News & Events

CUNY colleges have been allocated $1.5 billion in federal stimulus funds, $891 million of which is available for institutional use. But CUNY’s public reporting shows that only $51 million in institutional funding has been spent so far. Find out how much your college has been allocated here—you may be surprised at the amount.

Tomorrow afternoon PSC members will take to the streets to demand that the CUNY administration free the funds and reverse all of last year’s austerity measures. Join us in a protest march tomorrow, Wednesday, April 28, at 4:00 to free the funds!

The members of the PSC join in relief and somber celebration of today’s guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin. We extend our solidarity to the family and community of George Floyd, to the anti-racist activists who held the Minneapolis square where he was murdered for more than a year, to the millions of people who rose up to demand justice, and to the brave witnesses and members of the jury who rendered the verdict. We also renew our commitment to each other and our students in this complicated moment; even the emphatic statement of Chauvin’s guilt cannot undo the trauma of witnessing George Floyd’s murder and recalling all the murders of Black people that did not end in conviction.

Today’s verdict was rendered in a single Minneapolis courtroom, but it would have been impossible without a mass movement. The rising up of millions of Black people, working-class people and their allies around the world, many of whom put their own lives and health at risk to participate, and all of whom built on a centuries-long struggle, made today’s verdict thinkable despite systemic racism. But to make such a verdict routine—and to end the state-sanctioned violence against Black people the case epitomized—will take an even more powerful movement.

It is impossible to underestimate the profound meaning of today’s verdict, in this country founded on genocide and racial violence. But it is a verdict that never should have been in doubt, in a case that never should have happened. The conviction of murderer Derek Chauvin cannot bring justice to George Floyd, nor can it bring justice to Emmett Till, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Ramarley Graham or the thousands of other victims of murderous racism. But it can and it does give us hope, as educators, trade unionists and anti-racists, that we will be able to create a world in which Black people and other oppressed people will one day be able to breathe.

April 20, 2021

Momentum for Scott Stringer Grows; CUNY Professors, Staff Endorse Comptroller as Top Choice for NYC Mayor

Using Ranked Choice Voting, Union Ranks Dianne Morales #2 for Mayor

New York—Last night (April 15), the 30,000-member Professional Staff Congress (PSC) announced that Scott Stringer is its top choice for New York City Mayor after a ranked-choice endorsement vote by the union’s Delegate Assembly. The faculty and staff union pointed to Stringer’s advocacy for a free and fully funded CUNY education and his record of support for workers’ rights and progressive causes.

Coming days after the current Comptroller was endorsed by the Working Families Party, the PSC endorsement shows growing momentum for Stringer’s campaign and a further consolidation of support for progressive mayoral candidates

PSC delegates voted to support public education leader and non-profit administrator Dianne Morales as their second-ranked candidate.

In February, PSC members waged an intense two-week campaign in response to the CUNY chancellor’s decision to ignore the contract and refuse to pay equity increases to 2,500 colleagues in lower-paid full-time positions—Assistant to HEO and Lecturer titles. Hours before a planned demonstration in front of his suburban home, Chancellor Matos Rodríguez reversed his decision and signed an agreement with the union for payment of the increases as lump sums instead of as raises spread over the course of a year. The agreement required CUNY to expedite their request for payment of the increases by the City and State so that members could receive the money as soon as possible.

CUNY has informed the PSC that both the $1,000 lump sum payment to Assistants to HEO and the $1,500 lump sum payment to faculty in full-time Lecturer titles (which include CLIP and CUNY Start Instructors) will be paid on the pay dates of 4/22/21 for senior college employees and 4/30/21 for community college employees.

Dear Chairperson Thompson, Chancellor Matos Rodríguez and Members of the Board of Trustees:

I write on behalf of the 30,000 members of the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY to urge you in the strongest terms to reject the resolution scheduled to come before a hastily called Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees today: “Authorize a Contract with McKinsey & Company to Provide Consulting Services for CUNY Reopening Readiness Plan.”

The resolution calls for the trustees to approve a no-bid contract at the cost of $3 million with a for-profit consulting company to do the job the CUNY administration should do in partnership with the unions representing CUNY employees and the organizations representing CUNY students.

At a time when your administration has failed to give PSC-represented employees even a date for payment of our contractual raise due November 15, when approximately 2,000 adjuncts you laid off in June 2020 are still without CUNY employment, when searches for full-time employees remain frozen, the proposal to spend $3 million on a contract with a for-profit consulting firm to do the work CUNY managers are paid handsomely to do is outrageous.

