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Looting the Pension Funds

Sept. 26, 2013 | Rolling Stone Magazine | Matt Taibbi

In the final months of 2011, almost two years before the city of Detroit would shock America by declaring bankruptcy in the face of what it claimed were insurmountable pension costs, the state of Rhode Island took bold action to avert what it called its own looming pension crisis.


AFT has examined a recent proposal called "Pay It Forward" in which students attend college without paying tuition up front but instead will pay 3% of the salary they earn in the future once they graduate to cover the costs for others to attend college. It's not as simple as it seems.

Fact and Fancy in Oregon

The State of Oregon made a big splash in the higher ed world last week. Like a game of Telephone, though, the substance of what actually occurred was reported as more and more fantastic until this post that went viral on social media proclaimed that the


New Report On States That Enact Deep Cuts to Higher Education and Raise Tuition Harm Economy and Quality

March 20, 2013

The Huffington Post | Tyler Kingkade

Photo credit: AP/Rich Pedroncelli

States chose to enact deep cuts to public higher education funding instead of raising taxes, potentially harming both state economies and education quality, a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds.

The CBPP, a left-leaning economic think tank that focuses on state and federal budgets, found that states are spending, on average, 28 percent less per student in fiscal year 2013 than they were in 2008. [read full article]

Investing in faculty and staff with increments, closing the salary gap between part-time and full-time faculty, and aligning salary increases with faculty increases are some of the recommendations that were submitted as part of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) 2013-2015 operating budget. Participating in the discussions were Bernal Baca, our lobbyist; Amy Kinsel, President of Shoreline CC faculty union; Wendy Rader-Konofalski and Carla Naccarato Sinclair of WEA, as well as representatives from the trustees association, college presidents association, and the student association.


Washington Colleges, Universities Brace for More Cuts

Public News Service-WA
Chris Thomas, Producer
October 26, 2011

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Chris Gregoire releases her new supplemental budget this week, and those in higher education already are bracing for bad news and anticipating more tuition hikes to make up for state funding cuts.

At a time when student debt is expected to top $1 trillion nationwide by year's end, educators are wondering how much more students can pile on and still get the degrees that could mean higher-paying jobs in the future. [full story/audio]

Defending the commons at the People's College

Read about a faculty-led campaign to support higher education in our state that the faculty union, AFT Seattle Community Colleges #1789, has begun. "Saving Higher Education in Seattle" features student Michael Gable, faculty members Sandy Cioffi and Karen Strickland, and John Burbank from the Economic Opportunity Institute. This story was developed during the International Labor Communicators Convention in Seattle September 22-24, 2011.

Read full article.

Cutting Class: Community Colleges See Effects of State Budget Cuts

By Collin Tong | | August 18, 2011

In her ten years of teaching students in Seattle Central Community College's award-winning film and video communications program, Sandra Cioffi has reason to be proud of her proteges. [read full article]

Everett Herald | Lip-service investments in higher education

June 22, 2011
Opinion by John Burbank

Two weeks ago, Gov. Chris Gregoire convened a press conference with corporate leaders from Microsoft and Boeing. They were celebrating a breakthrough in higher education.

It was a breakthrough, all right -- like 60,000 high school graduates walking out onto thin ice and breaking through. The troika offered a life ring for 1,000, through "Opportunity Scholarships." The other 59,000? Let them swim ... or sink. [read full article]

Lecturers granted permission to unionize, first instructor union at the UW

April 11, 2011 | by Daron Anderson | The Daily UW

Rozanna Carosella, an extension lecturer in the ELP, was a driving force behind the development of the first lecturers union. Photo by Tarik Walmsley.

The extension lecturers at the UW Educational Outreach’s English Language Program (ELP) have created the first instructors union at the university.

Because the group consists of extension lecturers, which are instructors from the UW Educational Outreach program, they were not previously represented as UW employees.

Read full article.

UW Gives Us What We Ask For


Danny Westneat | The Seattle Times Opinion | April 5, 2011

For decades now we've heard the demand that government needs to be more like business. Can't it be more self-sufficient, more attuned to the bottom line? Well, yes it can. This is what it looks like.

You know how the UW is turning away local valedictorians in favor of high-priced, out-of-state students, and everybody's gone Husky purple with rage?

"This is an outrageous and egregious abuse of power," read one of the 700-plus Web comments on an article about the UW's policy last weekend. [read full article]