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Dear AFT Colleague:

Attached as a PDF file are the primary items from Christie's budget presentation today. Higher Ed cuts, etc are highlighted in yellow. It poses the most serious threat that we have faced since we won the bargaining rights almost 40 years ago. Each of us should rent "Modern Times" to see what life will be like in the higher education factory if he achieves his goals.
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For the entire budget in brief go to: http://www.state.nj.us/governor/home/pdf/budget_brief.pdf

Even though tomorrow's special AFT meeting is focusing on the possible affiliation of the Council of New Jersey State College Locals with the New Jersey State Federation of Teachers, I'm certain the Governor's proposed budget with come up.  More information on the affiliation is at:  http://www.tcnj.edu/~aft/council/njsft.htm 

The meeting is tomorrow, Wednesday, March 17, at 3 pm, in Armstrong Hall, room 154.

Steve Young, the Executive Director of the Council will be present to review the benefits of the affiliation and answer questions.

In Solidarity, Ralph Edelbach, President, TCNJFT, Local 2364, AFT

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Selected items from Governor Christie's proposed FY 2011 budget -

Higher Education

For fiscal 2011, State support for higher education is proposed at $2.068 billion, which is a $173 million reduction from fiscal 2010. Even with the reduced level of resources available during the next fiscal year, the State will maintain its commitment to its four-year institutions, community colleges and, most importantly, New Jersey residents who choose to attend an in-state institution. Governor Christie is calling for a series of reform initiatives to help institutions of higher education in reducing their operating costs.
The Governor is proposing that State colleges and universities be able to conduct collective bargaining on their own behalf, manage their own workers' compensation programs and claims for workplace injury, and opt out of Civil Service.

Give College Administrators Control Over Their Budgets

Over the years, lawmakers have added restrictions to Budgets that tie the hands of university and college administrators as they try to manage their institutions. Governor Christie is proposing a series of reforms that will empower New Jersey's higher education community and ultimately drive down tuition costs. The Governor is recommending that State colleges and universities be able to opt out of Civil Service, conduct collective bargaining on their own behalf, and manage their own workers' compensation programs and claims for workplace illness and injury.

Bargaining Reform

Collective bargaining for unionized employees at State college and universities should be removed from State management. The State is not the employer of record; nor does it pay these employees' salary. Affected employees are about 80% of all employees on campuses. The Governor recommends legislation that would allow State colleges and universities to conduct collective bargaining on their own behalf.

  If colleges and universities do not gain the power to conduct negotiations, colleges and universities, or the individual boards of trustees, should gain the right to accept or reject terms proposed by the State for collectively-negotiated contracts that affect college and university employees.

Budget Information -

Educational Opportunity Fund Reduction

A slight reduction of 8.7% is proposed for the Educational Opportunity Fund. An allocation of $37.6 million will remain available to provide higher education opportunities to students who come from low-income families in economically distressed areas of the state.

Higher Education Budget Reductions -

Higher Education Base Budget                                     $175,375,000

Inflationary Increase for Higher Education                  $  45,994,000

Total Higher Education Reductions                            $221,369,000

Senior Public Colleges and Universities                            7.2 % Reduction