Earlier today, the PSC legal counsel sent CUNY's legal counsel a formal request for information. The union is requesting the information in order to prepare for potential litigation, if necessary, concerning CUNY's use of federal stimulus funding during the coronavirus crisis.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (H.R. 748), or the "CARES Act," which was signed into law on March 27, provides for more than $250 million in federal funding to be allocated to CUNY colleges. The amount includes funds based on the number of students at each college and the portion of low-income students, plus additional targeted funding for minority-serving institutions. The funds are allocated to each college individually, based on the college's student population.
Under the provisions of the CARES Act, at least $118 million of the funds allocated to CUNY must be used to provide emergency financial aid to students. CUNY management reports that the University has distributed, or is in the process of distributing, those funds to students in need. But where is the rest of the funding? Even if CUNY is waiting for the final transfer of the funding from the federal government, there is no justification for colleges to implement cuts and layoffs when committed federal funding could help to avert them.