There's a lot at stake in the November 8 election. Defeating Donald Trump at the polls is only the first step toward progress. There's a lot more electoral work to be done.
PSCers turned out to a CUNY Board of Trustees hearing at Baruch College to protest the six-month delay in getting their contract-mandated salary increases and back pay. Many members spoke emotionally about the unnecessary financial bind CUNY and the state are putting them through.
After six years without a contract, the PSC concluded negotiations with CUNY, arriving at an agreement that includes a 10.4 percent increase in salaries, including back pay. The final phase of negotiations closed with a round-the-clock bargaining session that also broke ground for creating a more reasonable teaching load.
Frustrated by working without a raise for six years, an overwhelming majority of PSC members who voted supported authorizing the union's Executive Council to call a strike, if necessary. PSC President Barbara Bowen shares the path forward in order to get a contract that recognizes PSC member's dedication to CUNY and its students.
Inside The Cooper Union's historic Great Hall, nearly 1,000 PSC members gathered to prepare for the next steps of the contract campaign: building member power for a strike authorization vote. PSC President Barbara Bowen outlined a five-point plan for moving forward.
The PSC strike authorization vote will be conducted from Monday, May 2, at 12 noon through Wednesday, May 11, at midnight.
At a rally outside the Manhattan offices of Governor Andrew Cuomo, leaders of community groups from across the city gathered to demand that the state restore full funding to CUNY in order to forestall a proposed tuition hike and award a fair contract to CUNY employees.
EDITOR'S NOTE: As we went to press, PSC President Barbara Bowen announced that the union plans to hold a strike authorization vote sometime in the next several months. Bowen emphasized that it will be a vote to authorize the PSC's Executive Council to call a strike if necessary; the union's goal is to achieve a good contract without the need to take a job action. An affirmative vote by the PSC membership would "give the union the power to use labor's strongest weapon, if, after everything else is tried, we cannot achieve a fair solution any other way."
The price of basic living expenses — like rent and transportation — have steadily increased over the years while PSC members are working at 2010 compensation levels. PSC members share how the lack of a contract affects their own professional and personal lives.