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Students and Workers Rally on National Day of Action for Public Education

A press release for today’s public education rally…

Buffalo, NY—A coalition of student organizations, community organizations and unions will rally Thursday to support public education.  The rally will take place at the UB Downtown Gateway, a symbol of the UB2020 plan and related initiatives.  The event is part of the National Day of Action for Public Education, a continuation of the movement that was brought to national attention during the recent March 4th day of action.

The coalition, including groups from UB and Buffalo State, stands against budget cuts and tuition increases.  The group opposes efforts to run public education as a business rather than as a public good.  They support efforts to save student costs while stimulating the local economy and contributing to a green environment.

New York State has slashed millions of dollars from the SUNY budget, leaving it underfunded and prey to privatization schemes such as the recently defeated PHEEIA plan.  Many of the coalition organizations battled against PHEEIA when it was included in the last state budget vote.  The bill would have allowed SUNY to raise tuition and contract out campus jobs below a living wage.  SUNY administrators intend to revive the plan.

Workers at SUNY campuses are already under fire.  Graduate student workers of CWA1104 await the delayed passage of a paybill in the State legislature that would allow the implementation of a contract ratified last spring.  Graduate workers have been working under an expired contract for three years.  UUP and CSEA workers also suffer under the current climate.

Students at SUNY schools find themselves in larger classes and with reduced financial aid, such as TAP.  They are paying more and getting less.

In the face of the attack on public education and other public services, the Defend Our Education Coalition demands: “Buy in, don’t sell out!”

Endorsing organizations include the Graduate Student Employees Union/CWA1104, United University Professions–Buffalo, United Socialist Movement of the Americas, UB Students Against Sweatshops, Buffalo State Students for Peace, UB College Republicans, UB College Democrats, UB Black Student Union, and the WNY International Action Center.

The rally is taking place at 77 Goodell Street, Buffalo, at 4pm on Thursday, October 7th.

Please visit for more information.

  • Kate

    As a proud SUNY undergrad (’98) and MA-holder (’05), I stopped by this rally on my way home to offer some moral support. I fought for many of the same issues when I was a student, although the privatization is a new wrinkle. I applaud the students’ efforts and enthusaism, but want to respectfully suggest that some of them take it down a notch. There are thousands, maybe millions, of SUNY grads statewide that are willing to help, but once they see someone with a bullhorn comparing office workers to Hitler and being aggressive towards everyone who leaves the foundation office (or is merely nearby in work clothes, as I was), they become less wiling to get involved. There’s a fine line between being passionate and looking ridiculous, and once you cross it, your cause is easily dismissed by those in power.