President Obama Calls for Free Community College
Last week, President Obama announced his “America’s College Promise” initiative to provide community college education free to students who maintain 2.5 GPA. Under the plan, the federal government would pay three-quarters of the average cost of community college through the state, and the state would fund the rest of the cost. Students would have to go to school at least half-time and would continue to be eligible for full Pell grants and loans for other expenses (e.g. living expenses, room and board, transportation, etc.). In addition to the college GPA requirement, students would have to make progress toward graduation, certification or transfer to a 4-year baccalaureate program. The White House description of the program cites CUNY’s ASAP initiative (Accelerated Study in Associate Programs)as an example of how this level of investment in community college students can dramatically improve student outcomes. Here are links to a NY Times article and an endorsement of the program from AFT president Randi Weingarten.
New Spring 2015 Dates for the CUNY Budget Campaign
This year’s legislative season will be extremely compressed, so we have had to change some of the planned dates for our advocacy in Albany. Please save these dates in your spring calendar, and make note of the new dates, which are bold:
- NYSUT Higher Education Lobby Day (Albany): Weds., Feb. 25 – Thurs., Feb. 26. We’ll be joined by NYPIRG and other student organizations for afternoon meetings on Thurs., Feb. 26.
- NYSUT Committee of 100 (Albany): Mon., Mar. 2 – Tues., Mar. 3
- CUNY at the Council (New York City): Wed., Apr. 29.
Transportation, food and hotel costs for the NYSUT Higher Education Lobby Day (Feb. 26-27) and the NYSUT Committee of 100 (Mar. 2-3) are covered by NYSUT. Members can also make the round trip to Albany in one day with students on the buses for the Thurs., Feb. 26 Student/Faculty/Staff Higher Ed Action Day. Contact Amanda Magalhaes ([email protected]) to let us know you’re coming.
2015 PSC Elections
The deadline for filing for candidacy for the upcoming union-wide elections was last Friday, January 9. No positions are contested. The names of candidates will be published next week on the Elections Committee webpage.
Contract Petition Still Growing
The contract campaign petition is still growing. If you haven’t signed the online or paper version of the petition already, add your name today to the union’s message to Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio calling for immediate action to enable a fair resolution of our contract.
Steve London, First Vice President of the PSC, Speaks about the Contract
If you haven’t added your name already, please join First Vice President Steve London in signing the petition to Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio. Here’s one reason he signed:
“…If CUNY had kept pace with inflation over the last forty years, we would indeed be competitive today. But the sad truth is that CUNY’s defunding and poor contract settlements over the years have led to CUNY’s current non-competitive status. If CUNY wishes to recruit a diverse, high quality instructional staff in the years to come, then substantial salary increases need to be negotiated.” (Testimony at the CUNY Board of Trustees Hearing, 11/24/14)
Read the full testimony.
PSC Mourns the Loss of Former Executive Director Arnold Cantor
Dr. Arnold Cantor, executive director of the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY and one of its predecessor organizations for 25 years, died December 22, 2014. Long retired, Dr. Cantor was a resident of Stow, Ohio at the time of his passing. Colleagues posting condolences on the NY Times Obituary Guest Book remember Dr. Cantor as a staunch union man and an enormous influence on the development of the PSC into a major academic union.
“The PSC officers and staff mourn the passing of Dr. Arnold Cantor and offer our condolences to his friends and family,” said Steve London, PSC’s first vice president. Those who wish may contribute to the Dr. Arnold Cantor Memorial Fund, c/o The Cleveland Music School Settlement.