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NYS ASSEMBLY

PUERTO RICAN/HISPANIC
TASK FORCE

HON. MARCOS A. CRESPO


cHAIRcHAIRMAN

HON. CARL E. HEASTIE


ASSEMBLY SPEAKER

EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS


Hon. Cannon E. Arroyc
Hon. Maritza Davila

February 18, 2016

Hon. Erik Martin Diian


Hon. Gulliermo Linaras
Hon. Francisco P. Moya
Hon. Victor Pichardo
Hon. Philip R. Ramos
Hon. Jos R, Rivera
Hon. Rotert J. Rodriguez
Hon. Nity 0. flozic

Honorable Cane E. Heastie


Speaker
New York Stale Assembly
932 Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12248

Hon. Li.s R. Seplvea

RE Support for the City University of New York

TASK FORCE MEMBERS

Dear Speaker Heastie:

Hon. Jettron L Aubry


Hon. MiCHael R. Benedetic
Ho.,. Michaat Bta.ca

We write to urge you to keep CUNY strong and vital this year. Three critical
actions need your leadership.

Hon. David Buchwatd


Hon. Vivian E. Cook
Hon. Michael C. DenDekker
Hon. Jeffrey D nowitz
Hon. Herman 0. Farrell, Jr
Hon. Mark Gjonaj
Hon. PHIlip GolWedar
Hon. keen M Guntner
Hon. Eadene Hoooer
Hon. La:oya Joyner
Hon. Chan P. Kavar.agh

First, CUNY needs to remain whole, with sufficient State funding to assure a
quality education to all students; the 5485 million that the Governor called on
New York City to assume must be funded.
Second, the $240 million in the Executive Budget to support retroactive salary
increases needed to ensure fair and affordable agreements with CUNYs labor
unions must be included in the enacted budget. It must not be sacrificed as pan
of addressing the Governors proposed shift of part of the States funding
responsibility for CUNY.

Hon. Rondo 7. Kim


Hon. Margare: M. Maray
Hon. She.ey B. 1ayer
Hon. Michael S. M,er
Hon. Wa:ter 7. Moslay
Hon. Catharina T. Nolan
Hon. Denial J, ODonnell

Finally, CUNY must receive funding to cover mandatory cost increases,


including collective bargaining costs in future years. Under your leadership, the
Legislature passed maintenance of effort legislation last session with
overwhelming bi-paflisan support; the legislation would have stabilized funding
for CUNY and SUNY. The Governor vetoed the bill, but he indicated that the
issue could be addressed in the context of the budget this year.

Hon. Steven Otis


Hon. Any Paulin
Hon. J Gary Pratiow
Hon. Michael Slmanowitz
Hon. Aravella Simotaa
Hon. Mlchaalla Sotagas
Hon. MatthawJ, Titone
Hon. Michele Titus
Hon. Latrica M. Walker
Hon. David I. Waprin
Hon. Keith L.T. Wright
Gulllarno A. Martinez
Legislative Director
454 LegislatIve Office Building
Albany, New York 12248
51B-455-5514
FAX: 518-455-5827

The City University of New York is vital to the economic and intellectual
success of the entire state. It is a major research university as well as a system
recognized for offering the best educational value in the country. CUNY is also
an engine of economic advancement for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers,
especially students of color, immigrant and first-generation studentsall of
whom are graduating from City public high schools in record numbers. Nearly a
half-million students are enrolled at CUNY this year; 76% are people of color
and 38% are immigrants.

February 26, 2016 Page 2

RE: Support for the City University of New York

For many, CUNY represents the only option for an affordable college education and the chance for a
better life. And the whole state benefits: students from every Assembly and Senate district in New York
State attend CU)IY.
But CUXYs educational quality is at risk if its work-force continues to work without contractual raises
consistent with those of other State workers. CUEYs workforce has endured five years without a
contract and six years without a raise. Faculty and staff salaries have not kept up with inflation or the cost
of living in New York City. Increasingly, top-quality professors are reluctant to accept positions at
CUNY, and some current professors are leaving for otherjobs.
Ultimately, education suffers. Increased rates of turnover in critical professional positions, in student
advising and counseling, in registration, financial services and laboratory support affect students ability
to receive the services and support they need. The lack of a contract has hurt the quality of education for
CUNY students.
A college-educated workforce is the foundation of a strong economy in New York State, especially in the
emerging knowledge-based economy. CUNY helps to create the states intellectual infrastructure through
programs that range from workforce-development to top-ranked PhD programs. The majority of CUNY
graduates continue to live and work in New York State, where they make a substantial contribution to the
states tax-base and economic vitality. It would be dangerously shortsighted to undermine the quality of
education at the nations largest urban university.
Increased New York State investment in public higher education is essential. It is critical that the final
State budget this year affirms the States responsibility to fund CUNY four-year colleges, that it includes
5240 million to support back-pay for CUNY employees, and that it provides additional funding to cover
mandatory cost increases, as specified in the MOE bill passed last year.
We. the undersianed, feel a special urgency about maintaining the quality of education at the public
university that empowers residents of poor, working communities and communities of color to contribute
to the states economy. We urge you to make the funding needs at CUNY a priority in this years budget
negotiations.
Sincerely,

&t),J:t

Assemblymember Marcos A. Crespo

Assemblymember Carmen E. Arroyo

I.

Assemblymember Michael Blake

Assem ymember Vivian E. Cook

February 26, 2016 Page 3

RE: Support for the City University of New York

44 vj
Assemblymember Maritza Davila

Assemblymember Sleven Cymbrowiu

Assemblymember Michael G. DenDekker

Assemblymember Joseph R. Lentol

)lymember Joseph M. Giglio

Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried

Assemblymember Guillermo Linares

eLi A. 1r
Assemblymember Chad A. Lupinacci

Assemblymember Peter D. Lopez

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Assemblymember Francisco P. Moya

Assemblymember Shelley Mayer


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Assemblymember Annette M. Robinson

Assemblymember Robert J. Rodriguez

Assemblymember Nily Rozic

Assemblymember Rebecca A. Seawright

RE: Support for the City University of New York

Assemblymember Luis Sepulveda

February 26, 2016 Page 3

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon

3j a&a, 9id
Assemblymember Fred W. Thiele Jr

Assemblymember Walter 1. Mosley

Assemblymember Erik M. Dilan

Assemblymember Victor Pichardo

Assemblymember James F. Brennan


Assemblymember Jeffrion L. Aubry