Brothers and Sisters of AFSCME Local 1568,
As many of you may know, our Vice-President, Todd Haggart has left the University for another career.
The Executive Board of Local 1568 has appointed Ruth Barrett to fill the vacancy on an interim basis. We will have a nomination/election to fill the remainder of the term (until Dec 31st, 2010) at our March meeting, March 15th at 4:30 p.m. at the Union Hall at 2185 Third Street, Mt. Pleasant. You must be present to accept a nomination or at least provide the Executive Board with a signed statement declaring your intent to run in advance of the meeting.

In Unity,

Tobin Hope, President

AFSCME Local 1568



MARCH 15, 2010 4:30p.m.

Message from President Wilbur
January 13, 2010

Welcome back to campus and a new year. I hope everyone enjoyed the break celebrating the holidays and relaxing with family and friends.

While the new year brings renewed hope and enthusiasm, an economic blanket of uncertainty continues to be of concern to Central Michigan University and the state of Michigan. Unemployment remains high, and the state’s population continues to shrink.

Further complicating the long-term financial picture will be a decline in the number of Michigan high school students, which will impact enrollment numbers for all universities in Michigan. These issues will be with us well beyond 2010, requiring a multiple year approach to budget planning.

The revenue estimating conference held yesterday in Lansing predicts the state budget deficit to be $1.725 billion for fiscal year 2011 that begins October 1. The Governor’s State-of-the-State address and budget recommendations in early February may give us a better understanding of what we can expect in the area of higher education funding for next year. Should the economic forecasts continue to trend downward, a significant reduction in state appropriations to higher education remains probable for next year and beyond.

For this academic year, one-time federal stimulus dollars will offset the $2.3 million reduction in CMU’s state appropriation. In December, the CMU Board of Trustees authorized using these stimulus funds to provide financial assistance for our students.

Given the numerous uncertainties the university and the state are facing, it is not possible to specify where budget reductions will occur, but they will be necessary.

Leading into the current year of protected funding due to the federal stimulus funds, the Senior Staff Budget Advisory Group (SSBAG) was reinvigorated. The group, which is advisory to the president, is co-chaired by Interim Provost Gary Shapiro and Vice President David Burdette, and its membership includes major budget center directors from across the university. SSBAG remains fully engaged in studying university operations to improve efficiencies and consider possible university-wide reductions such as hiring restrictions, furloughs, layoffs, salary concessions and travel restrictions while preserving CMU’s core institutional mission and strategic priorities.

In conjunction with the above efforts, SSBAG has solicited suggestions from the university community. More than 120 suggestions have been submitted from faculty, staff and students through the SSBAG Web site. I would like to thank those of you who submitted suggestions and encourage everyone to continue to share additional thoughts and ideas.

Now, as we begin budget preparations for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, I feel a need to initiate targeted budget reduction planning. For planning purposes, I am requesting that each budget center manager prepare plans and submit them to the Provost or their respective Vice President by February 8, 2010. The Vice Presidents will forward preliminary reports to me by the morning of February 15 that include the impact of three, six and nine percent base budget reduction strategies for each budget center.

I appreciate your continued support, dedication and hard work. While the economic challenges facing CMU are very real, we will emerge from these challenging times as a stronger institution recognized for its focus on student success and academic integrity.

Warm regards,

Kathleen M. Wilbur
Unions are an essential part of a strong democracy and play a crucial role in America’s public and community life. Not only do they give workers a voice on the job and help negotiate fair benefits and wages for their members, but they also use their political and economic resources to raise the floor for everyone who works for a living.

Unions, by fighting for higher standards for workers, businesses, families, the enviroment and public health and safety, have helped to build the middle class and make sure the economy works for everyone..

Reinforce the middle class and lift up America’s communities. States with higher rates of unionization have lower rates of poverty, crime, and failing schools.

Raise wages for all workers. Studies show that a large union presence in an industry or region can raise wages even for non-union workers. Union workers earn 30% more than non-union workers.

Fight for health insurance and pensions. Nearly 80% of unionized workers receive employer provided health insurance, compared with 49% of non-union workers. Union members are also more likely to have pensions, short term disability and life insurance coverage.

Make workplaces safer. Unions work to reduce injuries and deaths at work.

Advocate for increases in the minimum wage and push for living wage ordinances. Unions have been instrumental in efforts to increase the federal minimum wage, state minimum wages and in the successfull living wage movement which has alreadt resulted in over 150 local living wage laws nationwide.

Make a difference for the environment. Unions partner with environmental groups, hold corporations accountable for pollution, fight for better enviromental laws and regulations, and alert the public to environmenatl hazards.

Improve health care. Unions led the fight for quality affordable health care for all, work to improve patient care and seek adequate hospital staffing.

Fight for equality. Unions helped pass key legislation on voting, civil, women’s and disability rights and supprot equal rights for LGBT people, unions boost minority and women’s earning power.