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This Week in the PSC

This Week in the PSC (09.10.21): Help CUNY Rising #VaxUpCUNY | Successful Union Grievance

Oct 24, 2021

Help CUNY Rising #VaxUpCUNY

The PSC has received a $100,000 grant, supported by the AFT’s Back to School for All initiative, to fund a campaign to promote student vaccination while building the movement for a free, fully funded and accessible CUNY. CUNY Rising Alliance will help run a campaign to incentivize vaccination and educate students about how COVID has exposed the harm caused by years of austerity for CUNY. Students who are already vaccinated can fill out this form for a chance to win a laptop or cash prize that will be raffled off this Fall. PSC members can help by spreading the word on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) and by sharing the campaign entry link in the chat of your virtual classes. The PSC is also urging faculty to consider inviting a CUNY Rising organizer to make a brief presentation about the campaign during your online class meetings. To invite an organizer to attend your class(es), fill out this form on the PSC website. A CUNY Rising organizer will follow up with you to confirm.  

Barbara Bowen to be Honored by NYCOSH

The PSC is proud to join NYCOSH—the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health—In honoring our former union president, Barbara Bowen, with the Karen Silkwood Award in recognition of her 21 years of extraordinary leadership. Barbara ended her tenure as president leading the union through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fight for the health and safety of every PSC member and CUNY student was her top priority. PSC leaders and a number of our health and safety watchdogs will attend NYCOSH’s 42nd Annual Virtual Gala to show our appreciation for Barbara and support NYCOSH’s important work. State Senator Jessica Ramos and TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano will also be recognized at the gala, which will be held online Thursday, September 30 from 6-8 PM. Tickets for the fundraiser start at $50 and are available here. 

Retiree Chapter Meeting and Info Session on Changing Medicare Coverage

NYC is changing healthcare for city retirees, including CUNY retirees, from traditional Medicare with supplemental city insurance to a Medicare Advantage plan that is managed privately by an Alliance of Empire BlueCross BlueShield and Emblem Health (learn more). As a result, CUNY retirees will have to make a decision about their healthcare coverage between September 15 and October 31. To help CUNY retirees make informed decisions, the PSC Retirees Chapter is hosting a series of virtual information sessions. On Monday, September 13 the Retirees Chapter will host a chapter meeting at 1 PM followed immediately by a meeting focusing on the changing Medicare coverage. Click here for more information and to register for the back-to-back meetings, which will be held at the same Zoom meeting link. 

Successful Union Grievance and Member Pressure Secures Three-Year Appointments for Eight NYCCT and Five Medgar Evers Adjuncts

CUNY colleges facing funding cuts and continuing enrollment declines have laid off or improperly reappointed scores of CUNY adjuncts who were eligible for three-year appointments or reappointments. The details vary from college to college, but the overall effect has been a targeting of some of CUNY’s most experienced adjunct faculty. The PSC has pushed for the proper rehiring of these faculty at the chapter level and in labor-management meetings, at demonstrations, in the press and through the grievance process. While a number of grievances are ongoing, there is good news to report about eight such adjuncts at NYC College of Technology (NYCCT) and five at Medgar Evers College.  

After a Step 1 grievance hearing, NYCCT has conceded that 8 adjuncts who previously qualified for three-year appointments were improperly given “one year with guidance” appointments. The eight NYCCT adjuncts will be issued new, three-year reappointment letters for 2021-22 through 2023-24, and the union will be in a stronger position to oppose improper application of the one year with guidance appointment at other colleges. 

At Medgar Evers College, after 16 months of pressure, five adjuncts who were non-reappointed in June 2020 will be rehired, and CUNY has acknowledged that no special agreement with the PSC is necessary for them to do so. The union has withdrawn these adjuncts from the grievance that is currently pending arbitration but is continuing to press on every front to restore the jobs of adjuncts laid off during the pandemic. Each successful grievance makes our union stronger and inspires us to keep fighting. 

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