Statement on the FY2022 New York State Budget for CUNY

Barbara Bowen, President, Professional Staff Congress/CUNY

“The CUNY faculty and staff represented by the PSC are delighted to see important gains for CUNY in the budget agreement reached yesterday. The FY 2022 budget rejects every cut proposed by the governor, increases the maximum TAP award by $500, commits to closing the TAP Gap within the following three years, adds funding for opportunity programs, stabilizes support for community colleges hit by losses in enrollment this year, adds capital funds to fix CUNY buildings, and freezes undergraduate tuition.

“We thank the members of the Legislature who responded to the thousands of PSC members, CUNY students and allies who urged New York to break with decades of planned poverty for CUNY. All of us who support a New Deal for CUNY are right to claim these steps as victories. We applaud the progressive legislators who led the fight for them and the entire Legislature for their support.

“But in a year that cried out for bold investment in public higher education and an end to racist austerity for the Black and brown communities CUNY serves, Albany missed the opportunity to pass a transformative budget for CUNY. Rejecting a tuition increase without adding the funds to replace the lost revenue will ultimately undermine the quality of education CUNY can offer. CUNY needs investment on a larger scale if it is to recover from decades of underfunding and realize its potential for the people of New York. A fully funded CUNY would be a linchpin of a recovery that not only rebuilds New York, but reimagines it.

Click here for details of the enacted NYS budget.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Dear Legislators,

I am writing as the president of the 30,000-member union of faculty and staff at the City University of New York (CUNY), to call on you not to pass a budget that leaves public higher education behind.

CUNY has suffered from decades of underfunding by New York State. Unlike almost all other state-funded entities, CUNY has never been allowed to recover from the 2008 recession. And now, with billions of dollars in federal funding on the table, new revenue identified by the governor, a better state revenue picture than predicted, and years of unmet needs, CUNY is in danger of being shortchanged once again.

I call on you, on behalf of the members of my union, the PSC, and of the 275,000 CUNY students, to make additional investments in CUNY this year. It is not too late to insist on the fair taxation New York needs. I call on you to add at least $80 million to the current amount proposed for CUNY. $80 million would allow CUNY to close the full TAP Gap this year and would replace dollars that would have been generated by a tuition increase.

April 1, 2021: More than 1000 CUNY and SUNY faculty, staff and students and higher education union leaders sent an unmistakable message to state legislators at a pop-up virtual rally April 1: now is the time to provide increased funding for New York’s public higher education systems in the 2021-2022 state budget.

Called “All in for SUNY & CUNY,” the event was streamed live via Zoom and served as a final push for public higher education funding by students, legislators and union leaders before the budget is approved.

New Deal For CUNY Legislation Would Enact Free Tuition, Fix Infrastructure & Set Improved Staff-to-Student Ratios

Bronx, NY - Today (March 27, 2021), members of the CUNY Rising Alliance and the Professional Staff Congress rallied at Hostos Community College and marched to the Bronx County Courthouse alongside students, community members and lawmakers in support of increased funding for City University of New York and New Deal for CUNY legislation. The New Deal for CUNY would establish minimum staff-to-student ratios for mental health counselors, academic advisors and full-time faculty at CUNY over a five-year period while raising pay for adjunct faculty and enacting free tuition.

The State budget deadline is April 1, next week. The marchers and their supporters in the Legislature believe increased investment in CUNY is critical to New York’s recovery from the COVID recession. They’re ready to end decades of racialized austerity for CUNY.

The Legislature’s one-house budget bills, which form the basis of final budget negotiations with Governor Cuomo, already reject millions of dollars in CUNY budget cuts planned by the Governor. Instead, the Legislature wants to allocate funding to freeze current tuition for CUNY colleges and close the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) gap, which is a structural deficit created each year by the difference between the amount of money colleges get from the state for students on TAP and the actual tuition.

The members of the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY condemn the murder of eight working people—including six Asian women—at Asian-owned spas on March 16. Their names are: Soon C. Park, Hyun J. Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong A. Yue, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Yaun and Paul Andre Michels. We join anti-racists across CUNY and around the world in opposing anti-Asian racism and committing ourselves to organize against it. We refuse to be complicit in normalizing oppression or in challenging it only when it takes the form of physical violence. Racism against Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders must stop.

More than 2,000 members of our union are Asians, Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders. PSC members serve a student population that is more than 20 percent Asian. Together, we must confront the reality that members of our own community are regularly subject to xenophobia and to a unique version of white supremacy in the form of Orientalism, despite the centuries-long history of Asians in the United States. After a year that has laid bare the lethal inequities of systemic racism, anti-Asian racism must no longer be denied.

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