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Home » Clarion » 2023 » October 2023 » Greeting new PSC members

Greeting new PSC members

Carole Harris of City Tech says, ‘Join the PSC.’ College. (Credit: Pat Arnow)

Carole Harris of City Tech says, ‘Join the PSC.’ College. (Credit: Pat Arnow)

The PSC started off the fall semester with hundreds of new members. It’s all part of a massive effort by the union’s organizing department and campus activists to ensure all workers have the chance to join the PSC.

The PSC’s organizing department, over several weeks before the start of the fall semester, targeted five campuses – Baruch College, Lehman College, Queens College, Hunter College and Borough of Manhattan Community College – for signing up professional staff as new PSC members. During this “summer membership blitz,” the PSC was able to sign up 120 new members in a little more than a month.

In addition, PSC organizers worked closely with other campus leaders at the beginning of the semester to attend new hire orientations. Altogether, organizers and PSC activists signed up more than 200 new members, including more than 100 at the Graduate Center.

Dialogue matters

“We have a great union that listens to its members on critical issues within CUNY,” said Rulisa Galloway-Perry, a PSC co-chair for the Higher Education Officers Chapter. “It is important that we engage our union colleagues in meaningful dialogue to hear their experiences and concerns, whether they are good or bad. During this round of contract negotiations, members felt like their voices were heard and memorialized in the contract demands. Our organizers picked up where the chapter chairs left off this summer and enrolled 120 new members into the union. Strong membership in a union is the bedrock of purpose and we will never underestimate this power.”

Rico Doan, the union’s organizing director, noted that the summer blitz was important for a number of reasons. One, the university doesn’t shut down over the summer. “The work of the university continues regardless of whether classes are in session or not,” he said.

But another big part of the blitz was getting these new members more involved in their chapters and talking to workers in other titles, thus building the power of the union in the ongoing contract campaign.

“It’s the first step to getting them involved in the contract campaign,” Doan said. “When we sign up a professional staff member, maybe their most important issue is the remote work agreement, but then they see an adjunct that they work with who needs job security, or a full-time faculty member who needs a workload reduction. We’re building cross-title solidarity.”

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Published: September 27, 2023

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