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This Week in the PSC

This Week in the PSC (11.12.12):Storm Relief Fund for Union Members

Nov 12, 2012

Storm Relief Fund for Union Members

PSC is participating in the union movement’s Superstorm Sandy relief efforts because looking out for one another is what being in a union is all about. Many union members, including our brothers and sisters in the PSC, have suffered significant loss and others were hit less hard, but still are in need of help.

All PSC members are deeply concerned about our colleagues who may have suffered losses as a result of the storm. PSC is working with our local chapters and state and national affiliates (NYSUT, AFT and the AFL-CIO) to offer help. One way you can help is by donating to the NYSUT Storm Relief Fund. Click here for the Fund’s contribution page. Links to other Sandy relief resources are on the PSC website.

The NYSUT Storm Relief Fund will provide small grants (typically $250-$500) to approved applicants, who have incurred (or will incur) certain storm-related losses that are not otherwise paid for by insurance or other reimbursements. Requirements and eligible expenses for the grant are listed on the application, which must be signed in the presence of a notary public. The PSC can provide assistance to members in the NYSUT Storm Relief Fund grant application process. Contact Patricia Young at [email protected] to discuss your claim application after you have information about insurance claims. If extenuating or emergency circumstances exist which require emergency processing, please contact NYSUT Social Services at 1-800-342-9810, ext. 6206.

CUNY Must Honor the Results of Department Chair Elections

The PSC fully supports the right of CUNY faculty to elect their department chairs, as established in the CUNY bylaws. When faculty vote to make a change in their department leadership, as happened recently with the English department at Queensborough Community College (QCC), the college president should accept the results of the vote and honor the wishes of the faculty.

Diane Call, the president of QCC, has informed the English department on that campus that she will reject their near three-fourths majority vote to elect a new chair and instead appoint a temporary chair while a new chair is recruited in a national search. The struggles of the QCC English department made headlines recently when faculty members were threatened with mass firings after the department voted against reducing classroom hours for Pathways-compliant composition courses. Hundreds of CUNY faculty have signed a petition from the QCC English department faculty urging President Call to reconsider her decision to deny their vote for chair. Please add your name to the petition.

Election Day Wrap Up

President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term last week, after winning important states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Virginia. PSC members phone banked union households to mobilize support for President Obama in New Hampshire, and campaigned for successful Senate candidates Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts and Chris Murphy in Connecticut. Endorsements from PSC through our state-wide affiliate, NYSUT, also helped make the difference in several tightly contested New York congressional elections and in the State Senate. Visit the PSC website for a full Election Day wrap up and a piece on the union’s political strategy, which explains the work PSC did leading into last week’s elections and plans to influence the 2013 New York City elections.

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