Broadside – December 11, 2017
Additional Erie County Aid for SUNY Erie
We are pleased to announce that the Erie County Legislature and County Executive Mark Poloncarz have passed the new Erie County budget, which includes additional funding for SUNY Erie to the tune of $500,000 a year, every year, starting with 2018-2019.
Your FFECC political action committee (PAC) and many individual members were instrumental in making this funding possible. Our PAC committee and other FFECC members attended many fund-raising events, legislative committee meetings, and public hearings to advocate for badly needed additional funding. Our advocacy efforts have included frequent communication with every level of county and state government. FFECC’s annual legislative breakfast has been a game changer in raising awareness among local office-holders of our college’s challenges. The many FFECC members who have attended county public hearings and committee meetings wearing red shirts have focused attention on our college’s needs among elected officials.
We have made local office-holders aware that we are suffering from legacy problems left behind by the previous college administration. With a new college president and a new era of cooperation, respect, and transparency, we can now ask for additional student-focused funding, and feel confident that it will be used appropriately.
I will continue to advocate, along with our PAC committee, for incremental increases to our maintenance of effort base aid from both the county and the state. “Maintenance of effort” aid is that which is required to continue from year to year by law. Our goal is to achieve the funding levels for operating expenses prescribed in New York State law – 40% from the state, 27% from the local sponsor (our county) and 33% from student revenue. The actual levels for SUNY Erie are now about 29% from the state and 18% from the county, leaving about 53% to be covered by our students.
FFECC and NYSUT must now begin our plans for lobbing state officials in February, as New York starts its budgeting process.
Like the other SUNY community colleges, SUNY Erie is a place where our students transform their lives. It’s an opportunity for second (or third, or last) chances. The power of our college is in what each of us does every day to enhance the personal and intellectual growth of our students. Elected officials and the public need to be continually reminded of our students’ stories and what we all do to help them achieve a better life and greater engagement with their communities.
This additional county funding of $500,000, as well as county support for the new STEM building, college labor agreements, retirement incentives, and infrastructure improvements have all a result of, or enhanced by, your union’s political advocacy and relationships.
Contributing to the FFECC VOTE Cope drive is what make this all this possible, as well as the time you volunteer for PAC committee activities and attending functions.
The relationships and trust that we have developed over time on both sides of the aisle are necessary to make SUNY ERIE STRONG AGAIN… We do this for the institution and the students we serve.
I’d like to thank the following FFECC members for their help in our recent political action activities. I apologize if I’ve left anyone out (and I’m sure I have). – Andrew Sako, President, Faculty Federation of Erie Community College
Dale Bacchetti , Ray Barker, Derek Bateman, Angela Crocker, Denise Crowden, John Danna, Christine DeHoff (retired), Michael Delaney, Craig Gassman (retired), Thomas Grace, Kristin Goss, Russell Grosjean, Michael Higgins, Shawn Hill, Beth Holleran, Nicholas Jakubowski, Jason Januszkiewicz, Dorothy Johnston, Brian Jusiak, Patty Kaiser, Cooper Lansing, Kristin Kozlowski, Jill O’Malley, Marie Owens, Colleen Quinn, Verlaine Quinniey, Adrian Ranic, Rene Rojas, Michael Rio, Gordon Soderholm, Jason Steinitz, Susan Theeman, Richard Wacienga, Robert Zaffram