Takeaway: Higher ed is on the agenda in Congress! We’re asking you to take action on these items: 1) Tell your legislators to support higher ed reforms that will transform our colleges and universities; 2) Sign a Pledge to Take Action in support of higher ed for all; 3) RSVP for our Freedom School on “Seizing the Moment: Budget Reconciliation and Higher Ed Now” on Thursday, September 2, at 7 p.m.
While we have battles ahead of us at Rutgers this Fall, we’re writing to you today about the opportunity we have right now to advance our people-centered agenda at the national level. As part of the budget reconciliation process set in motion this month, Congress is considering higher ed reforms unlike anything we’ve seen in decades. They have the potential to transform public colleges and universities—if our voices are strong enough to get our proposals included in the final legislation.
ACTION ITEM 1: Click here to write a letter to your senators and congressional representatives, asking them to promise that our priorities will be included when Congress votes on budget reconciliation.
Over the summer, our union took the lead in bringing together a coalition of 70 unions and organizations representing more than 400,000 workers around the country to fight for our people-centered priorities on the national level. The coalition, which named itself Higher Ed Labor United, was galvanized by the potential to win unprecedented reforms for higher education, building on the proposals of the Biden White House to advance goals such as free access to two- and four-year institutions and labor protections for all higher ed workers.
HELU held a two-day summit in July that drew more than 250 people, and its endorsing unions are mobilizing their members to take action in the coming weeks to influence the budget reconciliation process. Of course, we know we won’t win the higher education system we need with this one piece of legislation. Unions in HELU are committed to working together in the Fall and beyond to build a movement, both locally and nationally, with the power to transform our colleges and universities. Our union can help lead the way in building this movement.
ACTION ITEM 2: Sign the HELU Pledge to Take Action and commit personally to organizing for reinvestment in and reorganization of higher ed.
More than 30 of us from across the Coalition of Rutgers Unions attended the HELU summit in July, and our members have been meeting since then about how to take the coalition’s vision into our organizing at Rutgers. As a first step, we’ll be holding our first Freedom School of the school year about HELU and the national fight to transform higher education. Plan now to attend Freedom School on Thursday, September 2, at 7 p.m. for a session on “Seizing the Moment: Budget Reconciliation and Higher Ed Now,” featuring speakers from both Rutgers and unions around the country.
Becky and Todd
Rebecca Givan, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Todd Wolfson, General Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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