Unionized faculty at the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University are locked out and picketing this week when they would rather be teaching. The Long Island University Faculty Federation has been bargaining in good faith with the administration at LIU since the spring. But last Friday they were informed that their health insurance will be cut off and they will no longer be paid for their work. LIU plans to redeploy administrators and has hired scabs to teach students when classes begin this week. PSC members are joining them on this picket line this Wed., Sept. 7 between 8 AM -1 PM at the corner of Dekalb and Flatbush Avenues. The PSC has issued a statement in support. Click here for a fact sheet about the lockout, here for a flier and here to RSVP via the Facebook event created by the PSC chapter at the Graduate Center. You can also sign an online petition hosted by the AFT. It’s time for LIU to treat its employees with the dignity and respect they deserve by bargaining a fair contract now and ending this lockout.
News & Events
Every New Yorker has the right to a quality public higher education. Tell us you want to join other PSC members and march for that right at the NYC Labor Day Parade, Saturday, September 10.
“CUNY is for the People!” read the signs carried by our community allies during the PSC’s hard-fought contract campaign. Together with the NY Central Labor Council and the emergent CUNY Rising Alliance, we reversed a planned half-billion-dollar reduction in state funding for CUNY and we defeated a proposed tuition hike. We built the power necessary for the PSC to negotiate a contract with back pay and improvements to working and learning conditions at CUNY.
The Labor Day Parade is a chance to celebrate the progress we’ve made collectively and to mobilize for the next campaigns—at the voting booth and in the streets. The PSC is committed to quality public higher education as a right for all New Yorkers and to ensuring that CUNY offers that quality education. PSC carries that banner every day, not just when our contract expires.
Be part of a big PSC turnout, a show of political force saying “Invest in CUNY. Invest in New York."
The PSC contingent will gather on East 45th Street between 5th and Vanderbilt Avenues starting at 9 AM. We will carry signs and handout flyers throughout the march. PSC marchers will step off at 11 AM sharp.
We are planning a lively discussion about the new contract provisions for HEOs and an even livelier discussion about the process for implementing them! Meet HEOs from other campuses, your HEO delegates, and PSC staff and principal officers.
Click here for a flier.
JOIN THE PSC ’S ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE ON THE MARCH FOR A CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION
SUNDAY, JULY 24, 2016
The CUNY Board of Trustees amended its calendar for the Board meeting on Monday, June 27, adding a note indicating that the proposed Freedom of Expression and Expressive Conduct policy will be considered at a later time. The note on the calendar read:
“It was clear from testimony at the public hearing on June 20, 2016, and other communications that there are questions and concerns about the proposed policy. The Chairperson and the Chancellor have determined that there should be additional consultation and discussion. Accordingly, this item is included on the calendar solely for informational purposes. A proposed policy will be considered by the Board of Trustees at a later time, following additional consultation and discussion.”
PSC President Barbara Bowen was one of many CUNY professors and students who testified against the proposed policy at a public hearing this past Monday. (Audio of the hearing is posted here.) President Bowen reaffirmed the PSC’s position against policies that limit speech, saying:
“Such a policy seems especially dangerous in a university whose students are already often silenced and marginalized by poverty and racism. And it is a poor response to a faculty and staff that was forced to organize for a strike authorization vote.”
President Bowen closed her testimony by demanding that CUNY bargain over this policy, as it directly affects a term and condition of employment in that it refers to the contractual procedures on discipline.
Governor Cuomo recently signed into law a bill that allows honorably discharged military service personnel the opportunity to purchase up to three years of credit toward their New York City or New York State public pensions. Previously, New York state law only allowed former military members the chance to buy back pension credit if they fought in certain major military conflicts such as WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Read about it in the Daily News. NYC Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) members wanting to take advantage of this opportunity should contact TRS at 888-869-2877.
Barbara Bowen, President, Professional Staff Congress/CUNY
The Professional Staff Congress congratulates William C. Thompson on the approval of his nomination by The New York State Senate Higher Education Committee as Chair of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York. We also congratulate the other five CUNY trustees whose appointments were also approved: Fernando Ferrer, Mayra Linares-Garcia, Robert Mujica, Ken Sunshine, and Sandra Wilkin.
We commend Governor Cuomo on the decision to appoint a chairperson with a distinguished record of service in the public sector and a deep knowledge of New York’s working-class communities. The governor has put forward a group of trustees who have pledged to advocate vigorously for CUNY and are poised to make important contributions. We look forward to their efforts in defense of CUNY’s beautiful founding mission: to educate ‘the children of the people, the children of the whole people.’
PSC leaders were in Albany Wednesday, June 8 standing alongside Senate Higher Education Chair Kenneth LaValle and Assembly Higher Education Chair Deborah Glick to call for passage of a true Maintenance of Effort (MOE) for CUNY and SUNY before the end of the legislative session on June 16. The 2016-17 Enacted State Budget held CUNY tuition flat for one year but it failed to fund the tuition freeze or address the MOE provision that PSC members fought hard for. Even the inadequate MOE provisions of SUNY 2020, which led to a decline in per-student funding because they didn’t cover increasing operating costs, are set to expire at the end of June. Without any MOE language, our four-year SUNY and CUNY campuses face further state funding reductions in next year's state budget. A strong MOE is needed to ensure that state funding is provided to cover operating costs such as rent, energy, fringe benefits and salary step increases. The news conference is being sponsored by PSC, UUP, NYSUT and NYPIRG.
The event was covered by the Times Union's Capitol Confidential blog and by Capitol Tonight's State of Politics.
Do your part to help pass the MOE by sending this letter to your legislators in Albany.