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State Budget Campaign FY2017

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April 1 Message From President Bowen

Dear PSC Member,

Until early evening yesterday, the PSC was receiving word from legislators in Albany that the final State budget would include at least some funding for retroactive pay for our contract. That the Legislature was prepared to move toward fairness for us and for CUNY was the result of the extraordinary campaign the PSC waged this year. When the final agreement with Governor Cuomo was reached, however, all funding for our back-pay was eliminated.

Details of the agreement are not yet available, but the outlines are clear. The State budget for FY 2017 (which begins today) saves CUNY from the Governor’s proposed $485-million cut, but continues Albany’s policy of under-investment in CUNY and the students it serves. The budget fails to include any back-pay for CUNY employees and appears to include inadequate funds to replace revenue that would otherwise have come from increased tuition. While we welcome the elimination of yet another year of tuition increases, a budget that fails to replace needed funds ultimately shortchanges CUNY students.

In response to a reporter’s question last night, Cuomo’s budget director promised that funding for labor contracts at CUNY will be addressed when agreements are reached. The PSC will hold the Governor to that statement, and we urge CUNY management to move forward quickly on a reasonable economic offer. The union is committed to negotiating a fair contract, and we are prepared to work around the clock to achieve that goal. The legislative session does not end until June, and the PSC bargaining team will continue to work productively with the mediator appointed to our negotiations in order to reach a settlement without delay. We will expect both the State and the City to fund their full share of the costs.

At his press conference last night, Governor Cuomo declared that he and the two legislative leaders were “leaders in economic justice.” There are important gains for some working people in this budget, and the PSC was active in the campaign to win them. But I do not see the economic justice in a budget that adheres to a completely artificial requirement for economic austerity and fails to invest adequately in the public university that serves the working class.

Teachers in Chicago are on strike today demanding increased revenue for their schools, and the California Faculty Association has announced a strike for later this month. We in the PSC are not alone in our fight against austerity conditions for public schools and universities that serve predominantly working people and people of color.

Together we forced a reversal in the proposal to reduce or transfer responsibility for State funding for CUNY, and we came close to achieving funding for our contract. But we have not won that battle yet. The PSC will build on the power we have developed, starting today. We will focus intensely on achieving a fair resolution of our contract with full public funding. We will continue to organize for the strike authorization vote, and we will not stop demanding economic justice for our students. I am confident in the union membership. Thank you for your sustained support.

Budget Documents

More In This Section

PSC leaders were in Albany Wednesday, June 8 standing alongside Senate Higher Education Chair Kenneth LaValle and Assembly Higher Education Chair Deborah Glick to call for passage of a true Maintenance of Effort (MOE) for CUNY and SUNY before the end of the legislative session on June 16. The 2016-17 Enacted State Budget held CUNY tuition flat for one year but it failed to fund the tuition freeze or address the MOE provision that PSC members fought hard for. Even the inadequate MOE provisions of SUNY 2020, which led to a decline in per-student funding because they didn’t cover increasing operating costs, are set to expire at the end of June. Without any MOE language, our four-year SUNY and CUNY campuses face further state funding reductions in next year’s state budget. A strong MOE is needed to ensure that state funding is provided to cover operating costs such as rent, energy, fringe benefits and salary step increases. The news conference is being sponsored by PSC, UUP, NYSUT and NYPIRG.
The event was covered by the Times Union’s Capitol Confidential blog and by Capitol Tonight’s State of Politics.

Do your part to help pass the MOE by sending this letter to your legislators in Albany.

A letter sent from the CUNY Rising Alliance to Governor Cuomo, Leader Flanagan and Speaker Heastie last week called for funding for CUNY contracts and passage of a true Maintenance of Effort for CUNY during this legislative session. It was delivered the first work day after the front-page Times story, “Dreams Stall as CUNY, New York City’s Engine of Mobility, Sputters” and a few days before the First Lady’s visit to City College. Read the letter here and coverage of the letter on Capital Tonight’s State of Politics blog here.

April 1, 2015 — Message From President Bowen:
Dear PSC Member,
Until early evening yesterday, the PSC was receiving word from legislators in Albany that the final State budget would include at least some funding for retroactive pay for our contract. That the Legislature was prepared to move toward fairness for us and for CUNY was the result of the extraordinary campaign the PSC waged this year. When the final agreement with Governor Cuomo was reached, however, all funding for our back-pay was eliminated.

