IT specialist invited to represent MAPE at Gov. Walz’s recent SCTCC visit

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Governor Tim Walz kicked off a tour of various educational institutions across the state last week, and when visiting St. Cloud Technical Community College (SCTCC), a representative from each labor union was invited to be a part of the conversation.

Representing MAPE was Sarah Possail, an IT specialist at SCTCC and member of MAPE Local 1702. Walz was in town to talk about his proposed budget with a focus on students and education, a pillar of Walz’s platform and one of his key priorities.

This budget cycle Minnesota State (MinnState) requested $206 million, including $169 million for general campus support and an additional $37 million for Next Gen system upgrades. Walz proposed $51 million total, leaving a $155 million shortfall for campus support.

“Our budget proposal is focused on meeting the needs of our students, our colleges and universities, and the communities they serve,” said Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State. “We remain concerned about the financial health of our colleges and universities, and we look forward to continuing our work with the Governor and legislators to strengthen access to a high quality, affordable higher education, ensure the success of our students, and deliver the talent Minnesota needs.”

During his visit to SCTCC, Possail said Walz committed to looking into why education inflation is more than twice that of other inflations and to avoiding tuition freezes because they typically mean hiring freezes as well.

“In summary, Gov. Walz said that we share many goals and we must keep the faith,” Possail said. “He wants Minnesota to have the best-educated workforce.”

Walz’s revised budget will be coming out in few weeks and he says it will reflect the conversations he’s been having during his educational institution visits. MAPE is partnering with other bargaining units and legislators to urge the governor to address the MinnState budget shortfall in his revised proposal.

For local coverage of Walz’s visit, go here