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This Week in the PSC

Ending $321M Tax Break for Columbia & NYU to Fund CUNY

Dec 13, 2023

Send A Letter In Support of Adjunct Job Security to the CUNY Chancellor

Image of PSC member holding up sign that reads: PSC/CUNY members want Job Security

Adjuncts deserve steady income and continued access to health insurance. They are due professional respect and fair treatment from CUNY. But management has sought to undermine the progress our union has made for adjuncts. Send a letter to the chancellor in support of the PSC’s demands to strengthen the multi-year adjunct appointment provision of our contract and to create an additional 600 full-time Lecturer lines for current CUNY adjuncts.




Status of Multi-Year Adjunct Appointments

The agreement on multi-year appointments remains in effect until the end of the 2023-2024 academic year, unless the PSC and CUNY reach a new agreement. See an updated FAQ, Status of multi-year appointments for Teaching Adjuncts.



Opposing the Mayor’s Cuts to CUNY and Other City Agencies

Collage of images from Rally December 11, 2023.

Rally & Press Conference
PSC President James Davis stood with members of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus, NYS Senators Jabari Brisport and Gustavo Rivera, Assembly Member Zorhan Mamdani, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and The People’s Plan coalition on Monday, December 11 to oppose Mayor Adams’s unnecessary mid-year cuts to CUNY, libraries, schools, parks and other city agencies and institutions. See video and photos from the rally and press conference held at 1 Centre Street, across the street from City Hall.

After the rally, President Davis testified before the City Council Committee on Finance, urging them to continue to fight against the mayor’s cuts.

“The city’s proposed across-the-board cuts to CUNY will inflict unquestionable damage on our campuses, especially the community colleges, and make our advocacy at the state level far more difficult,” Davis testified.

Broadening his commentary, Davis said, “It is unconscionable that PSC members and students face austerity in a variety of services, not just CUNY. Libraries are expected to cut hours; Parks Department will cut maintenance staff; composting programs and associated jobs will be lost; a hiring freeze for teachers at DOE; slots eliminated from Universal Pre-K programs next year. If there is a problem with recruiting and retaining a workforce in a vibrant New York City, these cuts will exacerbate it.” Read the full PSC testimony.



Legislators Launch State Bills to End $321M Yearly Property Tax Exemptions for Columbia and NYU

Photos from REPAIR Bills Press Conference December 12, 2023 by Paul Frangipane

The PSC joined state lawmakers outside of Columbia University on Tuesday, December 12 to unveil legislation to end property tax exemptions for private universities whose exemptions total over $100 million. The legislation, introduced by Senator John Liu and Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani, and dubbed the REPAIR bills – for Repeal Egregious Property Accumulation and Invest it Right, would impact Columbia University and New York University. Columbia is the largest private land-holder in New York City and would have paid $179 million last year if taxed. New York University would have paid $142 million. The bills would amend the state constitution to make the two mega universities subject to property tax and funnel the revenue to CUNY to help educate the working people of New York.

“With multi-billion-dollar endowments, tuition rates twice the typical CUNY student’s annual family income, and vast holdings of the most valuable real estate in the world, NYU and Columbia can easily afford to pay their taxes. And Albany can make it happen by ending the property tax exemption for the wealthiest private colleges.” said PSC President James Davis.

Visit this PSC webpage for photos, videos and quotes. See coverage in the NY Times, Daily News, Gothamist and elsewhere.

The idea for the REPAIR bills traces back to testimony delivered by then PSC President Barbara Bowen and First Vice President Mike Fabricant at a 2018 hearing of the City Council speaker’s NYC Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform. See video of the PSC testimony.



The Belle Zeller Scholarship is Currently Accepting Applications

Please help spread the word about the Belle Zeller Scholarship among the students and faculty at your college. Named in honor of the founding president of the Professional Staff Congress, the Belle Zeller Scholarship Trust Fund awards $5,000 scholarships to full-time students who demonstrate a commitment to significant voluntary community service. There are three categories of Belle Zeller scholars: undergraduate students, doctoral candidates affiliated with the CUNY Graduate Center, and students enrolled in the CUNY Law School and Professional Schools. The application and more details can be found at The deadline for submission is February 29, 2024. Awards will be presented in the fall of 2024.

Published: December 13, 2023 | Last Modified: December 14, 2023

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