UConn-AAUP: Letter Writing Campaign

UConn-AAUP Update: April 8, 2024
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UConn-AAUP has set a goal of writing 400+ letters to the CT Legislature by May 8th.

We need an additional $96.4M to fully fund UConn. Contact your legislators in Hartford today!

On April 4, 2024, the Appropriations Committee sent notice that they would make little changes to the mid-biennial budget leaving UConn with a $96.4M shortfall. Senior legislative leaders Matt Ritter and Martin Looney indicated there was additional money available to invest in higher education. It is up to us to now convince those leaders and your local representatives that UConn is the right place for those available funds. Write to CT lawmakers and tell them we need an additional $96.M to prevent devastating cuts to academics and to fund all SEBAC-negotiated raises.

One of the strongest tools we have as a local union chapter is the power of our members’ voices to impact our legislative leaders. Collectively, our over 2,000 members reach districts throughout the state and can carry the message of the tremendous teaching, research and outreach that happens on our campuses.  We need all members to write their legislative leaders and ask them to support fully and permanently funding UConn with an additional $96.4M before the end of this legislative session.

Below is a sample letter you can send to lawmakers. We’ve also included a link to find your legislators and their contact information.  Should you have additional questions please do not hesitate to reach out! Once you contact state lawmakers, let us know here so we can track our goal of 400+ letters. You can find additional information regarding UConn-AAUP’s advocacy at our 2024 UConn Budget Page including outreach materials and recent articles.

Use this link to look up your legislators!
Enter your home address (if you live in CT) as prompted.
**If you do not live in CT, enter the address for your UConn campus.

Once you enter your address, you’ll get a list of lawmakers.
Find the names of your STATE Representative and STATE Senator (should be at the top of the list)

Click their names (should take you to their official website).
Find their official email address – should include cga.ct.gov 

Edit/Copy/Paste the message below. Be sure to include your UConn affiliation/job title and that you are a constituent (if applicable).
**Note: Anyone who will be affected by the state budget can write to their Representative or Senator on this issue. You do not need to be a registered CT voter. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen.**

SAMPLE LETTER that you can use or adapt as needed:
Subject: We need $96.4M to fully fund UConn

To: Senator/Representative First and Last NAME,

I am writing to you as a constituent and a XXXX (STUDENT, PROFESSOR, RESEARCHER, etc.) at the University of Connecticut. I am also a member of UConn-AAUP, the union representing over 2,000 faculty, researchers, and coaches across UConn’s five campuses. I am asking you to support fully funding UConn, UConn Health, and CT’s entire public higher education system. Our state cannot afford anything less.

During this critical time, we must continue to recognize how important UConn is to the state of Connecticut, not only teaching and coaching the leaders of tomorrow but supporting innovative research that is an economic engine for our state.

To prevent devastating cuts to education and research, I urge you to approve an additional $96.4M for UConn before the end of this legislative session. This is the amount of funding required to address the $70M budget shortfall and pay for the $26.4M SEBAC-negotiated wage increase.

Without full funding, UConn leaders will move forward with their plan to fix the budget shortfall by cutting funds directly related to teaching, research, and staffing. As of now, the Governor’s Budget requires UConn to continue to increase tuition each year, and as we know, the cost of an education is already far too high. UConn students, faculty and staff need you to support public higher education with a permanent increase in state funding.

Finally, I want you to know that the Governor’s refusal to guarantee funds for the total negotiated wage increases at UConn is distressing and in conflict with CT General Statute § 5-278 (c) (2022). The statute clearly states: “the legislature shall appropriate whatever funds are required to comply with a collective bargaining agreement, etc.” The state must meet its obligation to all state workers by including the full $26.4M wage reopener increase in UConn’s FY25 budget allocation.

Fully funding public higher education with permanent and predictable dollars is the only way forward. I urge you to support UConn’s mission to provide a world-class education for the future leaders and workers of the State of Connecticut by approving the full $96.4M this session.

Respectfully submitted,

YOUR NAME
YOUR CT ADDRESS

SAMPLE LETTER

Michael Bailey, Executive Director UConn-AAUP
Gina DeVivo Brassaw, Internal Organizer UConn-AAUP