UMB Union Presidents Ask Chancellor Mills To Press MA High Tech Council to Drop Opposition To Fair Share Amendment

9/11/17

Dear Chancellor Mills,

 

We were appalled to hear that The Massachusetts High Technology Council – of which UMass is a member – has stated its strong opposition to the Fair Share Amendment.  The High Tech Council is threatening to spend over $1 million to pursue a lawsuit against the Fair Share Amendment.  We are asking the UMass administration to use its position on the High Tech Council to change this decision and prevent the lawsuit. 

 

Fair Share would raise more than $2 billion each year to fund public education and transportation in Massachusetts through a simple four percent tax on annual income over $1 million.   The High Tech Council is wrong and shortsighted to oppose the amendment.  Investing in public education – preschool, elementary, secondary, and higher education – has been proven to benefit the state economy more than any other type of investment.  The High Tech Council itself says: 

 

The socio-economic future of Massachusetts will be determined by the quality and relevance of its public and private education system, from kindergarten through graduate school. Massachusetts high technology companies are especially dependent on an education system that is responsive to the needs of an increasingly technology-based economy.

 

Fixing the substructure and buildings of this university depends on the infusion of additional revenue; otherwise the budget cuts will reduce the educational quality that our students deserve.  Our Commonwealth prides itself on a well-educated population that is only possible with significant public investment, which is why the Fair Share Amendment is crucial.  It seems self-evident that our university cannot be part of an organization that stands against funding for public higher education.  

 

On behalf of UMass faculty and staff, we are asking our Chancellor to state publicly that the University of Massachusetts strongly supports the Fair Share Amendment, and that you have asked the High Tech Council to withdraw its lawsuit and to support Fair Share.  Thank you for your leadership and advocacy for state funding for public higher education.  We hope to hear back from you on whether you have done this.  

 

Sincerely,

 

Marlene Kim, President, Faculty Staff Union 

Faculty Staff Union Executive Committee 

Tom Goodkind, President, Professional Staff Union

Janelle Quarles, President, Classified Staff Union