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This Week in the PSC

This Week in the PSC (03.13.17): The PSC office will be closed tomorrow due to the weather. Please be safe.

Apr 13, 2017

PSC Radio Ad Urges New State Investment in CUNY

President Barbara Bowen and Chika Onyejiukwa, a student at Hunter College and President of the CUNY University Student Senate, are both featured in this radio ad, which aired in Albany last week. The ad urges lawmakers to ensure that any plan to make CUNY free includes investment to keep it strong.

Contact Your State Legislators Today
Tell Them Investments in Affordability Must Include Investments in Quality

This week, the State Senate and Assembly will finalize and pass their “one-house” budget resolutions, which set the stage for final budget negotiations. Higher education funding is the most pressing issue in this year’s budget negotiations because Governor Cuomo has proposed the Excelsior Scholarship, which would supplement existing financial aid for many CUNY students, making their tuition free. But making college affordable solves only half of the problem. The other half is investing in public universities so that students have the resources they need. The PSC is pushing hard in Albany to demand that any initiative on free tuition at CUNY and SUNY includes increased investment – to hire more full-time faculty, make progress toward $7,000 per course for adjuncts, and strengthen student support services.

No one speaks better about what CUNY needs than those of us whose labor makes CUNY work. Please send this e-fax naming the PSC’s budget demands to your legislators, if you haven’t already. If you’ve already sent the e-letter, call your legislators. You can go to the Senate website and the Assembly website to find your legislators and their office phone numbers.

Why CUNY Faculty Need More Time with Students and for Scholarship

As part of the union’s NYC budget campaign, the PSC is sharing excerpts from faculty testimony supporting CUNY’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request for $35 million to fund the Faculty Partnership for Student Success Initiative. The Initiative would enable full-time faculty to have more time with individual students and more time for research. In her testimony, Professor Charlotte Brooks, Baruch College, said:

“My courses routinely fill to 40 students each, which is as much as most Baruch classrooms will hold. Since we have no TAs at Baruch, I do all my own grading. This grading isn’t easy. I don’t believe in using multiple choice exams, which only teach students to memorize and regurgitate answers without context or argument. My bluebook exams and papers require students to make clear arguments, show change over time, marshal evidence to back up their points, and demonstrate a deep knowledge of a particular period. They also require students to learn to read critically and write well. These are skills our students desperately need to develop both for their careers and to be good citizens. Most do not have the chance to develop these skills in their high schools, which are often overcrowded and underfunded. Furthermore, English is frequently not our students’ first language. That means our students require intensive investments of time from professors to help them build the skills I’ve described. And they deserve that investment of time. They deserve a real, thorough, and competitive college education.”

Written testimony from CUNY faculty who spoke at the NYC Council hearing on CUNY’s budget is posted here on the PSC’s city budget campaign page.

Health and Safety Watchdogs Meeting—Mon., Mar. 20, 5:30PM

The PSC Environmental Health and Safety Watchdogs Committee will meet next Monday, March 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the PSC office. The meeting will feature a workshop called “How to form an effective campus Health and Safety Committee” presented with Max Neuberger from the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH). RSVP to [email protected] is required.

PSC Stands with Puerto Rico’s Children and Workers

President Bowen and Hostos Chapter Chair Lizette Colon joined representatives of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers and the Asociacion de Maestros de Puerto Rico at a news conference protesting austerity measures recently proposed by the Puerto Rico Fiscal Control Board. The control board, working in the interest of the hedge funds holding much of Puerto Rico’s debt, rather than the people of Puerto Rico, is demanding public-sector cuts that would reduce school days, furlough public employees including teachers, and cut the benefits of public employees. In a statement, President Bowen said:

“PSC/CUNY stands with the educators of Puerto Rico against this unelected control board. As a union including hundreds of Puerto Rican faculty and staff, and working with thousands of Puerto Rican students in New York, we support our brothers and sisters because we know, as they do, what it takes to fight back against cuts and how to take on the powerful and win. Puerto Rico has already seen unfair tuition hikes for students and debilitating cuts of hundreds of millions of dollars from higher education. Now salaries are being threatened. Our fight is their fight – and we will stand united to resist the imposition of austerity on students, teachers and working people in Puerto Rico.”

Press Conference to Call for NYC Funding for Adult Literacy—Wed., Mar. 22, 9:30 AM

The PSC is a part of the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL), an alliance of groups advocating for a strong system of community-based adult literacy. On Wednesday, March 22, PSC members will join other immigration and literacy activists for a 9:30 AM press conference on the steps of City Hall. This press conference immediately precedes the City Council Immigration Committee’s 10:00 AM oversight hearing of the Mayor’s proposed budget. This press conference and hearing represent an important opportunity for New Yorkers to convey to the Mayor, City Council and the media, that in light of the increased hostility towards immigrants and refugees, a key part of building a welcoming and empowering City for all New Yorkers includes making sure that all have the opportunity to learn to read, write and speak in English. While the City’s $12 million investment in last year’s budget was a welcome and important first step, the Mayor did not renew the funds in his preliminary budget, leaving programs and students in limbo. NYCCAL and its allies are calling on the City to make permanent this investment as the first step in building a universal system of adult literacy where all immigrants, refugees and other adult learners can access educational opportunities to strengthen themselves and their families.

Visit the online calendar for locations and more information

Legislation Committee Meeting, Mar 14, CANCELLED DUE TO SNOW

Queens College Chapter Meeting, Mar 15, 12:30pm

BMCC Chapter Meeting, Mar 15, 2:00pm

BMCC HEO Meeting, Mar 16, 12:30pm

Baruch College Chapter Meeting, Mar 16, 12:30pm

PSC Watchdog Health & Safety Clinic, Mar 16, 4:30pm

Delegate Assembly Meeting, Mar 16, 6:30pm

City College Chapter Meeting, Mar 20, 12:15pm

Environmental Health & Safety Watchdogs Meeting, Mar 20, 5:30pm

Guttman CC Chapter Meeting, Mar 21, 1:00pm

Safety Net Working Group, Mar 21, 1:30pm

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