Solidarity Greetings

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A Message from the Incoming PSC Officers
June 4, 2021

Dear PSC members,

We are writing during our first week in office to say how excited we are to begin to take on the challenges of the moment. It would be hard to imagine a more tumultuous time for a transition in union leadership, with so much in flux for all of us who work at CUNY, our students and our city. We ran for office because each of us knows from experience that our surest path forward is in union. With you, we will collectively define, demand and create fulfilling and safe working conditions for ourselves and quality learning conditions for our students. We credit the work of all of us in the PSC for the best aspects of our careers at CUNY, and we are thrilled to begin our term in office at a moment when our work in the union, as members and leaders, is more critical than ever. If you’d like to know a bit more about us, here’s what we wrote for last month’s Clarion.

As incoming officers, we are grateful for the ongoing support and guidance from previous leadership, especially Barbara Bowen and other departing members of our executive council (EC). We are eager to begin working with the new and continuing members of the EC. We also benefit from a strong and steady PSC staff who, among other things, has helped us all navigate the vicissitudes of the past fifteen months. PSC chapter chairs continue to work tirelessly, as they have all year, to assure that our transitions in and out of remote work respect our contract and our dignity. Our Health and Safety Watchdog members are on every campus, leading the way for us to be able to return to in-person work—either fully or partially—knowing that our campuses meet the PSC’s safety standards.

All of us have roles to play as we imagine and fight for a better CUNY. If you wish to join the Watchdogs or receive training in campus walkthroughs, now is the time to sign up. You can join efforts to stay connected, with each other through phone banking this summer, so that we reopen safely and are ready to take collective action if it’s unsafe. We will be pressing CUNY for our 2% raise, and to use every dollar of institutional funds provided for pandemic relief to keep classes small, rehire laid-off adjuncts and make our workplaces safe. The city budget will be decided this month and we will need our collective attention to get the city to expand support for our vision of a free and well-staffed CUNY. We hope you consider joining in the work of the PSC’s robust legislative committee.

Whether you are teaching this summer, working from home, working on campus or on annual leave, we hope you will stay engaged with your union as we head towards a fast-arriving fall semester. If this were pre-COVID times, we would be visiting every campus to meet all of you in person. So, until we’re able to safely fill our college meeting rooms and union hall, we’ll see you on Zoom and in the streets at our next PSC demonstration!

In solidarity,

James Davis

Andrea Vásquez
First Vice President

Felicia Wharton

Penny Lewis