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This Week in the PSC

This Week in the PSC (05.28.14): PSC Letter to City Council Says Now Is the Time to Invest in CUNY

May 28, 2014

PSC to the City Council: Now Is the Time to Invest in CUNY

The union has sent a letter to City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito urging her to partner with Mayor de Blasio and the PSC in supporting system-wide investments in CUNY. All members of the Council will receive a copy. The City Council has been a strong advocate for the University, often restoring funding that previous administrations had proposed to cut. Now that the City has a mayor who understands CUNY’s potential for reducing economic inequality for its students, it’s time to reinvest in the University. Mayor de Blasio has set a transformative goal of increasing City the annual budget for CUNY by $150 million and has taken the first step by proposing a $19 million investment in STEM initiatives at CUNY. The PSC letter calls on the Council to help achieve the Mayor’s goal by making the following investments:

  1. Provide $10 million this year for a Council initiative to hire 1,000 new full-time faculty and staff, taking the opportunity to increase faculty diversity and create full-time positions for experienced part-timers.
  2. Provide $5 million this year for need-based financial aid to fill gaps in the current system of State and federal financial aid.
  3. Provide $800,000 to fully fund Council-supported initiatives, such as the Murphy Center for Worker Education, Creative Arts Team, Dominican Studies Institute and Center for Puerto Rican Studies.
  4. Provide $10.9 million this year to fund the Council’s merit-aid program, the Academic Achievement Award (AAA).
  5. Fund CUNY’s full Capital Budget request for critical maintenance and construction needs.

Online Ed: Teaching Millions or Making Millions?

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CFHE) has released an animated video, “Online Ed: Teaching Millions or Making Millions?,” disputing the overblown claims made by the online higher education industry about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). CFHE is a national grassroots campaign comprised of faculty organizations from 21 states, including the PSC and United University Professions, our sister union at SUNY. The California Faculty Association, representing the Cal State campuses, is also a key part of the campaign. The video was unveiled at CFHE’s Seventh National Gathering in Albany. CFHE also recently released a series of working papers on online higher education.

Welfare Fund Drug Plan Changes Explained

In 2014, important changes are being made to the prescription drug benefit administered by Express Scripts for the PSC/CUNY Welfare Fund, changes that will allow the Fund to continue to offer an affordable and reliable drug program, while helping you maintain your health and also reducing your out-of-pocket costs. Larry Morgan, executive director of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund, explains the changes in the May edition of Clarion. Read Morgan’s article, “A Guide to WF Drug Plan Changes” and an accompanying piece “Big Pharma’s Profits & the Public Interest.”

2014 Chapter Elections

Thirteen PSC chapters held elections in the spring of 2014. The chapters elected officers, delegates and alternates to the PSC Delegate Assembly, and representatives to the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Advisory Council. Most races were uncontested, though there was a contest for one of Hunter College’s seats on the Delegate Assembly. The election results were certified by the Elections Committee on May 12. The term of office for the newly elected candidates begins on May 27. Click here for the vote counts of the uncontested elections, here for a list of who was elected, and here for the vote count of the Hunter College election.

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