Steve London, who is stepping down from office as PSC first vice president after 15 years of service, was named a NYSUT Higher Education Member of the Year at the NYSUT Representative Assembly in Buffalo this past weekend. Watch this video featuring all the NYSUT honorees (Steve’s bit starts at 8:48), and join us in thanking Steve for his dedication to his CUNY colleagues. He takes on a new elected role as university-wide officer of the PSC Executive Committee and continues his roles as trustee and executive officer of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund and as NYSUT director.
News & Events
Join the May Day Rally to End Income Inequality
We need you and your indomitable spirit at the May Day march and rally, next Fri., May 1. May Day is the international workers’ holiday, a day of solidarity to celebrate the labor movement’s past progress and mobilize for the struggles of today, including our fight for a fair contract at CUNY. The annual march and rally in NYC will bring together union members and immigration activists in support of our shared demand for an end to income equality under the slogan, “Fight for Real Jobs, Real Wages and Real Rights.” The march will take the action to the doors of the city’s 1%, starting at the home of Walmart owner Alice Walton (60th St. between Park and Lexington Ave.) and traveling down Billionaire’s Row on Central Park South to join a rally at 58th Street Between 8th and 9th Ave. PSC members will meet at the corner of 62th St. and Park Ave., starting at 5:00 PM. (Look for our red and white signs.) Click here for a flier.
Rally for Adjunct Faculty and All Low-Wage Workers—Wed., Apr. 15
PSC members will be part of the action on Wednesday, April 15, when low-wage workers throughout the country demonstrate and rally to demand fair wages and union rights. The day of action is part of the massive Fight for $15 campaign. Here in NYC, fast food cashiers and cooks, retail employees, child care workers, adjunct professors, home care providers, college students, airport workers, and others will mobilize at different sites. The PSC will participate in the rally at Columbia University, where student workers, adjunct faculty and their allies will gather at 116th and Broadway at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, April 15 to demand better pay and better treatment from the Academy before marching to protest at a nearby McDonald's. To stay up-to-date on planned actions in NYC, register here.
"It's Time for Albany to Believe in CUNY"
CUNY is a national leader in community college education—but the professors and advisors of CUNY are being denied a fair union contract. That's the message of the latest PSC radio ad, which is airing this week in the Capital District and New York City.
In a release announcing the ad buy, PSC President Barbara Bowen said,"CUNY’s remarkable success with the ASAP program is worthy of the recognition it has received from the President and many others. ASAP works because it involves more public investment per student and better working conditions for faculty and advisers. New Yorkers need to know, however, that CUNY’s success can’t be sustained without a fair contract. We need a contract that allows us to serve our students, continue our research and support our own families."
March To Honor the History of the Civil Rights Movement and Build Its Future
PSC members will join the “Selma is Everywhere” march across the Brooklyn Bridge this Sat. to mark the 50th anniversary of the first march for civil rights from Selma, Alabama, to the state’s capital of Montgomery. Sponsored by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the event will memorialize the famous crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge and reaffirm our shared commitment to civil rights, racial equality and progressive reform. Marchers will gather at 10:30 AM, Sat., Mar. 7 on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. To find the PSC contingent, look for the white and red PSC signs and PSC Secretary Arthurine DeSola. (Email email@example.com to let us know you’ll be there.) A press conference at 11:00 AM will be followed by step-off for the march at 11:30 AM. Brooklyn Borough Hall is the destination of the march. When we get there, we will gather to watch President Barack Obama’s address to the nation from Selma.
A hardy group of PSC members and leaders attended the Monday evening CUNY Board meeting despite the forecasted blizzard to keep pressure for a fair economic offer on the CUNY Trustees. The members carried signs that said “Still No Offer” and “No Contract. No Peace.” While at the meeting, President Bowen delivered a letter reminding the Trustees that the union holds them responsible for authorizing a contract offer without delay.
“During the more than five years since our last raise, costs in New York City have soared, CUNY enrollment has grown, salaries at competing institutions have kept pace with inflation, and CUNY faculty and staff have been required to take on bigger workloads as initiatives by college presidents and CUNY administration proliferate,” said President Bowen in the letter. “We doubt that any of you would work at your positions for five years without a raise, and you clearly did not expect a chancellor to work at the pay rate of 2009. Why, then, should we?”
CUNY Responds. But Where's the Urgency?
Board of Trustees Chair Benno Schmidt responded to President Bowen's message with a letter stating that the Board shares the Chancellor's desire to complete negotiations for collective bargaining agreements with faculty and staff. He closes by urging the PSC to continue working with the CUNY administration through "appropriate channels." As long as there is no fair economic offer on the table, the union will continue to communicate the urgency of our demand using all available channels.
PSC members, help press our demand for a fair economic offer by taking part in the Virtual Mass Action this Monday, February 2. Watch your email Monday morning for instructions on how to participate.
Statement from PSC President Barbara Bowen on the Governor’s plan to link the NYS DREAM Act with the Education Tax Credit:
“A cheer went up among the CUNY faculty and staff when the Governor announced his support for the NYS Dream Act in the Executive Budget, but it was immediately tempered by the news that the Governor had linked the DREAM Act to the unjust use of public dollars for private schools. There is no logical reason to link the two - the DREAM Act should stand on its own and not be held hostage to a regressive proposal on tax credits.
The DREAMERs are our students. As college faculty and staff, we see daily their courage, their passion for education, their determination to open doors for the next generation that were closed to them. They are the kind of students we dream of.
Passing the NYS DREAM Act this session would be a victory for everyone. All New Yorkers win when all New Yorkers have a real chance for a college education."
Last week, President Obama announced his "America's College Promise" initiative to provide community college education free to students who maintain 2.5 GPA. Under the plan, the federal government would pay three-quarters of the average cost of community college through the state, and the state would fund the rest of the cost. Students would have to go to school at least half-time and would continue to be eligible for full Pell grants and loans for other expenses (e.g. living expenses, room and board, transportation, etc.). In addition to the college GPA requirement, students would have to make progress toward graduation, certification or transfer to a 4-year baccalaureate program. The white house description of the program cites CUNY’s ASAP initiative (Accelerated Study in Associate Programs) was cited by the White House as an example of how this level of investment in community college students can dramatically improve student outcomes. Here are links to a NY Times article and an endorsement of the program from AFT president Randi Weingarten.
The Moral Monday campaign, which has swept across the South and dared to demand that state budgets be moral documents, is coming to Albany this Monday, January 12. The focus of its initial Monday this year is public education. It is important that PSC members be there.
Many of us are not teaching in January, so this is the perfect chance to get on a bus to Albany and take a stand against the immorality of unequal education in New York State.
Please join teachers, parents, professors and education workers from across the state in a demonstration inside the Capitol at noon this Monday. Buses leave from different locations in the city in the early morning and are free of charge. Check here for the one nearest you.