News & Events

February 22, 2018
Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, the union representing 30,000 faculty and professional staff at the City University of New York (CUNY), released the following statement to press:

“On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear a case designed to destroy the labor movement. Janus v. AFSCME is not an innocent First Amendment case; it is a calculated, well-funded attempt to dismantle everything the labor movement has won—for all working people, not just union members. It is an attack on women, on immigrants, on people of color, on the young, on workers everywhere. The capitalist billionaires who are funding the case understand that organized labor has been behind every freedom and gain for working people: the eight-hour day, the minimum wage, Social Security, workplace safety regulations, and more. They know that organized labor, especially in the public sector, has led the fight to defend public education, public healthcare, public libraries and public services. That’s exactly why they want to destroy us. But the history of the labor movement shows that workers have power when they stand together. That’s why thousands of PSC members have signed a recommitment card to their union and why PSC membership has grown dramatically this year. Together, we are making our union stronger than ever.”

The Professional Staff Congress, the trade union of 30,000 faculty and professional staff at the City University of New York, salutes our colleagues of the University and College Union on strike to defend their pensions, and expresses our warm solidarity with their struggle.

A strike is always an expression of courage, and of the conviction that not only are workers worthy of a decent wage and retirement income, but that we must exert union power also for the good of our students and the working class as a whole.

The PSC stands in solidarity with the brave teachers of West Virginia and with our colleagues of the University and College Union currently on strike in the UK to defend their pension. Click here for a statement congratulating the West Virginia teachers on their victory and here for a statement supporting our academic colleagues across the pond.

Students’ right to engage in free speech and participate in self-governance—to decide upon, participate in, and organize the activities of their choosing—is a fundamental right that should not be abridged.

Yet, the CUNY Board of Trustees is considering a proposal to restrict the way student activity fees can be used on all CUNY campuses, effectively diminishing the student role in making funding decisions and eliminating vital services and programs.

President Bowen has sent a letter to the CUNY Board of Trustees to voice the union’s support for a fully open, inclusive process for considering any consequential changes proposed for student activity fees at CUNY. The letter calls on the CUNY Board of Trustees not to diminish CUNY students’ rights and urges the Board to engage with CUNY student groups and student leaders before reshaping the rules for the student activity fee.

Albany, 2/28/18 — More than 500 college students, faculty and staff are in Albany as part of a statewide Higher Education Action Day urging lawmakers to increase state funding for the State University and the City University of New York—SUNY and CUNY. The governor’s Executive Budget holds state spending for SUNY’s and CUNY’s instructional core budgets essentially flat, and increases tuition for students who don’t qualify for the Excelsior Scholarship or other financial aid.