With funding for CUNY remaining at issue in the final hours of the State budget negotiations, 14 organizational members of the CUNY Rising Alliance are urging lawmakers to negotiate an enacted State budget that protects quality affordable education at CUNY.
Read their letter to Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Heastie.

Hundreds More Rally Demanding Cuomo and Legislative Leaders Pass a State Budget that Invests in CUNY Students and Professors

The PSC is partnering with NYSUT and United University Professions (UUP) and with student organizations like NYPIRG and USS to organize meetings with lawmakers in Albany and City Hall about the need to increase funding for CUNY, expand financial aid and pass legislation that supports the university community.

Faculty, staff and students are the best advocates for the University because they speak from personal experience about the triumphs and challenges of working and learning at CUNY. That’s why we need you to sign up to join your colleagues and CUNY students at these spring actions:

A Reading In Defense of CUNY
Two-time Booker Prize winner Peter Carey (Hunter College) and renown poet Kamiko Hahn (Queens College) joined PSC President Barbara Bowen on the Leonard Lopate Show (WNYC) on March 28. Click here for the podcast. (Hahn, Carey and Bowen appear at the beginning of second hour of the podcast.)

Alliance of 20+ Groups Calls for Tuition Freeze, More State Funding and Faculty Raises
CUNY Rising Platform for Change
“CUNY is for the People” read some of the signs at a highly-charged rally outside Governor Andrew Cuomo’s midtown office on March 10. Organized by a new and broad coalition, CUNY Rising Alliance, the rally kicked off a community-based campaign to demand increased public investment in the City University of New York, CUNY.

With CUNY facing a half-billion dollar cut in State funding, the city’s most active community groups, civil rights organizations, labor unions and faith-based groups are mobilizing to save their university. They have formed the CUNY Rising Alliance to demand investments in CUNY students, faculty and staff. The Alliance groups will launch their campaign with a mass rally, march and meeting on Thurs., Mar. 10. The action will begin at 5 PM with a rally outside Gov. Cuomo’s Manhattan office (633 Third Ave., between 40th and 41st).

Send a message today to Albany and call for funding for the PSC contract; critical decisions on CUNY funding may be made this week. Your voice is important; please send this message to your State representatives.

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More than 450 college students, faculty and staff were in Albany Thurs., Feb. 25 calling on the Legislature to champion investment in public higher education. Together, they urged Albany to increase funding CUNY and SUNY, enact a true Maintenance of Effort, and keep tuition affordable.
Student, Faculty, Staff Platform

In budget testimony before the State Legislature on February 8, President Bowen released startling new data that showed that despite consistently praising the education CUNY offers, Governor Cuomo has actually cut per-student funding at CUNY senior colleges by three percent since taking office – even before considering this year’s proposed $485 million cut to CUNY.
Read PSC’s State Budget Testimony.

The PSC has launched a radio, print and online ad campaign calling on State lawmakers to invest in CUNY. “The professors, staff and students of CUNY believe in the work we do. Why doesn’t Albany?” the ad says. The Daily News covered the campaign here.

President Barbara Bowen’s Statement on the State Budget Testimony of Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Stringer

January 26, 2016

“The PSC is heartened by Mayor de Blasio’s call for a fair resolution of the PSC-CUNY contract today and by his reiteration that the NYC will pay its proportionate share of the cost of raises in a final labor agreement. And we are grateful for the aggressive defense of CUNY mounted by several members of the Legislature during today’s budget hearing.

“In his budget testimony today, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer offered further evidence of the state’s failure to invest adequately in quality education for CUNY’s students, who are predominately people of color. The comptroller’s analysis shows that investment in CUNY has lagged far behind growth of the overall state operating budget. CUNY, Comptroller Stringer said, would have $637 million more in state funding on hand today for senior and community colleges if the CUNY budget had grown at pace with the state budget over the past seven years.

“The City University of New York needs increased public investment, not cuts from the state, to ensure that CUNY’s half-million mostly low income students get a quality education and that CUNY’s faculty and staff—who have not had a raise in six years—are paid fairly for the important work they do. The Governor’s Executive Budget provides $240 million “to ensure fair and affordable agreements with CUNY labor unions.” It is critical that those funds be part of an overall increase in public investment in CUNY.

