Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"And be sure to fund my door-knockers" 

The DFL is sounding off on the AFSCME strike at the University of Minnesota.
At a news conference held at AFSCME strike headquarters in Dinkytown, three state legislators urged a quick end to the strike by clerical, health care and technical workers that began Sept. 5. They are the second group of lawmakers in as many weeks to speak out about the dispute.

"I am incredibly disappointed with the administration's actions," said state Senator Patricia Torres Ray, DFL-62, adding that having a "world class university" means the administration needs to "treat our workers as world class workers."

State Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-60B, was equally direct.

"We don't want the leadership of this institution to squander the goodwill they now have . . . . We don't want the strike to last a day longer," he said. "I speak for many of my colleagues in demanding that the collective bargaining process resume and the university come back to the table."
In the video included in the post, Rep. Tom Rukavina says the money was put into the bill for paying AFSCME off and also to hold tuition down. When the bill passed, the tuition increases were supposed to be 4-5%.

This is not true. While the U of M System got 14.9% additional money for the biennium, the money was designated to go into investments in technology, to keep the University from hemorrhaging faculty being bid away from other institutions, and for the new darling of the planners (including the governor's office), STEM. If someone can explain to me how the money was supposed to do all those things and, at the same time, lavish money on AFSCME, which of course spends hundreds of thousands on DFL candidates.

I'd like to think Tommy and the minions would sing for our faculty contract too -- which is currently in negotiations -- but I don't think we pay enough tribute.