ALBANY, N.Y. – New York State United Teachers today thanked Gov. David Paterson and legislative leaders for protecting funding to public schools and community colleges, but said recent cuts to the State University system - and an additional $51 million slashed from the City University of New York today - will have a "crippling effect on programs" and harm New York's economic competitiveness.
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said the union, working with its public higher education affiliates, the Professional Staff Congress and United University Professions, would be canvassing CUNY and SUNY campuses to assess the impact of the additional budget cuts. He said NYSUT, PSC and UUP would report to the Legislature specifics on how higher education cuts were hurting programs – and students.
"In a fiscal crisis, the right solution is to invest more in higher education, so that our college students can land well-paying jobs or open businesses, and compete more effectively in the global marketplace," Iannuzzi said. "Cutting state support to SUNY and CUNY is not the answer. These cuts will have a crippling effect on programs. Many of our communities, especially upstate, depend on these campuses to support their economies."
NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan B. Lubin said CUNY and SUNY, which have already sustained massive funding reductions prior to the most recent round of cuts, "are the engines that drive the economy, especially on upstate college campuses."
"We understand that times are tough, but SUNY, CUNY and our community colleges must have the resources now and in the future to support their academic mission, help students to succeed and revitalize New York's economy," Lubin said.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents some 600,000 classroom teachers and other school employees; faculty and other professionals at the state's community colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other education and health professionals. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.