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This Week in the PSC

This Week in the PSC (01.27.21): New Stimulus For CUNY | NYS Budget Update | New Deal for CUNY Launch Feb. 5

Mar 18, 2021

PSC Leadership Continues to Press for Access to Vaccines

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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 education 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. Read more.

 

CUNY Faculty & Students Call on Chancellor to Use New Federal Stimulus Funds to Keep Classes Open

More than 550 faculty, staff, students and union leaders were joined this Tuesday by NYC Council Higher Education Chair Inez Barron at an online 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.

A press release quoting President Barbara Bowen said that CUNY must provide complete transparency about its spending of federal funds, use federal funds to maintain classes for students, relax course enrollment minimums, and immediately institute a moratorium on Bursar’s holds, temporary holds on re-enrollment caused by debt of as little as $100.

 

Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget

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.

Both budget plans would rob CUNY and the Black and brown communities we serve of the robust investment needed to help launch NYC’s recovery from the pandemic, and CUNY’s recovery from decades of racist disinvestment. That’s why PSC and our allies are launching the New Deal for CUNY and demanding increased taxes on the rich. More details.

 

Call Your Legislators Today To Demand Higher Taxes on the Rich to Fund CUNY

Almost 150 organizations, including the PSC, that are members of the Invest in our New York coalition are generating calls to Albany this week urging legislators to increase state tax revenues and fund public education, including CUNY and SUNY. Make your calls today by clicking on this link. Just fill in your address and contact information, then click the “click to continue” button.

 

RSVP for the New Deal for CUNY Launch—Fri., Feb. 5

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Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblymember Karines Reyes will join the PSC and the CUNY Rising Alliance at an online press event Friday, February 5, to announce introduction of the New Deal for CUNY legislation. Gounardes and Reyes are the prime sponsors of the bill. PSC members, student leaders, community partners and supportive legislators will speak. RSVP here to be part of the event.

 

Jumaane Williams for NYC Public Advocate

The PSC’s Delegate Assembly has voted to make Jumaane Williams the union’s first endorsement of the 2021 NYC elections. President Barbara Bowen said: “The PSC is proud to endorse Jumaane Williams for Public Advocate. Jumaane is an outspoken advocate for CUNY and an indefatigable voice for racial and economic justice. As a CUNY graduate himself, he understands how CUNY can change lives. He shares the PSC’s commitment to a fully funded City University for the whole people of New York. PSC members admire his political independence and courage. Especially now, Jumaane Williams is an important political voice in citywide office.” Learn more.


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Union Week December 5-9, 2022