The PSC has asked CUNY management to delay the vote on a package of revisions to the University’s Bylaws that is scheduled for the November 28 meeting of the Board of Trustees.
The extensive changes were originally scheduled for a vote last June, but in a May 20 letter the PSC asked that this be postponed. The union expressed concern about some of the proposals, such as those eliminating many job descriptions from the Bylaws, removing language governing retrenchment, and assigning college presidents unilateral power to remove any member of a department’s personnel and budget committee. To ensure that members’ rights in the workplace were not undermined, the PSC said that public discussion of the proposed changes was necessary – which a June vote would not allow.
Within 24 hours, nearly 1,000 PSC members had sent messages to CUNY supporting the union’s request, and management agreed to postpone the vote. Since then there have been discussions, and CUNY has been willing to make a number of changes to the proposed revisions. Some of the union’s concerns have been resolved, but others have not – and union leaders say that while management’s willingness to make changes is positive, the many and frequent revisions have created a moving target, making a broad public discussion impossible. In addition, the union-management discussions have not yet been completed, according to PSC leaders.
CUNY management says that the changes are intended as a general “housecleaning,” essentially technical changes to elements that may be unclear or have become obsolete. That goal will not be harmed by postponing the vote from November, the PSC says – and a postponement would allow the union and management to complete their talks, and would better provide for public discussion in the University community.
As Clarion went to press in early November, CUNY had not yet responded to the request to postpone the vote.
Full By-Laws Coverage from June 2011 Clarion