March 14, 2012

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UUPers, students march at Higher Education Action Day


About 350 students from the State University of New York and City University of New York led by leaders of UUP and the Professional Staff Congress march to the Capitol in Albany during Higher Education Action Day on March 14. Chanting “Education is a right, fight, fight, fight” and “no ifs, no buts, no higher education cuts,” the students and unionized faculty delivered the message that the state needs to reinvest in public higher education after years of painful budget cuts.


At a news conference with other faculty and student leaders following the march, UUP President Phil Smith reiterated his call for an additional $25 million in the 2012-13 state budget to enable SUNY to hire more full-time faculty. Smith also stressed the need to support medical education. UUP is asking lawmakers to restore $68 million to the state subsidy for SUNY’s three teaching hospitals in Brooklyn, Stony Brook and Syracuse.

Smith also took the opportunity to urge his union brothers and sisters to speak to lawmakers about the proposed Tier VI pension plan on behalf of students. “These are the folks – future public employees – that would be affected by these devastating cuts,” he said.

Nearly two dozen UUPers helped lead students into meetings with 115 state legislators to press for increased state funding for public higher education.

UUP joined with NYPIRG, UUP, PSC and the University Student Senate representing CUNY students in organizing Higher Education Action Day.

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