A Message from President Barbara Bowen
Before I say anything else, I want to say thank you.
Your decision to support the union that fights for you, together with the same decision made by thousands of other CUNY faculty and staff, has given the PSC renewed power this year. The union has used that power to solve critical issues on the campuses, to defend individual rights, and to wage a vigorous campaign for a fair contract and fair funding for CUNY.
These are not easy fights. We are up against an entrenched policy of austerity for public institutions and a CUNY administration that appears to see its job as managing austerity rather than challenging it. That’s why I am coming to you now with an urgent request. Please sign up today to testify at the CUNY Board of Trustees hearing this Wednesday, January 9.
The CUNY Board of Trustees finally released CUNY’s draft budget request for State and City funding last week, only days before Governor Cuomo is expected to announce his executive budget for next year. The trustees’ request does not call for full funding for our contract by New York State, does not name an acceptable level of funding for the new teaching load reduction, and never mentions the word “adjunct.” Instead, it boasts about programs whose success is entirely dependent on our labor but makes only vague references to how the funding for our contract will be resolved (see pages 5 and 17).
The CUNY Board must hear from us about why their request is unacceptable. They are holding a last-minute hearing this Wednesday, January 9, at the Manhattan campus of BMCC, starting at 4:30. I am asking you to change your plans for Wednesday afternoon and be there to speak. There is no need for elaborate testimony; just speak from your experience about what CUNY needs and what you need to do your job.
The union will be taking our campaign directly to Albany in February and March, but the start of that campaign is here at CUNY this Wednesday. We cannot let up on the pressure now; January 9 is also the first day of the legislative session in Albany, and the message we send by testifying will reach far beyond the hearing room. We will also be issuing a collective message to Albany, City Hall and any potential candidates for the CUNY chancellor position.
It’s January, many of us on the faculty are not teaching, and many of us in the professional staff can travel to BMCC fairly easily after work. Make Wednesday’s hearing the one you attend. Make the investment in your own future at CUNY. For more information about the logistics of testifying, please contact Ida Cheng at the PSC: firstname.lastname@example.org.