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This Week in the PSC

This Week in the PSC (12.17.12): Tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut

Dec 17, 2012

Tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut

News of the unspeakable loss of 20 children and seven adults this past Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut has us overcome with grief. Here is President Bowen’s statement to the union:

“I’m sure I speak for all PSC members when I say that we were devastated by the news of the mass murder in Sandy Hook Elementary School. We extend our profound sympathy to the families and loved ones of the children, teachers and other school staff murdered on Friday, and to all families shattered by this event. Few things can be more obscene than murdering children in their school classrooms.

There are several PSC members who live in and near Newtown, and our thoughts are especially with them. We also salute the teachers and paraprofessionals—our fellow union members—who put themselves in danger to protect their students; several lost their own lives. The PSC has sent a message to the school staff at Sandy Hook, and will contribute to the memorial fund. It’s time for a more urgent campaign—a union campaign—against the culture of violence in this country.”

Pathways is in Trouble, CUNY is in Denial and the Daily News Doesn’t Get It

The Daily News got it completely wrong about Pathways this weekend in an editorial that looks as if it could have been dictated by CUNY’s PR machine. The piece claims that the faculty’s resistance to Pathways is about preserving jobs and that Pathways will bring basic requirements at CUNY in line with “nearly all major American colleges and universities.” If this fight were about jobs, faculty would not have stood their ground when they were threatened with mass firings for refusing to go along with Pathways. If Pathways were in alignment with best practices at most other colleges and universities, it wouldn’t demand science courses with no lab session, fewer hours of instruction in writing and composition, and no foreign language requirement. President Bowen takes the Daily News to task for trafficking in lies in her response posted in the editorial’s comments. UFS Chair Terrence Martell’s response is on the UFS blog.

The truth is that Pathways is in trouble. Implementation of the plan has slowed as college governance bodies have refused to approve Pathways courses, raising the question of whether CUNY will be able to begin it in fall 2013 as planned. And now a national petition calling for a moratorium on Pathways is gaining signatures from faculty all over the country. Rather than denying the growing resistance to Pathways and continuing to press for a failed initiative, the CUNY administration should listen to the faculty and work toward a solution that would expand, not narrow, CUNY’s mission.

Sign and Share the New PSC/UFS National Petition for a Moratorium on Pathways

4,800 people have signed the National Petition for a Moratorium on CUNY’s Pathways Curriculum since it was launched, and many hundreds have left supportive comments. Please sign the petition, if you haven’t yet, and forward it to colleagues in professional organizations, research groups and other networks.

Tell Washington: Defend the Social Safety Net and Raise Tax Rates on the Wealthy

Negotiations over the “fiscal cliff” could lead to cuts and privatization schemes that hurt millions of Americans who depend on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Please click here to send a letter to your Congress member. The letter urges Congress to protect the Social Safety Net and fix the budget with revenue generated by ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. It also asks Congress to reject any “grand bargain” that hurts the poor or working- and middle-class Americans. Learn more about the fight against austerity in the national budget on our Social Safety Net Committee’s webpage.

Save these NEW Dates for Advocacy trips to Albany

NYSUT has changed the spring advocacy calendar, cancelling the May 13-14 Committee of 100 Advocacy Day and putting a greater emphasis on visits to legislators in their local district offices. Please sign up for one or more of these events so the union can effectively communicate our message to the state legislature:

  • In-District Meetings Within the Five Boroughs—Feb. 7-8
  • Committee of 100 Advocacy Day, Albany—Mar. 4-5
  • Higher Education Advocacy Day, Albany—Mar. 11-12

Transportation, food and housing costs for the Albany trips are covered by NYSUT. Contact Amanda Magalhaes ([email protected]) for more information and to sign up to participate. In the coming weeks, the union will announce additional dates for meetings with legislators in their local district offices and will provide updates about coalition advocacy days in Albany and City Hall.

The PSC offices will be closed, Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 24-25 and Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. This Week in the PSC will return in January 2013.


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