State Budget Fails to Increase Senior College Operating Funds
CUNY’s preliminary analysis of the newly enacted State budget shows a $97.8 million increase in funding for CUNY senior colleges. But most of the money comes from increased tuition and from funding that must cover existing fringe benefits. There are essentially no new public funds to improve operations at the senior colleges. Investments in academic quality and student success for the senior colleges must become a priority for Albany. Albany and CUNY management should not settle for tuition hikes as the only source of increased funding.
The enacted budget also includes $5 million more for the CUNY community colleges and restores State funds cut by the governor in his Executive Budget for programs such as SEEK, ASAP and the childcare centers.
PSC President Barbara Bowen commented: “I want to thank every PSC member who met with and called your legislators in Albany. Your efforts were essential in gaining restorations of funds initially cut and in securing more community college funding. Now we must call on the CUNY administration, which describes the State budget as an increase, to ensure that there are no cut-backs at the senior colleges and that the new teaching load reduction is fully funded.”
$7K Advocacy Day, Albany—Tues., Apr. 24
Help Build the Power We Need To Win!
The PSC is demanding $7,000 per course minimum pay for adjuncts at the bargaining table. Now it’s our job to build the power—and win the funding—necessary to realize the demand. The campaign for fair pay for adjuncts will be waged not only at the bargaining table, but in the streets, the workplace and the halls of power.
PSC members representing every part of our union will travel to Albany on Tuesday, April 24, to make the case for $7K and inform legislators about the vital role adjunct faculty play in educating CUNY students. Click here to sign up for this one-day event and click here for a flier to share with colleagues. The bus will leave NYC early in the morning and return later that evening. When you sign up, a PSC organizer will contact you with more information.
Get-Out-the-Vote Phone Banking for the April 24 Special Elections
New York State will hold special elections to fill 11 empty seats in the State Legislature on Tuesday, April 24. The union’s Legislation Committee will hold a phone bank next Wednesday, April 11 from 5 – 8:30 PM to mobilize our CUNY colleagues to vote in these important races. Volunteers will be calling PSC members and urging them to vote for PSC/NYSUT-endorsed candidates in four downstate districts: Harvey Epstein (AD 74), Shelley Mayer (SD 37), Ari Espinal (AD 39) and Luis Sepulveda (SD 32). Pizza and snacks will be provided. PSC members who wish to volunteer can contact Tiffany Brown at [email protected].
Union Dues Will Still Be Deductible on State Taxes
The recently passed state budget includes a number of provisions meant to mitigate the harm to New Yorkers caused by the new federal tax laws. State law passed along with the budget decouples the state tax law from the federal tax law to allow individuals who use the standard deduction at the federal level to itemize deductions at the state level. This was previously not allowed.
The decoupling will mean that the enhanced New York tax deduction for union dues passed in 2017 and effective this year will continue to be available for union members that itemize deductions on their state tax returns.
PSC Elections Ballots Are Due April 27
Vote by Phone or Email
On April 2, ballots were mailed to members’ homes for the election of the 27-member Executive Council (including president, first vice president, treasurer and secretary), and delegates to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), and American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Voting will be by phone or email. Completed ballots must be registered by April 27 and will be counted on April 30. If you believe you are eligible to vote and have not received a ballot by April 6, please call the PSC at 212-354-1252.
Working Theater Presents: Alternating Currents—May 6
PSC members can see Alternating Currents, a play by Adam Kraar, directed by Kareem Fahmy, May 6 at 3 PM for a discounted rate of $22 per ticket. Set in Electchester, the apartment complex founded by the electricians’ union in the 1940s, the play explores the past and present labor movement through the experience of one couple.
The union’s Retiree Chapter is sponsoring this Working Theater performance, which will be held at Urban Stages Theater, 259 West 30 St. (between 7 and 8th Ave). To reserve your seat(s), mail a check for $22 per ticket made out to Working Theater to the PSC c/o Marcia Newfield or Steve Leberstein, 61 Broadway, 15th floor, NY, NY 10006.