“In addition to collaborating to find efficiencies at CUNY, the governor and the mayor must ensure that CUNY is fully funded and end the pattern of public disinvestment that has left CUNY starved of resources and unable to compete for the faculty and staff that CUNY students deserve.”

Governor Cuomo has released his Executive Budget proposal for 2016-27. In it, he acknowledges a need to fund retroactive pay for PSC members, but the acknowledgement is packaged with a proposal to shift responsibility for funding 30% of CUNY senior colleges from the state to New York City. Since the 1970s the state has provided virtually all of the public funding for CUNY’s senior colleges. The Daily News’ coverage of the budget explains the governor’s proposals and their editorial board weighs in as well. President Bowen is quoted by PoliticoNY (posted behind a paywall) and DNAinfo. The Albany Times Union editorial on higher education in the budget is called “Bait, Switch, Repeat.” “Cuomo to Continue Shrinking State’s Share of CUNY’s Costs” ran in the New York Times.

Here’s President Bowen’s Statement:

On Monday, January 11, two days before the release of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget, clergy and representatives of the city’s most active community groups, civil rights organizations, and unions urged Governor Andrew Cuomo to restore state funding for the City University of New York and invest in CUNY’s students, faculty and staff. The call came at news conference held outside Cuomo’s midtown office building.

More In This Section

PSC leaders were in Albany Wednesday, June 8 standing alongside Senate Higher Education Chair Kenneth LaValle and Assembly Higher Education Chair Deborah Glick to call for passage of a true Maintenance of Effort (MOE) for CUNY and SUNY before the end of the legislative session on June 16. The 2016-17 Enacted State Budget held CUNY tuition flat for one year but it failed to fund the tuition freeze or address the MOE provision that PSC members fought hard for. Even the inadequate MOE provisions of SUNY 2020, which led to a decline in per-student funding because they didn’t cover increasing operating costs, are set to expire at the end of June. Without any MOE language, our four-year SUNY and CUNY campuses face further state funding reductions in next year’s state budget. A strong MOE is needed to ensure that state funding is provided to cover operating costs such as rent, energy, fringe benefits and salary step increases. The news conference is being sponsored by PSC, UUP, NYSUT and NYPIRG.
The event was covered by the Times Union’s Capitol Confidential blog and by Capitol Tonight’s State of Politics.

Do your part to help pass the MOE by sending this letter to your legislators in Albany.

A letter sent from the CUNY Rising Alliance to Governor Cuomo, Leader Flanagan and Speaker Heastie last week called for funding for CUNY contracts and passage of a true Maintenance of Effort for CUNY during this legislative session. It was delivered the first work day after the front-page Times story, “Dreams Stall as CUNY, New York City’s Engine of Mobility, Sputters” and a few days before the First Lady’s visit to City College. Read the letter here and coverage of the letter on Capital Tonight’s State of Politics blog here.

April 1, 2015 — Message From President Bowen:
Dear PSC Member,
Until early evening yesterday, the PSC was receiving word from legislators in Albany that the final State budget would include at least some funding for retroactive pay for our contract. That the Legislature was prepared to move toward fairness for us and for CUNY was the result of the extraordinary campaign the PSC waged this year. When the final agreement with Governor Cuomo was reached, however, all funding for our back-pay was eliminated.

With funding for CUNY remaining at issue in the final hours of the State budget negotiations, 14 organizational members of the CUNY Rising Alliance are urging lawmakers to negotiate an enacted State budget that protects quality affordable education at CUNY.
Read their letter to Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Heastie.

Hundreds More Rally Demanding Cuomo and Legislative Leaders Pass a State Budget that Invests in CUNY Students and Professors

The PSC is partnering with NYSUT and United University Professions (UUP) and with student organizations like NYPIRG and USS to organize meetings with lawmakers in Albany and City Hall about the need to increase funding for CUNY, expand financial aid and pass legislation that supports the university community.

Faculty, staff and students are the best advocates for the University because they speak from personal experience about the triumphs and challenges of working and learning at CUNY. That’s why we need you to sign up to join your colleagues and CUNY students at these spring actions:

A Reading In Defense of CUNY
Two-time Booker Prize winner Peter Carey (Hunter College) and renown poet Kamiko Hahn (Queens College) joined PSC President Barbara Bowen on the Leonard Lopate Show (WNYC) on March 28. Click here for the podcast. (Hahn, Carey and Bowen appear at the beginning of second hour of the podcast.)

