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Albany Budget Favors the Rich, Slams the Rest
Albany made a choice, in the budget passed last week, to sacrifice students’ hopes while handing out tax breaks for the richest New Yorkers. Among many other attacks on ordinary New Yorkers, the final budget included $95.1 million in cuts to CUNY senior colleges and $12.3 million in cuts to base aid to CUNY community colleges. Our campaigns did push the legislature to reduce the proposed cut to CUNY community colleges by $5.2 million in the final budget, but that was far less than is needed after $350 million in state cuts to senior and community colleges over the past three years.
“The fundamental injustice of this budget is staggering: Albany has delivered a Bush-era tax cut to the richest people in the state, and paid for it by hurting children, students, the elderly, the working class and the middle class,” said Barbara Bowen, PSC president, in her statement to the media.
PSC First Vice-President Steve London also addressed the injustice of the budget in his remarks at the Somos El Futuro conference this past weekend in Albany. “It will be our students who pay the price in real dollars and lost opportunity for the choices made in the recently adopted State austerity budget,” he said.
We Are One!—April 9th Rally
On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. He had gone there to support striking sanitation workers (related Clarion article). On Monday, April 4, and the days surrounding it, working families across the country are organizing and joining hundreds and hundreds of actions. The labor movement, progressive organizations, the faith community, students, academics and concerned Americans from all walks of life are united, demanding a better future and declaring “We Are One.”
PSC members are attending New York City’s We Are One! Rally on Saturday, April 9th at 12:00 noon in Times Square. We’re participating in the event along with our state and national affiliates, New York State United Teachers, American Federation of Teachers, New York State AFL-CIO, and many other organizations. Here’s a downloadable flyer to share with colleagues and students. Dozens of other commemorative events are scheduled throughout the City as well.
Agreement Reached on Contract for Campus Research Foundation Employees
On Thursday, March 31, negotiators for the PSC and the CUNY Research Foundation management reached a tentative agreement on contracts that cover RF workers—full-time and part-time—at LaGuardia, City Tech and the Grad Center. The settlement represents a tremendous step forward and the culmination of hundreds of hours of work by Research Foundation members and their supporters across the three campuses.
The tentative agreement will be submitted to the union’s Executive Council and Delegate Assembly for approval. Once the agreement is approved, RF workers in the bargaining unit will vote on ratification by mail ballot.
National Teach-In on Austerity, Debt and Corporate Greed
Cornel West and Frances Fox Piven will moderate a national teach-in Tuesday, April 5th at the Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South) at 2 pm. The event, entitled Fight Back USA, has been organized to build resistance to the austerity agenda that is producing cuts to education and the social safety net. The Professional Staff Congress is cosponsoring the event along with many other labor and community groups. The national teach-in will be streamed live to campuses across the nation. Satellite events will take place at City College of New York, College of Staten Island, Hunter College, Queens College and York College. Locations for the on-campus CUNY teach-ins are posted here.
Advocate for PSC’s Legislative Priorities at NYSUT’s Committee of 100 Day
PSC members will travel to Albany on May 9th and 10th to join colleagues from across the state at NYSUT’s Committee of 100 Lobby Day. Sign up with Amanda Magalhaes (212-354-1252 ext 221) to help advocate for unemployment insurance for adjunct faculty, tax equity and PSC’s other legislative priorities.
Labor Goes to the Movies
The PSC will screen Michael Haneke’s 2005 film, Cache, this Friday, April 8th at 6:00 PM in the 16th floor union hall at the PSC offices (61 Broadway). The film, which won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival, is a merciless examination of European bourgeois culture, relating a contemporary successful television director to the 1961 massacre of Algerians on the streets of Paris.
PSC Chapter Elections: Mail in Your Vote
Half of the PSC’s chapters are electing officers, delegates and alternates to the PSC Delegate Assembly, as well as members of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Advisory Council. Ballots were mailed to members’ home addresses on April 1, 2011. They must received by 5:00 pm on April 28, 2011.
Take our poll on the PSC homepage. What’s the best new name for the Committee to “Save” New York?