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This Week in the PSC

This Week in the PSC (07.09.13): Outrage over Petraeus scandal grows; lawmakers call for action & launch petition

Jul 09, 2013

Mid-July through August, the email newsletter will be issued every other week.

Outrage over CUNY’s Decision to Pay David Petraeus $150,000 for One Course

The news (ABC, Gawker, Salon) of CUNY’s plan to pay disgraced former CIA Director David Petraeus $150,000 to teach one seminar per semester next year has sparked outrage among faculty, staff, students and many others. (For the reaction on social media, see these tweets.) Petraeus’ salary will be paid through the CUNY Research Foundation and CUNY claims it will be financed by private donations. Real adjuncts at CUNY earn about $3,000 per class—one fiftieth of what Petraeus will receive. They have no job security and lesser benefits than their full-time colleagues. Also, they have no team of CUNY-funded graduate students at their disposal, as Petraeus will have.

Here is PSC’s statement protesting the Petraeus appointment. “It is obscene for a university that operates on a bare-bones budget to pay anyone $150,000 for a single course. Every dollar raised at CUNY, whether from public or private sources, should go to providing broad access to a quality college education,” President Bowen says in the statement. The union’s statement also calls out the Research Foundation for refusing to settle a fair contract with its own employees while it funnels payments to Petraeus.

Elected Officials Demand Action from CUNY on the Petraeus Scandal. Sign the Petition.

NYC Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and City Council Member Brad Lander are also protesting the hiring of Petraeus. De Blasio demanded in a letter to Interim Chancellor William Kelly that CUNY give Petraeus a pay cut and pay the general at “a rate that matches other professors in similar teaching arrangements.” That would be about $3,000. Lander, chair of the City Council Progressive Caucus, has launched an e-petition calling on CUNY to withdraw the job offer entirely.

Photos and Coverage of RF Workers’ One-Day Strike

On the same day that CUNY was confirming their plans to pay David Petraeus via the Research Foundation, private-sector employees represented by the PSC at the RF central office were on a one-day strike. Over a hundred RF workers and their supporters took part in the walk out, chanting through heavy showers and thunderstorms. The central office workers walked out to demand their management agree to a fair contract and stop targeting new employees for excessive concessions. (Learn more.) PSC officers and executive council members were with them in solidarity throughout the day, along with rank-and-file faculty and staff and employees from RF field units. Vinny Alvarez, president of the New York City Central labor Council, joined the picket line. Bill de Blasio, PSC’s endorsed candidate for Mayor, also made an appearance.

A photo slideshow of the one-day strike is posted here on the PSC website. Read online coverage from LaborPress and The Chief Leader (behind a subscription pay wall).

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