Tuesday, May 12 is “Teach in Your T-Shirt Day.”
Hundreds of your colleagues now have a union t-shirt that says: “Five Years without a Union Contract Hurts CUNY Students. Ask Me Why.” They’re wearing the t-shirts when they are teaching, counseling or working with students, and when they are meeting with CUNY administrators and elected officials. Sign up for your shirt today because Tuesday, May 12 will be “Teach in Your T-Shirt Day.” On that day, everyone who has an “Ask Me Why” t-shirt is asked to wear it in class or on campus. Together, we will send a strong message to our students, the CUNY administration and the public about what is at stake in this contract. Sign up now; the shirts run out quickly and take a few days to ship. Don’t miss the chance to be part of “Teach in Your T-Shirt Day.”
Help Win State Funding for a Raise and City Funding for CUNY
Sign up for NYC-Based Lobby Visits
The most important thing PSC members can do right now to help win a contract with fair pay is to visit the district office of their state legislators. The State Legislature still has six weeks in this legislative session to fund our contract. And with the Mayor’s Executive Budget anticipated this week, the union is ramping up efforts to meet with City Council members too, urging them to increase funding for CUNY’s operating budget and to add their political support to our contract fight. Email Amanda Magalhaes ([email protected]) of the PSC staff to join the scores of your colleagues who have taken this step and have made a real difference in the political campaign for contract funding. Tell Amanda what times you’re available on Fridays through the rest of May and June. When meetings in your district are scheduled,she will let you know. You can wear your t-shirt to the meeting!
Rally to Support Stronger Rent Laws—Foley Square, Thurs., May 14
Over one million rent-stabilized homes will be at risk when the current State rent law sunsets on June 15. Labor unions, community organizations, and Democrats in the Legislature elected from NYC are seeking not only to extend rent regulations but also to strengthen them. Working people in NYC—renters and owners alike—have to stand up for affordable housing to protect our neighborhoods. Fortunately, politics have changed since 2011. With a new mayor and new leadership in the Assembly, there is forceful leadership for stronger rent laws, including ending high-rent vacancy decontrol and ending the vacancy allowance, both of which permit landlords to increase rents by double-digit percentages. (Read “Power and Rent”, an opinion piece published in this month’s Clarion for more information.) The same NYC assembly members and senators who are pushing for State funding to support the PSC-CUNY contract are also pressing hard to keep New York City housing affordable. PSC members need to support them in visible—and countable—ways. It’s in our political and our economic interest. Stemming the loss of affordable apartments to deregulation is a real way to mitigate New York’s rising cost of living and protect the value of CUNY salaries. Numbers matter in any political struggle. Be one of tens of thousands of New Yorkers who will be part of the campaign to strengthen the rent laws. Click here to endorse the PSC’s statement of support and to RSVP for the Rally to Save NYC/Protect #1millionhomes, Thurs., May 14 at 5 PM at Foley Square.
Labor Goes to the Movies Presents Darwin’s Nightmare—Fri., May 8
The PSC’s film series continues to explore the theme of “apocalypse” this Friday, May 8 with a 6:00 PM screening of Darwin’s Nightmare in the PSC Union Hall (16th Floor, 61 Broadway). This 2004 documentary, the first film by Hubert Sauper, explores the catastrophic ecological and economic consequences of the introduction by Europeans of the predatory Nile perch into Lake Victoria, Tanzania. The neocolonialist inequalities exposed in the film are compounded by the devastation of the lake ecosystem as well as the native fishing economy, even as the perch are commercially harvested for sale in European supermarkets. Other elements captured in the film include international gun-running and the scourge of AIDS. Nominated for an Academy Award and the winner of numerous other awards, the film presents in stark images the nexus of military, economic, and ecological forces convulsing one African region. Door opens at 6 PM. A discussion will follow the film. Light refreshments provided. Watch a clip.
Higher Education Member of the Year: Steve London
Steve London, who is stepping down from office as PSC first vice president after 15 years of service, was named a NYSUT Higher Education Member of the Year at the NYSUT Representative Assembly in Buffalo this past weekend. Watch this video featuring all the NYSUT honorees (Steve’s bit starts at 8:48), and join us in thanking Steve for his dedication to his CUNY colleagues. He takes on a new elected role as university-wide officer of the PSC Executive Committee and continues his roles as trustee and executive director of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund and as NYSUT director.
PSC Resolutions Passed by the NYSUT Representative Assembly
Michael Fabricant, treasurer of the PSC, introduced a special order of business at the NYSUT Representative Assembly, calling for peace and justice across the nation, and answers in the death of Freddie Gray. The NYSUT delegates unanimously passed the order demanding systemic solutions to the fundamental issues of poverty, racism and a lack of investment in education. It was one of six resolutions sponsored by the PSC, which were passed by the Representative Assembly. The following resolutions are now also the endorsed positions of our 600,000 member statewide union, NYSUT: