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News & Events

On the War in Israel and Gaza

Apr 29, 2024

Statement on the Encampment at City College, April 25, 2024

Lawful student protests on any CUNY campus should not be met with NYPD arrests, including this week’s demonstration at City College. Administrators at City College and at colleges throughout the country can and must ensure students’ safety and prevent harassment on campus without resorting to the forcible removal of peaceful protestors.

 

Statement on the Arrest of Students Demonstrating at Columbia University, April 22, 2024

The Professional Staff Congress/CUNY, the union representing 30,000 City University of New York employees, joins fellow unionists and academics in condemning the recent actions of Columbia University administration to suppress student protest on April 18. The Columbia University AAUP chapter has rightly objected to their administration’s conduct before Congress and toward the student encampment. Academic freedom and free speech have come under increasing attack from multiple sources, none as visible as recent congressional hearings grilling university presidents. As leaders of institutions whose very existence rests on freedom of inquiry, university administrators must defend the rights of their community members to protest, peacefully assemble, and share divergent, conflicting views. Columbia’s leaders abdicated this responsibility. They discarded principles of free speech and skirted their own governance rules to bring police onto campus for the first time in more than fifty years to arrest students who had been demonstrating peacefully. As faculty and staff who work to develop students into critical thinkers and active participants in a pluralistic democracy, PSC members have a responsibility to challenge the forces now casting student protest as adjacent or even antithetical to higher education. Student safety and freedom from harassment on campus are achievable without resorting to the forcible removal of peaceful protestors.

Our own administration has failed to stand strongly for freedom of speech and assembly at CUNY this year. They have canceled events that are critical of Israel and failed to condemn “doxing” trucks targeting our members, stating merely that they do not condone the practice. The developments at Columbia compel us to reaffirm our December 2023 statement and call again on the CUNY administration to ensure that our rights to speech, peaceful assembly, and full critical inquiry are protected in our highly diverse community.

 

Statement on the PSC’s Call for a Ceasefire, Dec 14, 2023

On December 14, 2023, the PSC Delegate Assembly voted to join the 78 labor unions calling for the restoration of humanitarian aid to Gaza, for the release of Israeli hostages by Hamas, and for President Biden to call for a ceasefire in the statement, The US Labor Movement Calls for Ceasefire in Israel and Palestine. Other endorsing unions include Rutgers University AFT-AAUP, Boston Teachers Union, Chicago Teachers Union, United Auto Workers, and UMass-Boston Faculty/Staff Union. Major labor unions expressing similar support for these priorities include the NY State Nurses Association and 1199SEIU. We hope a unified US labor movement can help bring about a just and lasting peace.

Statement on the War in Israel and Gaza, Oct 12, 2023

The Professional Staff Congress joins unions in the U.S. and abroad to express our grief and dismay about the violence and loss of life in Israel and Gaza. We strongly condemn the kidnapping and murder of Israeli civilians by Hamas. Many of our members and students have families directly connected to this conflict, and the loss of civilian lives in Israel and Gaza is heartbreaking and horrifying. As a union of educators, we value communication, free speech, and mutual understanding as a means to resolve conflict. We respect the human rights of Palestinians and Israelis and hope that space can be created for political and humanitarian solutions.


Published: April 29, 2024 | Last Modified: April 30, 2024

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Protest at the CUNY Trustees Meeting-NEW LOCATION-May 20th at Bronx Community College