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Feb 9, 2010

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UUPers bring a strong message to Albany


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UUP President Phil Smith addresses more than 300 UUPers, NYSUT members and students at a rally at the state Capitol Feb. 5. He urged state lawmakers to eliminate the $152 million cut for SUNY contained in the governor’s proposed state budget and to reject his proposed Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act.

“This should be called the Public Higher Education Endangerment and Injury Act,” Smith said, explaining the proposal would have disastrous effects on SUNY and its students, such as skyrocketing tuition that would make SUNY unaffordable for thousands of students.

Smith rallied support against the planned SUNY budget cut, saying SUNY has already borne its share of budget reductions. He said if this latest budget cut is approved, SUNY would have lost 25 percent of its operating budget over the last two years.

“We can’t afford to sacrifice tomorrow’s workforce and the state’s economic future,” he said.

UUP got strong support at the rally in speeches from NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta and Assemblyman Jack McEneny. NYSUT’s former Executive VP Alan Lubin and UAlbany student Alex Naidoo also addressed the protestors.

The rally ended with the crowd turning to the Capitol and chanting, “No, no, no! We will not allow it,” and “No more cuts, no more cuts!”


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