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Home » Clarion » 2011 » September 2011 » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor


In a Rich City, Why Is CUNY Poor?

In the fight to save adjunct health insurance, no one should believe that New York is too poor to afford a solution. The amount of money required is not large compared to CUNY’s overall budget, and fixing this problem is mainly a matter of political will.

The overall underfunding of CUNY is also the result of deliberate policy choices, and there are several possible revenue sources that could be accessed to end it. For example, slightly increasing the personal income taxes on New York’s wealthiest residents, or decreasing the amount of property tax abatements the City gives to large real estate developers, or closing tax loopholes that benefit hedge funds. Taking these actions would raise hundreds of millions annually, providing more than enough revenue to pay for adjunct health care, as well as give all PSC members the salary increases they deserve.

Michael Spear
Kingsborough Community College

Lessons In Solidarity

After six days on strike as a faculty member at Long Island University, I send my heartfelt thanks to members other unions, particularly the CWA Local 1105 members who came to encourage us on the picket line. They were out on strike for two weeks and succeeded in making Verizon come back to the negotiating table. They were full of energy, wearing bright red T-shirts and bringing us pizza and donuts. They distributed sheets with their union chants on them, borrowed our megaphone and taught their chants us. They galvanized the whole picket line for the time they were there.

When I walked by the Verizon picket line on Montague Street a few weeks before our strike at LIU, I waved and gave the strikers a thumbs-up and made sure not to cross the picket line. It didn’t occur to me to bring them food or to join them on the picket line, not even for 15 minutes out of my day. I have been humbled by the generosity of these workers who came to help us out of solidarity. I will be signing petitions to support their cause and will look for future opportunities to become more involved with labor issues.

Sophia Wong
LIU Faculty Federation AFT Local 3998

Unions Yes, Cuomo No

I want to congratulate you on the summer issue of Clarion, particularly the contributions on the subjects of the Board of Trustees and the trashing of New York State workers by the New York Legislature and our despicable governor.

With every day that goes by I feel so grateful to be represented by our union; strong union membership is just about the only path left to any kind of equality and civil society in the United States. I voted for Cuomo holding my nose. I understood his support for gay marriage as a “no cost” political gain for his national ambitions and I wouldn’t vote for him again under any circumstances. I can’t wait to see how the Democrats jockey around Cuomo’s presidential run in 2016, and I look forward to reading every word in Clarion about the upcoming 2012 elections.

Joan Gregg
Retirees Chapter

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