News & Events

Studies Show Investments in NYS Public Higher Education Institutions Have Strong ROI

New York State and its local governments currently spend in the neighborhood of $10 billion annually on a broad array of economic development programs with the goal of creating jobs and strengthening local economies.

Read the factsheet: Redefining Economic Development in New York State

As budget negotiations progressed, dozens of students, faculty, college staff and union leaders and legislative allies descended on the Capitol Wednesday, March 23 to call for an additional $1 billion–$500 million each–for CUNY and SUNY. During a rally outside the Capitol, advocates performed a “cantestoria,” a street theater with banners and 2-D puppets enacting New York’s disinvestment in CUNY and the hope for the better university that the New Deal for CUNY can make possible. PSC/CUNY President James Davis and NYSUT President Andy Pallotta joined the action along with SUNY faculty leaders, including the president of United University Professions (UUP), who spoke about the needs of the SUNY system and its public teaching hospitals.

The groups were joined at the rally by Assembymembers Khaleel Anderson, Kenneth Burgos, Harvey Epstein, Phara Souffrant Forrest, Emily Gallagher, Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, Chantel Jackson, Ron Kim, Zorhan Mamdani, Yuh-Line Niou, Karines Reyes, Linda Rosenthal, Phil Stek, and Monica Wallace. Senators Andrew Gounardes, Robert Jackson, and John Liu also spoke in support of increasing CUNY and SUNY funding by $1 billion.

New York, NY--Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and Assemblymember Harvey Epstein joined members of the Professional Staff Congress and the CUNY Rising Alliance outside Baruch College today to support the New Deal for CUNY and urge Gov. Hochul and the New York State Legislature to increase funding for CUNY by $500 million this year.

“As a former teacher in New York City’s Welfare Education Program, I know firsthand how free education can change the trajectory of students’ lives for the better. It is also why I, along with so many of my Democratic colleagues, have been fighting on local, state, and federal levels to restore funding levels for higher education across the country. We need The New Deal for CUNY - making CUNY education free as it once was - now more than ever. I want to thank PSC CUNY for their incredible advocacy at the State level in pushing for The New Deal for CUNY because this year, we have an opportunity for New York State to step up and lead the national charge,” said Congressmember Carolyn Maloney (NY-12).

Albany, NY - Monday, March 14, in response to the Legislature’s one-house budget bills, Professional Staff Congress/CUNY President James Davis released the following statement:

“New Yorkers need a New Deal for CUNY, and the Senate and Assembly one-house budgets are a huge step toward making it a reality.

The Executive Council of the Professional Staff Congress joins fellow union leaders and locals in the U.S. and abroad to express our condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and our deep concern for the Ukrainian civilians being killed, wounded, displaced, and terrorized in this unnecessary war. Our concern extends to the dissenters in Russia who are opposing Vladimir Putin’s aggression at great risk to themselves and their families. Many of our members and students have families directly connected to the conflict, and we express our solidarity and pledge to do what we can to support them through this period. Our union has a long history of opposing war, supporting international solidarity among working people, and insisting that all people deserve to live in a just, stable, and peaceful world. As educators, we value communication, dialogue, and mutual understanding as modes for resolving conflict, and we hold out hope that diplomacy and an avoidance of escalation can help bring an end to this war.

We encourage PSC members to consider donating to the AFT Disaster Relief Fund (https://www.aft.org/disaster-relief-fund), which is working with teachers unions in countries that border Ukraine to provide assistance and services to refugees.

Dear PSC members,

We would like to address two critical health and safety issues our members currently face - the end of the mask mandate, and our ongoing negotiations regarding the vaccination mandate. It’s a long letter, and we appreciate your forbearance–just as we appreciate the efforts everyone reading this has been making to keep all of us safer during the ever-shifting COVID crisis.

MASK MANDATE

Many of our members learned that CUNY lifted its mask mandate only as they came in this week, as the Chancellor shared this news in an email late Friday, timed as if to escape notice or reaction. As we wrote last Thursday, the PSC strongly believes that this is a premature move on CUNY’s part, once again made out of political expediency, rather than public health. We know that Mayor Adams is lifting mask mandates, and the CDC has relaxed its guidance on masking in areas that are not high risk, according to its revised metrics. While so many of us are also tired of wearing masks, CUNY should have waited to see how the widespread relaxation of vaccination standards and mask wearing bears out in our city before ending the mask mandate. Crucially, the administration should have meaningfully consulted with its faculty and staff - through the union, our chapters, and the campus reopening committees - before ending a critical precondition for faculty, staff and students returning to the campuses this semester. 

We are writing to urge various steps we see as essential for the ongoing maintenance of a healthier working and learning environment at CUNY. Read more on the steps being urged.

VACCINE MANDATE NEGOTIATIONS

The vaccine mandate for faculty and professional staff goes into effect April 1, and the PSC continues to negotiate its implementation with CUNY management. Our guiding principles are to protect jobs and due process for our members and to protect public health and the safety of the campus community. CUNY’s decision to impose the mandate selectively (only for PSC-represented employees and those on the executive compensation plan) undercuts the public health rationale and provides critical context for our negotiations. Read more on the vaccine negotiations.

Sponsors of the State New Deal for CUNY Legislation Join Council Members, Students and Union Members in Calling for a State Budget that Funds the New Deal

New York, NY - The New York City Council passed a resolution Thursday, March 10 urging state legislators and the governor to enact New Deal for CUNY legislation, a five-year, $1.7 billion program of reinvestment in CUNY that would set minimum staff-to-student ratios, raise salaries for adjunct professors, fix crumbling infrastructure and make CUNY tuition-free again. The Council voted overwhelmingly in favor of the resolution introduced by Councilmember Justin Brannan.

Before the Council vote at City Hall Park, CM Brannan and Council Higher Education Chair Eric Dinowitz joined State Senator Andrew Gounardes and CUNY students, faculty and staff to send a message to Albany.

INCREASED FUNDING WOULD POWER NEW DEAL FOR CUNY & NY HEALS AGENDAS

March 15, 2022

Faith Leaders, Students, Faculty-Staff Unions Call for Over $1B In Increased Funding for CUNY and SUNY 

Albany, NY–More than 130 faith leaders from across New York state have signed a letter calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Legislature to “reverse decades of harmful disinvestment in our public higher education system by fully funding CUNY and SUNY in the state budget.” 

Faith leaders of several different religious traditions gathered in Albany today for a press conference to release the letter and urge state lawmakers to pass a final budget with more than $1 billion in increased funding for SUNY and CUNY. They were joined by Assembly members Karines Reyes and Jonathan Rivera. Student leaders and union officers of the Professional Staff Congress and United University Professions were there as well. 

The PSC's new ad is set to run on multiple social and online media platforms for the next several weeks before shifting to TV in Albany and New York City.

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