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PSC members will testify at the CUNY Board of Trustees Hearing on Wednesday, April 19, at 5:00 p.m. The hearing, which will take place at the Borough Hall in Queens, is an opportunity to support the PSC campaigns to raise adjunct salaries to $7,000 per course and reduce the faculty teaching load. Reply here by Monday, April 17, to let us know you plan to testify, and we will make sure you are signed up and have directions to get there.

The PSC has taken the lead in fighting for the funds CUNY needs to provide a meaningful education for our students. A manageable teaching load is part of that need. Fair salaries and support for adjuncts, who now teach more than half of CUNY courses, are also a critical part of the need.

Do your part by speaking as part of the union campaign on Wednesday, April 19. Let us know you plan to testify in person or would like to submit written testimony.

Fourteen PSC chapters will be electing officers this spring, along with delegates and alternates to the PSC Delegate Assembly and members of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Advisory Council. Ballots will be mailed to members’ home addresses on April 3, 2017. Ballots in uncontested elections must be received at the PSC office by 5:00 pm on April 27, 2017. Ballots in contested elections must be received at the office of the American Arbitration Association by 5:00 pm on April 27, 2017. They will be counted at 10:00 AM on April 28, 2017. Click here for PSC election rules and more details.

PSC members joined a revenue-focused day of action at the New York State Capitol on Tuesday, February 7, the day legislators held a hearing on taxes in the State budget. They were there in coalition activists from the NYS Council of Churches, Citizen Action and many other groups to demand expansion of the State Millionaires’ Tax, an end to the Billionaires’ Tax Loophole (Wall Street’s Carried Interest Tax loophole) and claw-backs of corrupt corporate welfare programs. The tax plan, if implemented, would raise an additional $8 billion that could drive new investments for the public good, including full funding of public universities and k-12 schools.

Council Member Dan Garodnick will host an informational session on the StuyTown Lottery Monday, February 27, 6:30-8:30pm at Simon Baruch Middle School, 104 Auditorium, 330 E. 21st St.

A small number of 1 and 2-bedroom apartments are expected to become available at below-market rents at Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village. Located on the east side of Manhattan, below 23rd Street, this housing complex of over 11,000 apartments was recently taken over by a division of Blackstone Group. Download a flier.

In an arrangement negotiated with the deBlasio administration as part of the takeover, 40% of the apartments are to be offered at below-market rents as they become vacant. The management company expects the rent-stabilized rents for apartments that become vacant this year to be about $2800/month for a one-bedroom unit and $3400/month for a 2-bedroom unit.

The management company is running a lottery to create lists of interested potential tenants. There are minimum and maximum household income requirements for eligibility.

PSC members are invited to register for the lottery by clicking on the lottery webpage here and submitting the requested information between Monday February 6 and Friday March 10. Those who register are assigned random numbers. After March 10th, a certain number of random numbers will be drawn and will be placed on a list for income verification and for eligibility to be offered a lease as apartments of the desired size become available. The lottery will not be held until the end of the registration period; there is no advantage to registering early. You must be in a position to sign a lease within 90 days of the offer. You will be notified if your number is not drawn and you are not placed on a list.

PSC member Saira Rafiee granted re-entry to U.S.

Saira Rafiee, the PSC member and CUNY doctoral student who was denied entry into the U.S. as a result of President Trump's atrocious executive order banning legal immigrants from seven countries, has been granted re-entry to the United States. Ms. Rafiee landed Saturday in Boston.

CUNY student activists, lawyers from CUNY's Citizenship Now! program, family members and others were at Logan Airport to greet her. That Saira was able to return is thanks to a huge collective effort-together with her own political courage and vision. Even while the outcome of her own case was uncertain, Saira insisted that she be seen as one among many; she called on us to elevate the cases of people without unions and with less access to public voice.

Union support matters. Hundreds of PSC members responded to the union's call for messages urging action on Saira's case, helping to focus public attention on her case. (Click here for a sample of media coverage on PSC and student actions last week.) PSC officers sought advice from the extraordinary immigration lawyers who work at CUNY, and enlisted the support of Senator Schumer, the American Federation of Teachers, Mayor de Blasio, and several other Congressional and local representatives. All deserve our thanks.

Praises Strong Support of Public Higher Education and Universal Pre-K

The Professional Staff Congress (PSC) announced today its endorsement Mayor Bill de Blasio for re-election. The union is backing de Blasio because of his progressive track record over the last four years, particularly his strong support of public higher education.

PSC President Barbara Bowen said: “Mayor de Blasio came into office promising to fight for universal pre-K, expand the paid sick leave law to cover thousands more workers, and raise the minimum wage for all City employees and contractors. He did that. He has also, with less public attention, increased funding for the City University of New York. And in the weeks since the election of Donald Trump, he has reaffirmed New York’s status as a sanctuary city. As CUNY faculty and staff, we understand the vital role public higher education plays in combating income inequality, and we know that increased City funding for CUNY is making a difference. We also understand the urgency of asserting a progressive agenda at this political moment. There is still more to be done, and we will work with Mayor de Blasio to advance a progressive agenda for New York.”

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