In an unprecedented number of news stories about the PSC and CUNY since the beginning of the academic year, the union amplified its fight for a fair contract and state funding for the university, with more than 150 news stories placed in major media outlets since the beginning of the academic year, ranging from prominent articles in The New York Times to on-the-ground televised reports during the union’s two civil disobedience actions. Union members were in the news, talking to WNYC’s Leonard Lopate (a Brooklyn College and Hunter College alumnus) about ongoing austerity at CUNY, writing op-eds for the New York Daily News and City & State and addressing upstate reporters about the drastic cuts to CUNY funding proposed by the governor in his executive budget.
“The uncertainty over CUNY’s future has served only to mobilize a coalition of lawmakers, professors, students, liberal activists and city leaders in a coordinated effort to turn public opinion against the governor,” wrote New York Times reporter Vivian Yee in a March 24 article, “Cuomo Faces Loud Backlash Over Push to Cut State’s CUNY Funding,” which appeared on Times’s website just hours before the union’s CUNY “die-in” civil disobedience outside of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office.
The New York Times covered the fight for CUNY funding seven times in its pages, including an April 11 editorial, “Don’t Dilute CUNY’s Urban Mission,” which cited Austerity Blues: Fighting for the Soul of Public Higher Education, an upcoming book written by Stephen Brier, a PSC member who was arrested in the union’s March 24 civil disobedience, and PSC First Vice President Michael Fabricant.
WNYC, New York City’s National Public Radio affiliate, covered the CUNY contract four times on its airwaves, including an interview with Chancellor James B. Milliken by morning host Soterios Johnson on February 29, in which Milliken was made to respond to comments by PSC President Barbara Bowen about the lack of an adequate offer by CUNY for settlement of the union’s contract. On The Brian Lehrer Show, Politico New York’s Conor Skelding discussed the unresolved contract. Democracy Now, carried by public radio and television stations across the country, covered the PSC’s November action at CUNY headquarters.
The union’s beefed-up media presence continues with stories in the works by major outlets. Stay tuned, and watch the headlines! Go to the PSC website for a complete list of recent media coverage.