Alliance of 20+ Groups Calls for Tuition Freeze, More State Funding and Faculty Raises
CUNY Rising Platform for Change
“CUNY is for the People” read some of the signs at a highly-charged rally outside Governor Andrew Cuomo’s midtown office on March 10. Organized by a new and broad coalition, CUNY Rising Alliance, the rally kicked off a community-based campaign to demand increased public investment in the City University of New York, CUNY.

With CUNY facing a half-billion dollar cut in State funding, the city’s most active community groups, civil rights organizations, labor unions and faith-based groups are mobilizing to save their university. They have formed the CUNY Rising Alliance to demand investments in CUNY students, faculty and staff. The Alliance groups will launch their campaign with a mass rally, march and meeting on Thurs., Mar. 10. The action will begin at 5 PM with a rally outside Gov. Cuomo’s Manhattan office (633 Third Ave., between 40th and 41st).

Send a message today to Albany and call for funding for the PSC contract; critical decisions on CUNY funding may be made this week. Your voice is important; please send this message to your State representatives.

window.yepnope || document.write(”);

More than 450 college students, faculty and staff were in Albany Thurs., Feb. 25 calling on the Legislature to champion investment in public higher education. Together, they urged Albany to increase funding CUNY and SUNY, enact a true Maintenance of Effort, and keep tuition affordable.
Student, Faculty, Staff Platform

In budget testimony before the State Legislature on February 8, President Bowen released startling new data that showed that despite consistently praising the education CUNY offers, Governor Cuomo has actually cut per-student funding at CUNY senior colleges by three percent since taking office – even before considering this year’s proposed $485 million cut to CUNY.
Read PSC’s State Budget Testimony.

The PSC has launched a radio, print and online ad campaign calling on State lawmakers to invest in CUNY. “The professors, staff and students of CUNY believe in the work we do. Why doesn’t Albany?” the ad says. The Daily News covered the campaign here.

President Barbara Bowen’s Statement on the State Budget Testimony of Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Stringer

January 26, 2016

“The PSC is heartened by Mayor de Blasio’s call for a fair resolution of the PSC-CUNY contract today and by his reiteration that the NYC will pay its proportionate share of the cost of raises in a final labor agreement. And we are grateful for the aggressive defense of CUNY mounted by several members of the Legislature during today’s budget hearing.

“In his budget testimony today, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer offered further evidence of the state’s failure to invest adequately in quality education for CUNY’s students, who are predominately people of color. The comptroller’s analysis shows that investment in CUNY has lagged far behind growth of the overall state operating budget. CUNY, Comptroller Stringer said, would have $637 million more in state funding on hand today for senior and community colleges if the CUNY budget had grown at pace with the state budget over the past seven years.

“The City University of New York needs increased public investment, not cuts from the state, to ensure that CUNY’s half-million mostly low income students get a quality education and that CUNY’s faculty and staff—who have not had a raise in six years—are paid fairly for the important work they do. The Governor’s Executive Budget provides $240 million “to ensure fair and affordable agreements with CUNY labor unions.” It is critical that those funds be part of an overall increase in public investment in CUNY.

“In addition to collaborating to find efficiencies at CUNY, the governor and the mayor must ensure that CUNY is fully funded and end the pattern of public disinvestment that has left CUNY starved of resources and unable to compete for the faculty and staff that CUNY students deserve.”

Governor Cuomo has released his Executive Budget proposal for 2016-27. In it, he acknowledges a need to fund retroactive pay for PSC members, but the acknowledgement is packaged with a proposal to shift responsibility for funding 30% of CUNY senior colleges from the state to New York City. Since the 1970s the state has provided virtually all of the public funding for CUNY’s senior colleges. The Daily News’ coverage of the budget explains the governor’s proposals and their editorial board weighs in as well. President Bowen is quoted by PoliticoNY (posted behind a paywall) and DNAinfo. The Albany Times Union editorial on higher education in the budget is called “Bait, Switch, Repeat.” “Cuomo to Continue Shrinking State’s Share of CUNY’s Costs” ran in the New York Times.

Here’s President Bowen’s Statement:

On Monday, January 11, two days before the release of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget, clergy and representatives of the city’s most active community groups, civil rights organizations, and unions urged Governor Andrew Cuomo to restore state funding for the City University of New York and invest in CUNY’s students, faculty and staff. The call came at news conference held outside Cuomo’s midtown office building.


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