Hundreds March to Demand Contract Progress
Hundreds of PSC members turned out Tuesday, March 31 for a rainy but spirited protest and march outside Hunter College to demand that CUNY management stop stalling at the bargaining table. (See photos.) The CUNY administration has put no money on the table for raises or workload improvements, and has made no real movement on the union’s non-economic demands. Albany politicians share blame with CUNY management for the lack of an economic offer, but the CUNY bosses could negotiate to improve our working and teaching conditions right now. If no progress is made at the bargaining table by April 20, PSC members will return to the Upper East Side for a protest at Chancellor Milliken’s address.
Contract Fight Broadens to Build Student Support
Five years without a contractual raise and four without a contract is absurd, insulting and destructive. CUNY management’s failure to deliver on a contract hurts CUNY students, too, by damaging the University’s competitiveness and stalling progress on changes that would protect the quality of education. We may need the whole community in this fight; it’s time to take our message directly to students. Starting April 16, the day of an upcoming negotiating session, faculty and staff will be wearing t-shirts that say, “Five Years without a Contract Hurts CUNY Students’’—and on the back: “Ask Me Why.” Sign up here to join them and make a commitment to wear a t-shirt in class/at work.
The State Budget for 2015-16
The Governor and State Legislature failed to include the union’s two priorities in this year’s State budget negotiations: increasing State funding by $63 million to cover mandatory cost increases including collective bargaining, and securing $240 million in a one-time human infrastructure investment from the bank settlement funds for retroactive pay. However, we made progress in bringing the issue to the Legislature and will continue to advocate with elected officials for their support through the end of the session in June. So, plan to be busy.
There are some bright spots in the final budget:
- increased funding for CUNY senior colleges ($12 million tied to creation of a required performance plan, but passed without an originally proposed 10% funding penalty);
- $100 per-FTE increase in Base Aid to community colleges ($6.1 million for CUNY);
- increases for opportunity programs, SEEK ($3.9 million) and College Discovery ($0.2 million);
- restoration of ASAP’s State funding ($1.7 million), plus additional State funding for ASAP ($0.8 million);
- restoration of State funding for the Joseph Murphy Institute ($0.5 million);and
- increased State funding for campus childcare ($0.4 million).
We also prevailed in stopping some onerous proposals including stopping the consolidation of CUNY’s back-office operations and performance-funding noted above.
Have you Received Your Ballot for the Spring 2015 PSC Elections?
The PSC is holding union-wide elections this spring. Ballots were mailed to eligible members’ homes on April 1. Completed ballots must be received by 5:00 PM on April 29. To be eligible to vote, you must have been a PSC member in good standing for at least four months when ballots were mailed out on April 1. If you believe you are eligible but still have not received a ballot by April 10, please call Barbara Gabriel at 212-354-1252 for a duplicate ballot or to check your membership status. Read more.
Rally for Adjunct Faculty and All Low-Wage Workers—Wed., Apr. 15
PSC members will be part of the action on Wednesday, April 15, when low-wage workers throughout the country demonstrate and rally to demand fair wages and union rights. The day of action is part of the massive Fight for $15 campaign. Here in NYC, fast food cashiers and cooks, retail employees, child care workers, adjunct professors, home care providers, college students, airport workers, and others will mobilize at different sites. The PSC will participate in a rally at Columbia University, where student workers, adjunct faculty and their allies will gather at 116th and Broadway at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, April 15 to demand better pay and better treatment from the Academy before marching to protest at a nearby McDonald’s. To stay up-to-date on planned actions in NYC, register here.
The Spring 2015 PSC/CUNY Pre-Retirement Conference Is At Full Capacity.
The union can unfortunately no longer accept any new requests to attend. The day-long conference is offered twice a year, once in fall and once in spring. If you are planning to retire in the next five years and haven’t attended a pre-retirement conference, watch for a notice about next fall’s conference. Read more.