A message from President Barbara Bowen, November 14
This is the first in a series of short messages sent to ensure that you have accurate information about the proposed contract. Unfortunately, false and misleading claims about the contract have been circulated.
The question of funding is always pertinent at CUNY. What makes this contract different from past contracts is that it comes with a commitment of tens of millions of dollars annually in State and City funding, over and above the annual salary increases and equity increases. The additional funding is committed to pay for the new adjunct office hours. The PSC won the support of the CUNY Board, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio for a major new investment in CUNY’s workforce and its students.
The costs of the contract for the current year are funded, according to CUNY’s budget director. New York City has budgeted to add funds to the community college budgets to cover every dollar of the across-the-board and equity increases in every year of the contract. New York State has not regularly done so, but the State provided funding for the retroactive pay increases in the last contract, funded the fringe benefit cost increases in recent years, and has made the important new commitment of funds for the proposed agreement. NY State budgets are enacted on a year-by-year basis; the PSC has already begun the effort to gain the funds needed to cover all contractual increases next year, without raising tuition.
The claim made by some college presidents that tuition must be raised to cover contractual increases is divisive and false. The reason for budget shortfalls at CUNY is systemic underfunding, not our contractual increases. The PSC has consistently fought back against the systemic underfunding, including averting a half-billion-dollar proposed cut to CUNY funding three years ago.
A majority yes vote on the proposed contract means that we will receive our raises and CUNY will gain additional State and City funding. I urge you to vote yes.
Barbara Bowen President, PSC