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Action Alert!

Although the following message was targeted to MSU Moorhead faculty, I believe they would welcome the participation by any and all people who do not agree with what the MN GOP is trying to do to Minnesota schools, both K-12 and higher education. Please consider participating at this event. JM

The Republican leadership in the Minnesota legislature will be flying around the state this Monday, April 25, to promote their budget-cutting agenda. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, House Speaker Kurt Zellers, Deputy Majority Leader Geoff Michel and House Majority Leader Matt Dean are scheduled to make a brief stop at the Moorhead Municipal Airport at 1:30. The Faculty Association Executive Council is urging faculty to come to the airport and let them know we are not happy with the proposed cuts to higher education and attacks on public employees. If you can, make a sign, maybe two. The airport building is small, so plan to be outside and dress accordingly.

You can find a map to the event by clicking on this link: Moorhead Municipal Airport. As a reminder, in the last few months we have seen legislation proposed to:

  1. Shift the cost of state employee health care off the employer and on to employees, while forcing employees into high deductible HSA plans;

  2. Cut employee pay by 6% across the board and freeze salaries indefinitely;

  3. Cut employer contributions to pensions by 3% and increase employee contributions by 3%;

  4. Stop employer contributions to pensions all together;

  5. Require a 15% reduction in the state workforce by 2015;

  6. Institute a performance pay plan that would take away 5% of an employee’s salary if they didn’t get a satisfactory performance review;

  7. Submit a “Right to Work” constitutional amendment to the voters that would require unions to represent employees, but make union dues voluntary; and

  8. Dramatically cut appropriations to state agencies and higher education—bringing the level of MnSCU state funding back to 1999 levels. The cuts would cause the layoff of many thousands of state employees, and hundreds of faculty.

While a number of these proposals did not advance past a committee hearing, they reflect the general agenda of the current legislative leadership.

Paul Harris Government Relations Committee Minnesota State University Moorhead

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