On December 8, New York’s Legislature gave its approval to a package of changes in the state’s income tax structure that will bring in an additional $1.55 billion in revenue but leave a projected budget gap of $2 billion. Advocates for tax justice say it's a small step in the right direction.
As hundreds of PSC members protested at a meeting of the Board of Trustees, CUNY's chancellor announced that the University will seek funding for adjunct health insurance in its upcoming State budget request. Other articles in this issue analyze what comes next, and how you can make a difference:
Monday, September 26. Baruch College at 4:00 pm. Be there to help push CUNY to do what’s right, as the union kicks off its campaign to prevent the loss of health insurance for CUNY adjuncts.
This issue of Clarion focuses on that campaign, which may be the most important the PSC has waged in a generation. The issue is most urgent, of course, for our colleagues whose access to health care is directly threatened. But the stakes are high for all of us.
Democrats and Republicans are attacking public-sector workers in northeastern states. Collective bargaining rights have been undercut in New Jersey and Massachusetts, while in New York Gov. Cuomo takes aim at wages and future pension benefits. Here's Clarion's coverage:
Cuomo’s Pension Attack: Tier 6 Is His Top Goal for 2012
NY State Workers Held ‘Hostage’: Gov's Threats Win Concessions
New Jersey State Workers Take a Hit
Massachusetts Democrats Target Municipal Workers
Chancellor Matthew Goldstein decided to delay a vote on a proposal for extensive amendments to the Bylaws of the CUNY Board of Trustees, following an outpouring of opposition from PSC members. The proposed bylaw changes would undermine the rights of CUNY faculty and staff in dozens of ways, both large and small.
On Thursday, May 5, the PSC holds our biggest demonstration of the year. We will meet at City Hall at 4:00 pm and march to BMCC on Chambers Street. It’s time to say no to austerity for CUNY. There are alternatives. But for things to change, we have to make our power visible. We are marching to link our support for fair funding for CUNY with our demand for a fair contract. If you have a stake in either one, you should be there.
The PSC has mounted a multi-pronged campaign against Gov. Cuomo's austerity budget that has included thousands of member e-mails and phone calls, a TV ad campaign, lobbying trips to the capital, testimony at legislative hearings, meetings in legislators’ local offices and more.
Negotiators for the PSC and CUNY sat down on January 26 to begin talks on a new contract. PSC bargaining team members say the key to winning a fair contract lies in the PSC’s ability to build broad support for its vision of CUNY. “We have to reach not only our members and our students but also the larger public,” said bargaining team member Lorraine Cohen.
PSC members, students and City Councilmembers rallied Dec. 8 at City Hall to speak out against Mayor Bloomberg’s $11.8 million midyear cut in City support for CUNY. “We’ve got 23,000 students jammed into a building made for 9,000,” said Geoff Kurtz, assistant professor of political science at BMCC. “When we see availability of classes decrease and class sizes increase, education starts to erode.” PSC chapters are pressing colleges to cope with budget cuts in ways that do the least harm to students, faculty & staff.