Support Campus Equity Week
It’s Campus Equity Week, a time to renew our commitment to improving the working conditions of adjunct faculty, organize for action and build solidarity among our colleagues. PSC is marking Campus Equity Week this week and next week by sharing some of the job-insecurity testimony adjuncts have submitted to the union in the last several weeks. You can read their testimony here on the PSC website or come to a meeting of adjunct leaders and activists (PSC’s First Friday Committee) this Friday, November 1, where the stories will be shared and discussed. Look for actions on your campus on the union’s online calendar.
Job security for adjuncts is a priority demand for the PSC in the current round of collective bargaining for a new contract. The stories (submit yours at psc-cuny.org/JobSecurity) may be shared anonymously with media, reported in testimony or offered to inform the contract negotiations.
The national coordinators of Campus Equity Week have compiled a list of other ways you can support the campaign for adjunct equity. Sign the online petition, or, if you have an active social media presence, consider changing your profile picture to this “I Am Margaret Mary” image to honor the memory of Mary Margaret Vojtko, a 25-year adjunct instructor who died sick and in poverty soon after she was let go by Duquesne University (her story). You can also tweet with the hashtags #CEW2013 and #iammargaretmary and post to the Adjunct Stories Tumblr. Read the full list of actions.
Volunteer Today: Don’t Let Big Money Affect the Mayor’s Race
The PSC’s get-out-the-vote effort is even more critical now that a federal court has negated New York State’s campaign finance laws and ruled that a Super PAC supporting mayoral candidate Joe Lhota can accept unlimited donations. Big sums of money donated by wealthy conservatives and corporate interests will now likely lead to a flood of ads attacking PSC’s candidate for mayor, Bill de Blasio.
Sign up to help the campaign to support de Blasio and all of PSC’s endorsed candidates. We need a big margin of victory to help make de Blasio’s progressive plans a reality, and we can’t let big money cut into his lead. CUNY plays a central role in de Blasio’s strategy to make the city work better for the poor and middle class, and increasing funding for the University is one of his priorities. Lhota’s policy plans don’t mention increased funding for CUNY at all, even though he has been a CUNY trustees since 2001. (See “CUNY as an election issue,” Clarion.)
BCC Chapter Campaign Leads to Repairs and Wins Capital Funding
The Bronx Community College PSC chapter has led a long effort to bring attention to the problems of disrepair that have plagued their campus. The chapter is celebrating now that their campaign has led to a number of critical repairs and helped secure more than $30 million for further improvements. Click here for a slideshow of some of the conditions at BCC and an article from Clarion about the campaign and what they hope will be improved physical conditions for learning and working on BCC’s campus.
Audit of Dependent Heath Coverage Deadline Extended to Monday, November 4
There is still time to respond to the City’s Audit of Dependent Benefits Eligibility. Protections negotiated by the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) will apply to City workers who respond to audit by the extended deadline of Monday, November 4. The audit applies to all PSC bargaining unit members and retirees under 80 years of age who have dependents covered by their City health insurance plan. It requires those with dependent coverage to submit certain documents showing their dependents are eligible; those who do not do so face loss of dependent coverage. Employees should submit their dependents’ documentation by Nov. 4, even if they did not submit anything before the prior deadline of Oct. 4. See the latest Clarion coverage for what to do if you had to submit an incomplete response to the audit or you received a “notice of cancellation of coverage for unverified dependents.”
If you never received a notice of the audit, you should make contact with both the City’s Office of Labor Relations and the company conducting the audit, Aon Hewitt. To contact Aon Hewitt, call the Dependent Eligibility Verification Center at 855-596-7454. Be prepared to be on hold for a while. You should also send a letter this week by certified mail to the NYC Office of Labor Relations stating your name, job title, college where you work, start date of employment, and the names of dependents covered on your health insurance and stating that you never received an audit request. Send to:
Dorothy Wolfe, Director
NYC Employee Benefits program
40 Rector Street
New York, NY 10006
Union-Made Halloween Candy
If you’re stocking up on candy to give to trick-or-treaters this Halloween, be sure to check out this list of union-made candy.