Amy Majani, APSCUF Intern, ESU Student
Members of RaisetheWagePA, a coalition of religious, labor, community, and women’s rights activists gathered in the Capitol on Tuesday, March 18, to announce a campaign to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage.
Four Legislators -- Sen. Christine Tartaglione, Rep. Mike Hanna, Rep. Mark Cohen, and Rep. Patty Kim -- joined the coalition to promote legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and include future cost of living adjustments responsive to inflation.
According to a report compiled by the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, more than one million Pennsylvanians would receive an increase in pay if the minimum wage rate were raised. Of these individuals, 56.5 percent of the affected will be women while an overwhelming majority (83.5 percent) would be workers over the age of 20.
“When an employer pays you a minimum wage, the employer is saying, ‘I would pay you less if I could,’” said Andre Butler, a banquet server from Philadelphia who spoke on behalf of low wage workers.
The coalition, of which APSCUF is a member, also supports raising the minimum wage of tipped workers, opposes the right of localities to set their own minimum wages, and supports a significant increase in fines on employers who engage in wage theft.
To echo the words of Reverend Sandy Strauss of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, ‘The minimum wage is poverty wage.’ For our students, an increase in the minimum wage is a reprieve from rising costs of living, and most importantly rising costs in higher education.
The coalition will hold a series of local events in May as well as a Harrisburg Day in June in support of the issue.