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This Week in the PSC

This Week in the PSC (05.06.13): Vote No Confidence in Pathways

May 06, 2013

Vote No Confidence in Pathways—May 9 – 31

University Chancellor Matthew Goldstein is stepping down, Board of Trustees Chair Benno Schmidt’s term is ending, and CUNY will have an interim chancellor. The coming period of transition is a chance to make the next CUNY administration rethink its approach to Pathways. A strong vote of No Confidence would send a message that the faculty have no confidence in the quality and rigor of the Pathways curriculum. And a secret ballot, conducted and secured by the American Arbitration Association, will allow participation without fear of retribution.

Full-time faculty will receive in the mail an instruction sheet and secret ballot for a referendum on a motion of No Confidence in Pathways. Be sure to save the mailing; you’ll need the PIN number included in the mailing to vote. (See a sample ballot and instructions sheet.) Ballots will be mailed on Wed., May 8, and voting will take place Thurs., May 9 – Fri., May 31. Full-time faculty may vote online, by telephone and by mail. If you haven’t received a ballot by Fri., May 10, contact the union office at 212-354-1252 or [email protected].

Opposition to Pathways at Brooklyn College—Follow It Online

The Brooklyn College PSC chapter is blogging about the struggle against Pathways on their campus. Here’s an excerpt from today’s (May 6, 2013) post:

Last month the Provost unilaterally ended the college’s foreign language requirement. This was done as part of the Provost’s implementation of the Chancellor’s Pathways initiative… The Provost changed the requirement despite the explicit rejection of the Pathways framework by Faculty Council. In fact, it directly contravenes a Faculty Council resolution that established a framework for implementing Pathways in the event that it went forward despite faculty opposition…Pathways is a failed system that is reducing standards and creating a one-size-fits-all curriculum at the lowest common denominator.

The blog post goes on to share language from a pending Faculty Council resolution opposing the change. You can follow and comment on the Brooklyn College chapter blog by clicking here.

Phased Retirement Pilot Program Announced; First Deadline is May 15

PSC has reached agreement with CUNY on a three-year pilot program of Phased Retirement for full-time instructional staff who participate in the Optional Retirement Plan and are at least 65 years old. (Current State law doesn’t allow for inclusion of members in the Teachers’ Retirement System.) Faculty can phase at 50% of workload and 50% of pay for one, two or three years; professional staff can phase at 80% of workload and 80% of pay for six months or one year. The full agreement will be posted at soon.

Instructional staff members interested in participating in the program starting Fall 2013 must express interest in doing so by submitting a notice of intent to their college HR office by May 15. Interested instructional staff must also contact their department chair/supervisor to discuss a mutually agreeable “phased” workload configuration. A formal application must be submitted by June 7. The commitment to retire as part of the program is irrevocable, and Travia Leave, at 100% pay, is incorporated into the program. Potential participants are strongly encouraged to meet with a financial counselor in planning for the phased retirement period.

Rally to Save SUNY Downstate—Thurs., May 9

PSC’s sister union, United University Professions (UUP), will rally with faith, labor and community groups this Thurs., May 9 at 5:00 PM, as part of an all-out campaign to save SUNY Downstate, Brooklyn’s only state-run public hospital. Vital healthcare services and jobs are on the line after the state budget passed without funding appropriated to save the hospital, which has been on the verge of insolvency. UUP represents many SUNY Downstate workers. A press conference and “pre-rally” with Rev. Al Sharpton is set for 3 PM at SUNY Downstate’s 470 Clarkson Ave. entrance. A church service at Mt. Zion Church of God, at 203 E. 37th St. (between Church Avenue and Linden Boulevard) is scheduled for 4:15 PM, and the rally will start at 5 PM at SUNY Downstate’s 470 Clarkson Ave. entrance. Download a flier at this link.

CUNY Budget Hearing—Fri., May 10

CUNY officials will testify about Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget at a joint hearing of the City Council’s Finance and Higher Education Committees this Fri., May 10 at 10 AM. The hearing on the proposed budget for CUNY will take place at the office building at 250 Broadway in the Committee Room on the 16th floor. The Mayor’s Preliminary Budget proposed a flat-line budget for CUNY community colleges that didn’t account for enrollment increases and inflationary costs. Analysis of the Executive Budget is underway. There will be no opportunity for open testimony at the hearing, but the public is welcome to attend to hear CUNY’s take on the budget and witness the councilmembers’ reactions. RSVP by emailing Carmen De La Rosa at [email protected].

Labor Goes to the Movies Presents My Son the Fanatic—Fri., May 10

PSC’s ongoing film and discussion series continues this month with My Son the Fanatic (UK/France, 1997), a film by Udayan Prasad. It tells the story of Parvez, a Pakistani taxi driver in a small British city, who confronts flaring hatreds, his own bleak prospects, and his son Farid’s burgeoning fundamentalism. See it Fri., May 10 at the PSC Union Hall (61 Broadway, 16th floor). Doors open at 6 PM. A discussion will follow the film. Light food and drink provided. There is a $2 suggested donation.

Rallies in June: Save the Dates!

Saturday June 8, NYSUT will rally for full investment in higher education and against corporate control of public education. Contact Ida Cheng at [email protected] to get on the bus to Albany.

Wednesday June 12th, NY City workers—all without contracts—will rally 4-6 PM at City Hall Park to demand that Mayor Bloomberg and his successor show respect to city workers by offering fair wage increases and to all city residents by ensuring that they have the high quality services they need. Contact Deirdre Brill at [email protected] to help build the PSC contingent.

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