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Monday, December 5, 2022

PSC Members Testify at CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing

LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

Rally prior to the Dec 2022 CUNY BOT Budget Request Hearing at LaGuardia Community College

PRESIDENT JAMES DAVIS (CENTER) LEADS A RALLY BEFORE A CUNY BOARD OF TRUSTEES HEARING AT LAGUARDIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE. (CREDIT: DAVE SANDERS)

PRESIDENT JAMES DAVIS (CENTER) LEADS A RALLY BEFORE A CUNY BOARD OF TRUSTEES HEARING AT LAGUARDIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE. (CREDIT: DAVE SANDERS)

James Davis giving testimony at the 12/5/2022 BOT Hearing

Testimony of James Davis

"I’m here to ask that you seize the opportunity in the coming budget cycle, to build on this year’s encouraging gains, and impress on elected officials how much more amazing CUNY could become with the proper resources. With those resources, CUNY can improve both access and quality, students will return to our campuses in greater numbers, and we, the faculty and staff, can offer an exceptional academic experience."

Remi Alapo provided remote testimony at the 12/5/2022 BOT Hearing

Testimony of Remi Alapo

"I am a current homeless adjunct who recently lost her home...The cost of living has risen dramatically in New York City and almost unbearable for many especially for low income brown and black students and for many of our low wage earner adjunct colleagues."

Testimony of Pamela Stemberg

"We need a vision of a university system that supports students in their endeavors for a better life. This budget request, the first without the pandemic monies, is one of the most important you will make. We need to value our community, our workers, and our students. The money you request for our university shows the value you place on our institution and the NYC community it serves."

Felicia Wharton giving testimony at the 12/5/2022 BOT Hearing

Testimony of Felicia Wharton

"Cost of living has increased faster than our salaries. Our faculty and staff need raises in the next contract that reflects the actual cost of living in New York City and above inflation."

Testimony of Brett F. Whysel

"In my experience, the key obstacle to students’ and educators’ success is funding. At the beginning of this semester, I polled my students as to their weekly work obligations. These include paid work outside the home, unpaid labor at home, and schoolwork. I was shocked at the results. Among the 32 who responded, the median number of weekly hours worked was 55, the first quartile was 63. Some work more than 80 to make ends meet and complete their degrees."

Manfred Philip giving testimony at the 12/5/2022 BOT Hearing

Testimony of Manfred Philip

"CUNY has undergone many crises since I began to teach at Lehman College in 1977. In the period when nearly all daytime classes were taught by full-time faculty, losses of funding meant that tenured faculty members were fired. Now the crises are much less visible, since there are so few full time faculty to begin with. Few people outside the university notice when part-time faculty are not rehired. CUNY’s crises have gone underground. But they are there, nonetheless."

Lynne Turner giving testimony at the 12/5/2022 BOT Hearing

Testimony of Lynne Turner

"Approximately one third of our doctoral students are tuition-only through a two-tiered funding system in which they receive no guaranteed health insurance and must instead cobble together funding and health insurance on a semester by semester basis through teaching adjunct, non-teaching adjunct positions and contingent fellowships while still expected to be full time PhD students and make timely progress towards degrees. Let’s provide full and fair funding for all of our PhD students."

Testimony of Susan DiRaimo

"An Adjunct teaching 4 courses each semester earns 40,000 a year compared to Fulltime pay for the same teaching load is 80,000 dollars. There are currently 12,000 Adjuncts that are underpaid. We are the majority of teaching faculty. This injustice needs to end."

Jack Kenigsberg provided written testimony at the 12/5/2022 BOT Hearing

Testimony of Jack Kenigsberg

"My writing center does not yet have full time leadership because, quite frankly, it is cheaper to hire two NTAs than two people in the HEO series. You can change that financial calculation."

Testimony of Zin Thu

"Our faculty and staff deserve equity pay. I stand firmly and support my colleagues in the fight for the importance of salary increment, not just by the titles or seniority or # of years working, but also for those who are qualified but denied for equity pay or promotion."

Ted Kessler preparing to give testimony at the 12/5/2022 BOT Hearing

Testimony of Ted Kesler

"... each year, I witness increased financial burdens on my students. Some face housing and even food insecurity, many work full-time jobs, some are also caretakers of family members. Meanwhile, CUNY austerity has caused a weaker support network for counseling, for advising, for library services, for scheduling of courses and course offerings."

Testimony of Holly Block

"Recruitment units need dedicated resources. We have dedicated our lives toward recruiting a diverse population of retainable new, students, and are tireless workers who recruit on the front lines before hours, after hours, weekends and on holidays amid a COVID endemic, rising crime and sagging enrollment numbers. We are the face of CUNY."

Penny Lewis giving testimony at the 12/5/2022 BOT Hearing

Testimony of Penny Lewis

"[Salaries] are not keeping up with increasing costs of living, they are not competitive with similar systems, let alone the NYC market. Average salaries for CUNY senior college professors are substantially lower than comparable SUNYs, Rutgers, UMass, University of Maryland, to name a few. Just across the river, our colleagues at Rutgers Newark average 195,000 as full professors, 135,000 as Associate professors, and 114,000 as assistant professors—averages that are as much as $60,000 higher than our averages..."

Testimony of Stuart Davis

"As chapter chair I have witnessed academic advisors report that their workload has tripled in the past few years as those who leave or retire are not replaced. I have witnessed faculty's class sizes go from 28 to 45 to 75 over the course of a few years. I've seen part-time faculty being "encouraged" to take on more extensive roles in advising students on top of their already undercompensated labor. We need more funded positions with manageable workload to address this crisis."

Andrea Vasquez giving testimony at the 12/5/2022 BOT Hearing

Testimony of Andrea Vásquez

"As research studies have repeatedly shown, when workers feel respected and have a voice and decision-making role in their work lives, morale is lifted and performance improves. For current and future employees, it is time to reach a permanent agreement on the features of the new work environment that must include provisions for flexible and partially remote work."

Testimony of Craig Bernardini

"I urge the Board to fight for a CUNY budget that ensures an increase in the number of counselors and full-time faculty compared to pre-COVID levels, significantly boosts pay (particularly for the lowest-paid titles), and ensures that CUNY students have the learning conditions they need and deserve. As at other CUNY colleges, budgetary problems have left Hostos short-staffed, impacting the college’s ability to optimally serve our students."

Lara Beaty giving testimony at the 12/5/2022 BOT Hearing

Testimony of Lara Beaty

"All of us need greater stability if we are going to meet the increased need of our students. Increased funding for CUNY is needed as part of healing the city."

Testimony of Kathleen Offenholley

"We could help our students if we hired more mental health counselors and academic advisors to advise about things like how many college classes it is okay to take. We also need to make CUNY free for in-state undergraduates, so that more students can afford to come to CUNY without having to work full time at the same time. We must help more students to be able to make it through the excellent education CUNY can provide."

Emma Handte giving testimony at the 12/5/2022 BOT Hearing

Testimony of Emma Handte

"...on a human level, the fact that I am in two part time positions, one at the Research Foundation and one at LaGuardia, means I will not have access to health insurance through work until March next year. I have a chronic illness and not having health insurance through work is a huge strain. This distracts from my ability to focus on serving students."

Video Testimony of Valkiria Duran

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