News & Events

“Confronting New York City’s Retirement Crisis” -- This was the call for a conference on Tuesday, July 17th convened by the NYC Central Labor Council and the New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis. Approximately 200 people crowded into the New School’s Wollman Hall for an analysis of the problem and consideration of possible solutions by speakers and panelists drawn from labor, academia, policy institutes, business and government.

The PSC and its statewide affiliate, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), have endorsed a candidate in the Democratic Primary Election for New York's 13th Congressional District.

Washington’s skewed priorities can be set right if we elect the right candidates. Don't sit out this critical primary election on Tuesday, June 24. The polls will be open from 6 AM to 9 PM. (Visit to find your poll site.)

PSC members can log in with their member ID or Social security number to read more.

PSC President Barbara Bowen and Secretary Arthurine DeSola testified on June 12 at a City Council hearing to examine proposals for need- and merit-based scholarships currently before the Council. The hearing, chaired by Inez Barron of the Higher Education Committee, featured testimony about the Academic Achievement Award (AAA), a proposed $400 per semester merit-based scholarship for students from NYC high schools and about a $5 million need-based aid initiative proposed by the PSC.

In their testimony, Bowen and DeSola said the PSC supports establishing the merit-based AAA scholarship, if it is created together with a need-based financial aid initiative. They argued both types of financial aid are needed because “the AAA scholarship will not help part-time CUNY students, nor will it provide enough aid to undocumented students or working poor independent students so that they can study full-time and progress to graduation. And the large number of students who enter CUNY with remedial needs won’t [qualify for a merit-based scholarship.] Read the testimony. Watch a video of the hearing.

PSC Resolutions Bound for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

The PSC Delegate Assembly passed seven resolutions at the May meeting that are destined to be voted on at the AFT’s national convention in July. If endorsed by the majority of AFT delegates, the resolutions will become the official positions (or policies) of the nation-wide union.

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CFHE) has released a short animated video disputing the overblown and misleading claims made by the online higher education industry about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Online Ed: Teaching Millions or Making Millions?

Spread the word.

Barbara Bowen, President, Professional Staff Congress/CUNY

New York, NY—If the problem in New York City is inequality, the solution is CUNY. Mayor de Blasio knows this and has articulated a progressive vision for CUNY that puts the University at the center of the City’s economic development strategy. Investments in CUNY pay off quickly, especially if they’re investments in the full-time faculty and student support staff, who teach classes, mentor students and help students to graduate on time and imagine new possibilities for their lives.

Leadership Change at NYSUT

Karen Magee, a veteran elementary school teacher and president of the Harrison Association of Teachers, is the new president of NYSUT. Magee and the “Revive NYSUT” slate of officers and at-large directors were all elected this past weekend by a majority vote at the union’s annual Representative Assembly in New York City. Click here to read the announcement and the list of new officers. Magee is the first woman elected president of NYSUT. She replaces Dick Iannuzzi, who served as president for nine years.

PSC President Barbara Bowen was quoted on why she and other PSC officers supported the new team of NYSUT leaders in this Capital New York article.

Federal Government Recognizes Same-Sex
Marriages for Tax Purposes

Opportunity to Recoup Federal Taxes Paid

As a result of the Supreme Court decision invalidating a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, federal tax policies have changed so that – going back to 2010 – couples whose marriages were not recognized for tax purposes can file amended tax returns for 2010, 2011 and/or 2012.

There is a 3-year statute of limitations for claiming a tax return, so an amended tax return for 2010 must be filed by April 15, 2014.

Anne Friedman of BMCC is NYSUT’s higher education member of the year. The PSC vice president for community colleges, Anne is a member of the PSC negotiating committee and its faculty workload committee. Her drive to make CUNY a better place to learn and work dates back to before she joined the BMCC faculty in 1978. As an undergraduate at City College, she participated in the successful fight for an open admissions policy at CUNY. Anne received the award at NYSUT’s Representative Assembly. Watch the video they played to honor her.

AstroCom NYC was featured this week on WNYC. It’s an apprenticeship program at CUNY that provides scholarships and one-on-one mentoring to underrepresented students studying astronomy. Tim Paglione, a professor of astronomy at York College who heads up AstroCom NYC, is heard in the segment. So is BMCC student Ariel Diaz and astronomy professor and PSC union activist Saavik Ford. Listen here.