Message from President Bowen
March 12, 2020
I am writing to update you on what the union knows so far about the impact of CUNY’s plan in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the actions the PSC is taking in response. More messages will follow as we learn more.
First, a reminder: today is the union’s long-planned budget emergency action day. The pandemic has newly revealed the danger of relentlessly underfunding public institutions, including CUNY. There is no better moment to send this letter to Albany demanding an end to the fiscal starvation of CUNY.
Thank you for your support during the past few days. The union’s steady and public pressure on CUNY management to protect the safety of its employees, together with the sharp intervention by the student government and hundreds of social media messages, clearly influenced the administration’s decision to begin to act. CUNY management agreed yesterday to negotiate with the PSC, as required under the law, about the effects of their plan. The union has notified CUNY that bargaining must begin immediately. The PSC will advance the demands we published earlier this week as well as many new issues arising from the transition to distance learning for all classes.
The most obvious issue is that CUNY’s plan, announced yesterday, creates very different conditions and levels of isolation for teaching faculty than for non-classroom faculty and professional staff. We are one union, and the PSC will continue to fight to keep every one of our members safe, whether you are full-time or part-time, staff or faculty.