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This Week in the PSC

New Bargaining Update | Call the Governor!

Apr 05, 2024

Bargaining Updates 13 and 14

 

The PSC finished presenting our initial demands during the March 22nd and 27th sessions, and on the 27th management put forward a comprehensive offer, including across-the-board raises. CUNY’s salary proposal approximates what other City and State unions received in this round and includes retroactive pay. But it does not meet our members’ needs, is tethered to several unacceptable demands and is silent on key union priorities. The efforts of PSC members throughout the contract campaign already moved management from their initial position – a 3-year contract with no retroactive pay. But further movement by CUNY is necessary for the PSC to reach a settlement.

Read the full update.

 


 

Want to Observe Contract Bargaining?

 

The next bargaining sessions are scheduled for Thursday, April 11 in the PSC Union Hall and Thursday, April 18 at CUNY Central. All dues-paying PSC members are welcome to observe a bargaining session after completing an online Orientation to PSC-CUNY Bargaining. If you have not yet attended an Orientation to PSC-CUNY Bargaining on Zoom, your next opportunities will be:

 


 

State and National Labor Leaders
Urge CUNY to Expand
Job Security for Adjuncts

 

Presidents Mario Cilento of the New York State AFL-CIO, Melinda Person of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), Irene Mulvey of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), and Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) sent a letter this week to the chancellor and chair of the Board of Trustees objecting to any diminishment in adjunct job security at CUNY and urging broader access to multi-year appointments for teaching adjuncts.

President Davis presented the letter to the chancellor and the Board of Trustees Monday, April 1 at the Board’s Brooklyn Borough Hearing. He read excerpts from the letter, which says, “Across the country, higher education unions have recognized and emulated this provision, adapting the PSC-CUNY contract language. It would be disastrous for CUNY, whose mission has been to serve the working people of New York, to reverse the progress made for thousands of contingent employees. Given the national prominence of this issue, that would constitute a move against CUNY’s adjunct faculty and against labor on a broader scale as well.”

 


 

There’s Still Time to Win More
for CUNY in the NYS Budget

 

The state budget is four days late but might be finalized in the next few days. The Senate and Assembly are calling for millions in new investments for CUNY, but Governor Hochul holds a lot of power in the negotiations. Every PSC member who calls the governor gets us closer to the budget CUNY deserves. Call her today to urge her to deliver a final budget with big increases for CUNY that will fund CUNY priorities and stave off deep cuts even as enrollment is rebounding after the pandemic.

Make a call between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. so you can talk to a person. Dial 518-474-8390, press “2” to speak to an agent. Here’s a sample script:

Hi, I’m [name], a resident of [borough/town] and a CUNY [faculty/staff] member.

I’m calling to urge Governor Hochul to support the Legislature’s position that CUNY funding should be increased by $100 million dollars in the final budget.

New Yorkers need a New Deal for CUNY, and our university desperately needs additional funding to stave off deep cuts to academic departments and student services.

[Give an example from your office/department if you want to.]

 


 

NYC Council Budget Response
Would Defend and Invest in CUNY

 

The City Council mentions CUNY 61 times in their official response to the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget for FY2025. They call for restoration of $40 million in cuts to community colleges that were initiated in the Mayor’s November and Preliminary plans and propose that increased funding provided this year by the Council for the ASAP ($5 million) and ACE ($9.1 million) college completion initiatives be “baselined.” Baselined budget items are presumably funded in future annual budgets rather than as items that are negotiated every year. For CUNY Reconnect, a program that promotes re-enrollment of students who have stopped out of college, the Council would restore and baseline this year’s investment of $5.8 million and add another $2.9 million for a total $8.7 million. There is also a call for $333 million for CUNY infrastructure in the budget response.

Three Ways to Help with the City Budget Campaign

  1. Send an email to your councilmember in support of The People’s Plan #CareNotCuts agenda.
  2. Contact the PSC’s Committee on Legislation to join the lobbying and advocacy campaign.
  3. Community college members, share your stories about understaffing of campus maintenance and CUNY’s crumbling facilities. The City Council will hear testimony on the question “How fit are CUNY’s facilities?” at a hearing Wednesday, April 17 starting at 1 PM. This is an opportunity to advocate for both infrastructure money to fix our campuses and operating support to end the staffing shortages that leave our facilities under maintained. With funding for adequate staffing and supplies, our colleges could focus more on upkeep and make minor repairs before they grow into major issues. Contact PSC Legislative Representative Heather James at [email protected] if you’d like to testify or contribute a story toward the PSC’s testimony.

 


 

Civil Disobedience Training,
Thursday, April 11, 6:30PM

 

When union members can no longer tolerate business as usual, they must plan to take disruptive action, up to and including action that risks arrest. Civil disobedience has a long history in the movements for workers’ rights and civil rights. The PSC may reach that point in the negotiations to achieve a just contract. Members are preparing to safely and strategically risk arrest, if necessary, to achieve our demands for fair pay, job security, and respect. This training, required of any participant in a PSC/CUNY action risking arrest, will be held in person in the PSC Union Hall, 25 Broadway, 15th floor. Civil disobedience actions outside CUNY Central and the Governor’s office have been part of successful union campaigns to win fair contracts and defend students’ right to a quality education.

Register here to attend the training.

 


 

How to Say “No” to the Boss

 

A workshop led by Claudia Shacter-DeChabert, PSC Executive Committee, Part-time Personnel Officer with support from the union’s Contract Enforcement department to be held on Zoom Wednesday, April 10, 6:30 PM (RSVP, 4/10) and Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 PM (RSVP 4/16).

PSC members have rights established in our contract, the law and the CUNY Bylaws. Our union has a strong Contract Enforcement department that fights to protect our rights. But the first line of defense is us, standing up for ourselves and standing together. Attend this session to learn the right way to assert your rights on the job and how to build a case for a grievance if it is appropriate.

 

 


 

Baruch College PSC Members Stand against Budget Cuts

 

PSC members and students rallied in Baruch’s Newman Vertical Campus yesterday, April 4th to oppose their administration’s plan to cut adjunct budgets to departments in the college’s Weisman School. The cuts, planned for typically full course sections in Communications and English, would cause adjunct faculty members to lose class assignments (and pay!) and access to health insurance. Class sizes increase as the students are redistributed from closed course sections to already-full classes, diminishing the learning experience for the students and increasing the workload for the remaining faculty.

Support the Baruch chapter’s fight-back
by signing their petition.

 


 

Sad State of Queens College

 

President Frank Wu’s State of the College Address this Wednesday, April 3rd was the perfect opportunity for the PSC’s Queens College Campus Action Team to highlight the harm that the administration’s budget cuts and layoffs have caused. The chapter posted up outside the event with signs and fliers, presenting “awards” to administrators, including for “Excellence in Budgetary Incompetence” and “Outstanding Disregard for Students, Faculty and Staff.”

 


 

Academic Labor Unions in
Defending Academic Freedom
in the Current Political Moment

 

PSC’s Brooklyn College Chapter cosponsored a forum on labor unions and academic freedom this week as part of the annual Hess Week of events sponsored by the Ethyle R. Wolfe Institute for the Humanities. Here’s the video:

 


Published: April 5, 2024

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observe a bargaining session after attending an online orientation.
Protest at the May 20 BoT Meeting