CUNY Community Tells the CUNY Board of Trustees:
Fight for the Maintenance of Effort Bill and the Funding CUNY Needs
The Board of Trustees heard testimony Monday, October 16 at a hearing about the University Budget Request for 2018-2019. CUNY faculty, staff, and students packed the room, and were joined by elected officials and community allies from the CUNY Rising Alliance. (Read CUNY Rising’s release.) Support for the College Maintenance of Effort (MOE) bill was outspoken in the vast majority of testimonies. The bill, which will soon be on the governor’s desk for signature or veto, would begin to reverse the State’s record of underfunding CUNY. CUNY Rising groups like New York Working Families and Alliance for Quality Education and student leaders from the University Student Senate were pointed in the their call for the Trustees to use their political sway with the governor to press for his signature on the MOE. Many students, faculty, staff and community groups also opposed the tuition hikes included in the budget request.
President Barbara Bowen and PSC’s other principal officers testified in support of the College MOE and also pressed the Board to demand public funding to support the three-credit teaching load reduction agreed to in the latest PSC-CUNY contract and $7,000 per course for adjuncts. About the MOE and the need for greater public investment, Bowen said:
“The PSC contends that full public funding for CUNY is within reach. As trustees, you should be leading the city and state in imagining a bold new investment in college education for the working class—not just managing scarcity. . . .While the union supports many of the University’s requests for additional funds, the proposed budget would not break the grip of austerity. It is unconscionable to ask students to pay more and faculty and staff to do more with less while not using your political capital to urge the Governor to sign the MOE bill.”
Other faculty and staff testifying in coordination with the PSC joined the chorus of support for the MOE and described what it’s like to teach and work under austerity conditions. Read some of their testimony here.
Sign the #MOE4CUNY Petition
Here’s a petition urging the governor to sign the College MOE bill. If you haven’t already, please sign it, share it on social media and email it to your community and professional networks. You’ll see click-to-share links and a sample email on the thanks-for-signing page.
Stop the Republicans’ tax give-away.
Call Senators Schumer and Gillibrand
The U.S. Senate is poised to pass a Budget Resolution this Thursday allowing the Congress to pass President Trump’s tax plan by a simple majority. (The House passed its bill Oct. 5th.) The plan gives trillions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations—and pays for them with massive cuts to healthcare and education. The Healthcare for America Now (HCAN) coalition has set up toll free number to call NY Senators Schumer and Gillibrand: (888) 516-5820. Call and tell whoever answers the phone: “Vote NO on the Senate budget resolution. Don’t cut Medicare, Medicaid, and education to pay for tax breaks for the rich and corporations.” Keep calling.
We’re Voting NO! on the Constitutional Convention
The PSC opposes the constitutional convention (“Con Con”) because it would be a chance to take away workers’ rights and undermine public pension protections. PSC members are mobilizing their colleagues to vote “NO!” on November 7 by phone banking their colleagues every Wednesday evening. These phone banks will take place at the union office. Members can also sign up to make call from home via the “virtual phone bank.” Click here to volunteer.
#Sandy5 March March & Rally—Oct.28
New York’s elected officials must prioritize protection from the impacts of climate change and lead a just transition to a renewable energy economy. With climate change deniers in power in Washington and dangerous storms increasing in frequency and intensity, we cannot wait any longer. On Saturday, October 28, New Yorkers will rally and march to demand a better future. PSC members will assemble at Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn, at the corner of Pineapple Walk and Cadman Plaza West at 11 AM. The march will cross the Brooklyn Bridge and then rally at the Alfred E. Smith Houses in Manhattan. Click here for more details.
Proposed PSC Budget Presentation—Oct. 19
PSC Treasurer Sharon Persinger will be hold an open session to present and respond to questions about the proposed union budget for the coming year on Thursday, October 19 before the Delegate Assembly: from 5-6 PM in the PSC Union Hall (61 Broadway, 16th floor). Members of the PSC are invited to attend this question-and-answer session prior to the Delegate Assembly’s vote on the budget.