Our Bill Passed!

Updated: August 20, 2015
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Thank you, PSC members! The bill on future funding for CUNY passed in the NYS Senate the evening of June 18. There is no doubt that the reason it moved out of committee and onto the Senate floor for a full vote was that the PSC, together with our allies, gave it a strong final push. You sent 6,407 messages to the Senate just in the past six days.

And that effort was only the final phase of a legislative campaign that has spanned many months. Congratulations to everyone who met with legislators in Albany or their districts, who made calls or sent letters or otherwise made your voices heard. This is your victory. And special thanks to the CUNY graduates who recorded radio ads for the PSC.

The bill, A5370a/S281a, requires the State to allocate funding to CUNY in the annual budget at a level sufficient to cover mandatory cost increases, including contractual raises. It covers only future years, not retroactive pay, so we will continue our fight on that front, but it is a huge step forward.

The bill is not law until it is signed by the Governor, and bills are sent to him for signature throughout the summer. We will keep you posted.

Critical and organized as our campaign was, we did not accomplish this alone. I want to thank the PSC's terrific legislative staff, the other PSC officers and former officers, our statewide affiliate NYSUT—which dedicated significant resources to this fight—and the CUNY administration, which strongly supported the bill. But the biggest thanks go to you, the active members of the PSC.

I cannot celebrate our victory today without being conscious of the sickening mass murder in Charleston's Emanuel AME Church and the persistence of murderous racism. For many of us, working at CUNY is part of a larger anti-racist commitment. The PSC will send a contribution to the church community and will rededicate itself to racial and educational justice.

In solidarity,
Barbara Bowen
President, PSC/CUNY