We Make Connecticut Happen

Higher Ed Unions Meet Governor

Higher Education Union Local Members meet Gov. Malloy.

Council 4 members who work throughout the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) and Office of Higher Education engaged Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in a lively discussion about the need for increased investment in public higher education.

“I have an abiding commitment to higher education,” Malloy said, describing the entire state college & university system as an affordable pathway “to secure good employment for hard-working people.”

Malloy met July 24 at Council 4 with executive board members from AFSCME Local 1214 (Charter Oak State College/Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium), Local 1588 (Office of Higher Education), Local 2480 (Community & Technical College Administrators) and Local 2836 (State University Organization of Administrative Faculty).

Together, these locals represent more than 1,000 non-teaching employees in the Connecticut higher education system.

Local 2480 President William Chagnon, who works at Norwalk Community College, asked Malloy about the results of a new consultant's study recommending that all 17 state colleges and universities significantly increase their enrollment.

“I want the system to be stronger and better,” Chagnon told the governor while pointing out that current staffing levels need to improve to provide students with the services and programs they deserve, from admissions and recruiting to tutoring, counseling, financial aid, housing, parking and more.

“We have to stop shrinking. We have to grow the system,” Malloy agreed, emphasizing the importance of marketing CSCU to boost enrollment levels.

“I was pleased to hear the governor talk about the importance of online and distance learning,” said Local 1214 President Michelle Way, who works at Charter Oak State College.

Added Local 1580 President Michael Criscuolo, “We all share the desire for an affordable, high quality system that prepares people for employment and keeps them in Connecticut.”

When asked by Way, Malloy also said he will honor the SEBAC 2011 savings and job protection agreement in the face of calls to reopen it, noting that his administration has a commitment to protect public employee pensions and other benefits.

Finally, Council 4 Staff Representative Paul Wallace shared with the Governor a concern that innovation could become an excuse for outsourcing the vital educational services our members provide.

Gov. Malloy acknowledged that “innovation and growth are important but I am mindful that there needs to be a balance.”

L-R: Paul Wallace, Michelle Way, Bill Chagnon, Gov. Malloy, Jody Barr and Michael Criscuolo.

Local 2836 President Jody Barr described the meeting as useful. “Governor Malloy listened to our concerns,” he said. “We’re the backbone of a system that’s critical to our future and deserves appropriate investment.”

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