Monday, March 30, 2009

Contact legislators this week on health care and salaries

NFA representatives in Carson City and our allies among other public service workers' advocates are reporting that decisions could be this Wednesday, April 1 concerning the PEBP budget and possible salary cuts for public service workers-- which includes all faculty, pro-staff and classified staff of NSHE institutions.

Given the difficult budget situation, it is crucial that legislators understand how important these issues are for the states' efforts to build and retain an excellent system of Higher Education. They've heard from many of us on the budget for the System and for UNLV -- and they need to be reminded that we are also state employees and that Higer Ed would suffer greatly if anything close to the the deep cuts to salary or truly draconian cuts to health benefits that are proposed in the Governor's Budget.

If you would like, feel free to consult the NFA Fact Sheet on faculty compensation and benefits ; the NFA statement on "Retirement Health Care costs in context"; and the NFA's "Open Letter to State Legislators on the PEBP budget."

Please contact key legislators on the PEBP issue today or tomorrow (ie, before the hearing on April 1) and ask that the draconian cuts in PEBP suggested by the Governor should not be approved, and that the proposed salary cuts should be avoided, as well. Be civil in all communications, and emphasize that we as individuals and as a System have already been doing as much as we can, for going on two years, to cut costs and carry heavier work loads on behalf of our students.

If you have written these legislators already, please spread the word to others that we need one more push this week. These issues, especially PEBP, have not gotten significant coverage in the media, and legislators need to hear from us directly about how important these issues are to Higher Education in Nevada.

We'll be sending out another legislative update shortly on other bills of direct concern to NSHE faculty which will be heard this week.

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