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This Week in the PSC

Retiree Health Care Rally at City Hall this Friday | Call the Governor for More CUNY Funding

Mar 29, 2023

Retirees Won’t Be Fooled! Emergency Rally.
No to Forced Medicare Advantage! Yes to “Option C”

City Hall, Broadway and Murray Street
12 Noon, Friday, March 31

April 1st is the deadline for Mayor Adams to decide if the City will retain premium-free Senior Care as an option in the City’s Medicare Advantage contract with Aetna. Health care plans for 250,000 retired city workers are on the line.

Retired and active-duty workers are demanding that the mayor choose “Option C” in the Aetna contract, which keeps premium-free Senior Care as an option, saving access to high-quality healthcare for NYC’s retirees and achieving $350 million in healthcare savings for the City. We’ve sent 6800 letters to the mayor and NYC officials and made hundreds of calls to the Office of Labor Relations. And now we’re mobilizing for an emergency rally on the eve of the mayor’s April Fool’s Day deadline.

Join the PSC and the Cross-Union Retirees Organizing Committee at the rally outside the Broadway and Murray St. gate to City Hall at 12 noon this Friday, April 31. Download a flier.

RSVP     |     RALLY      |     SEND LETTER



PSC Leaders are in Albany this week making a final push for increased CUNY funding

The NYS budget deadline is April 1st and increased CUNY funding is on the bargaining table. The officers and legislative team aren’t missing a chance to push for more funding. President James Davis and First Vice President Andrea Vásquez are shown here with members of the PSC Legislation Committee, Legislative Coordinator Tiffany Brown and Assembly Members Karines Reyes and Zohran Mamdani. The PSC team has New Deal for CUNY cookies to help sustain our CUNY allies during the final budget push. Don’t miss your chance to push for more CUNY funding with no tuition hikes! Send the New Deal for CUNY letter to your legislators and the governor, if you haven’t already. And call the governor!



Call Governor Kathy Hochul.

Tell her to fund the New Deal for CUNY and Stop Painful Cuts

The Senate and Assembly have proposed hundreds of millions in new investments, but Governor Hochul holds a lot of power in the negotiations. Call her as soon as possible and urge her to deliver a final budget with big increases for CUNY that will fund New Deal for CUNY priorities and stave off deep cuts we face due to the end of federal stimulus and enrollment declines.

Make a call between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. so you can talk to a person. Dial 518-474-8390, press “3” to skip COVID info, then 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 hundreds of millions of dollars in the final budget, without increasing tuition. 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 caused by the end of the federal stimulus and enrollment declines. [Give an example from your office/department if you want to.]



Send A Letter to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees Chair

Tell them to suspend the Vacancy Review Board and withdraw the Savings Target cuts

PSC members have been organizing against CUNY Central’s plans to extract savings from the colleges when we can least afford additional cuts. Those efforts yielded a major breakthrough last week, when the Chancellor revised guidance issued in early February. After CUNY Department Chairs organized and nearly 200 of them signed a letter of concern objecting to the imposition of a central Vacancy Review Board, and following withering testimony at the March 20 Board of Trustees public hearing, CUNY has agreed to refrain from interfering in job searches that had already been authorized by the colleges and did not add to a college’s budget. This is a real victory against austerity management! But we must go further. Please click here to send a message to the Chancellor and the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Let them know that your college, your program, your students and your colleagues cannot withstand additional, crippling cuts and instead require new investments and resources.




New Deal for Higher Ed Ad Campaign

Our colleagues at NYSUT and UUP are all in on the campaign to make free, high-quality higher education possible for all New Yorkers. What started – and continues – as the New Deal for CUNY campaign has grown to include a statewide call for massive investments in CUNY and SUNY. Check out the video ad being run by NYSUT, the PSC’s statewide affiliate, and learn more about the $4.7 billion New Deal for Higher Education.



PSC Opposes CUNY Online and the Rapid, Unexamined Expansion of Online Programs

The CUNY Board of Trustees has approved a $7.5 million contract with O’Donnell Learn+ISG to “provide service to support rapid development of online programs across the University and its colleges.” The Board resolution says the University plans to offer 40 new online programs for launch in fall 2023 and an additional 40-50 programs in fall 2024.

The PSC opposes the rapid expansion of CUNY Online. In her testimony before the Trustees at the March 20th hearing, PSC Secretary Penny Lewis asserted that CUNY must bargain with the PSC to “reach an agreement ensuring that the terms and conditions of our work, workload, compensation, appointment, evaluation, technical supports, and academic freedom are protected at all stages of development and implementation.” But beyond real concerns about outsourcing PSC members’ work, speed-up, workload and faculty rights is a fundamental objection to how a rapid expansion of online education without broad engagement with the university community and real academic governance review will change CUNY. Lewis testified that CUNY Online “is ill-conceived and will undermine our core mission, and the university itself.” Read her full testimony.



Urge the City Council to Oppose the Mayor’s Budget Cuts

Send The People’s Plan Letter to Your Council Member

CUNY lost $39 million to Mayor Adam’s PEG cuts this year, and $10 million in additional cuts demanded by the mayor would, if implemented, amount to nearly $50 million in Fiscal Year 2024 and more in the following years. Two hundred eleven more faculty and staff positions would be left unfilled and eliminated!

The PSC and CUNY Rising are a part of The People’s Plan, a coalition of groups defending public services and resources. Send this letter from the coalition demanding a People’s Budget with #CareNotCuts. The letter urges the City Council to protect funding for K-12 education, CUNY, libraries and adult literacy, and social services. It calls for less spending on policing and incarceration and more funding to support healthy, safe communities.




Published: March 29, 2023 | Last Modified: March 30, 2023

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