News & Events

Rejecting Cuts Proposed by the Governor, Legislators Call for $1.47 Billion Investment in CUNY over Next Five Years

New York—Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblymember Karines Reyes joined the CUNY Rising Alliance and the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) today to announce the introduction of the New Deal for CUNY (ND4C) legislation. They were joined in their support by more than two dozen legislative supporters of the measure.

Gounardes and Reyes are the prime sponsors of the New Deal for CUNY bill, which restores free tuition and, over five years, establishes minimum staff-to-student ratios for mental health counselors, academic advisors and full-time faculty at CUNY while professionalizing compensation for adjunct faculty.

Demands Moratorium on Bursar’s Holds for Student Debt

New York—Faculty, students and union leaders were joined today by NYC Council Higher Education Chair Inez Barron at a press conference to demand that CUNY use the $455 million in new federal relief funds allocated to CUNY colleges to keep class sections open and allow students to enroll. CUNY colleges will receive more than $455 million under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), up to $337 million of which can be spent on institutional needs arising from the pandemic. These funds are on top of the $251 million CUNY received from the CARES Act earlier in 2020.

p>PSC members are invited to attend one of two town halls about COVID-19 vaccines scheduled for next Tuesday, February 9.

In-person higher education workers have access to the vaccine now, thanks to the work of our union and our partners at UUP and NYSUT. Even though the category is described officially as “instructors and faculty,” the PSC takes the position that all instructional staff working in person—that is, professional staff as well as faculty—are included. If you are working on campus for any period this semester, you are encouraged to seek an appointment for vaccination.

The PSC has negotiated two hours of paid leave time for all full-time CUNY employees who have a vaccination appointment, for a total of four hours per person, covering two doses of the vaccine. We are now pressing to expand that provision to include part-time faculty and staff. Read more.

All PSC-represented workers must have access to vaccination if they are required to work in person in the fall. The union is fighting to make that possible, and working to get you the information you need about the vaccine and how to get it.

To that end, we have invited Dr. Jennifer Rosen from the Bureau of Immunization, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to speak to members next Tuesday. Dr. Rosen will discuss the crisis facing the city and the mayor's plans for fighting the COVID-19 virus. She will answer your questions about the effectiveness and the availability of the vaccine. There are two scheduled sessions. These are Zoom webinars and preregistration is required.

When the priority categories for access to COVID vaccines were expanded last month to include “educators,” the PSC took the lead in pushing for inclusion of higher education faculty and staff working on campus in “phase 1B.” Together with the union’s statewide affiliate, NYSUT, and counterpart union at SUNY, we succeeded in getting explicit inclusion of higher ed employees working in person. Even though the category is described officially as “instructors and faculty,” the PSC takes the position that all instructional staff working in person—that is, professional staff as well as faculty—are included. If you are working on campus for any period this semester, you are encouraged to seek an appointment.

The PSC has also won agreement by CUNY management to provide two hours of paid leave time for all full-time CUNY employees who have a vaccination appointment, for a total of four hours per person, covering two doses of the vaccine.

Governor Cuomo released his Executive Budget proposal last week along with two plans to close the State’s $15 billion deficit. (Video of his presentation and news release.) The first plan assumes a $6 billion infusion of stimulus funding from Washington and closes the remaining gap with a combination of 5% across-the-board budget cuts and revenue raisers, notably a temporary, refundable tax rate increase for extremely high earners, mobile sports gambling and marijuana legalization. The second plan would close the entire deficit with federal stimulus money.

But even with the full $15 billion from the federal government, Cuomo’s budget would simply return CUNY funding to the disastrous level of previous years, complete with the TAP Gap, tuition increases and a shortage of full-time lines.

The PSC Delegate Assembly has voted to make Jumaane Williams the PSC's first endorsement of the 2021 NYC elections.

Join the party to make one on one phone calls to fellow union members to discuss work issues and assess readiness to take action (including strike readiness). We will have music and games and prizes for the team that makes the most phone calls

Midwinter Phone Bank Party January 27, 5-7 p.m.
Link:
https://aft.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckcuyoqD8rE9YgBnTkW6CzTRF762iKVrU9

PSC today demanded that the CUNY Administration use the $455 million in new federal relief funds allocated to CUNY colleges to keep class sections open and allow students to enroll. CUNY colleges will receive more than $455 million under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) passed on December 21, up to $337 million of which can be spent on institutional needs arising from the pandemic. These funds are on top of the $251 million CUNY received from the CARES Act earlier in 2020.

The PSC is demanding that the University provide complete transparency about its spending of federal funds; that it use federal funds to maintain classes for students; that it temporarily relax course enrollment minimums, and that it immediately institute a moratorium on Bursar’s holds, temporary holds on re-enrollment caused by debt of as little as $100.

The PSC’s statewide affiliate, NYSUT, has asked members from across the state to indicate their legislative priorities for 2021 on this page of the Member Action Center (MAC). Registering your personal priorities is a way to highlight them for the statewide union, which represents 600,000 workers. (Access and affordability at CUNY and SUNY is second on the list of options. Restoring cuts to CUNY and SUNY is also one of the options.) While you’re at it, consider signing up for text message alerts or download the MAC app to receive action alerts about NYSUT’s latest legislative campaigns. PSC priorities are often prominent among the actions available on the MAC.

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