Pathways Petition – Ask Colleagues To Sign by April 27
If you haven’t yet signed the PSC’s petition on Pathways, now is the time. And if you have signed, now is the time to ask colleagues in your department to sign as well. Signatures received by noon on April 27 will be included when the petition is presented to the Board of Trustees at its April 30 meeting.
The petition has so far received more than 4700 verified signatures from CUNY faculty, staff and retirees; an updated list is now on the PSC website. You can print a paper petition from the website and bring it to a department meeting, or just take it around yourself. To be sure their names are included, your colleagues should sign the online petition before noon on April 27, or sign a paper petition which is turned in to the PSC office by that time.
The petition calls for the repeal of the Pathways initiative and its replacement by an alternative – and support for that position continues to grow. The latest to back the idea are the College Council of the NYC College of Technology, and CUNY’s Psychology Discipline Council, made up of elected department chairs from across the University.
Reed Elsevier Quits ALEC
Science publisher Reed Elsevier is the latest company to jump ship from ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-funded network of far-right state legislators. It’s shocking that one of the world’s largest publishers of scientific journals would have given money to a climate-change-denial group – and it’s great that increased public scrutiny has now forced them to stop. The corporation acknowledged that the “criticism being leveled at ALEC” was what led it to leave.
At the time the announcement was made, an article in the April Clarion was one of the top three Google search results for “Elsevier” and “ALEC.” The web version of Clarion’s coverage includes expanded information on Reed Elsevier and climate change, the Research Works Act and other issues; you can read it here.
At Tax Time, a Vote Against the Buffett Rule
On April 16, the day before this year’s Tax Day, Republicans blocked Senate discussion of legislation to implement “the Buffett Rule.” The proposed reform takes its name from billionaire Warren Buffett’s observation that it’s unfair that he pays a much lower tax rate than his secretary. It would ensure that if you make more than $1 million a year, you should pay at least the same percentage of your income in taxes as do middle-income families. Supporters of reform “intend to return repeatedly to the legislation,” reports The New York Times. You can voice your support for the bill at the AFT’s e-Activist website.
May Day: March for Worker Justice
In the last year, an upsurge of popular protest has changed the political atmosphere, putting a spotlight on the problem of growing inequality. On May 1, NYC unions will join with community activists and Occupy Wall Street in a single demonstration in support of immigrant and worker rights. A 4:00 p.m. rally in Union Square will be followed by a 5:30 march to Foley Square and on to Wall Street. Stay tuned to This Week or the PSC website for the PSC’s meet-up location, which will be announced closer to May 1. A flier is available on the Solidarity Committee webpage.
April 30: TRS Document Deadline for New Applicants
Adjuncts who filed an application to join TRS before April 1, but who have not yet submitted a beneficiary form, proof of date of birth (copy of birth certificate or passport), and their letter of appointment, must hand in those documents to TRS by April 30. If you miss the deadline, your TRS enrollment will not take effect – and you will not have another chance to join under the old pension terms. Click here for more information.
DREAMing of Opportunity in New York State
Fifteen undocumented youth and their supporters completed an 8-day, 150-mile march to Albany on Tuesday, calling on State leaders to pass the New York DREAM Act (S4179/A6829). The bill, supported by the PSC, would allow undocumented immigrant students who were brought to the US as children and graduate from high school in New York to access TAP and other State financial aid for higher education. To date, Gov. Cuomo has not taken a position on the legislation. You can sign a petition in support the bill here.
PSC Elections: Ballots Due by April 27
Ballots in this year’s union-wide PSC elections were mailed to members’ homes on April 2. Completed ballots must be received 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 11, or if you would like to be an observer at the vote-count, please call Barbara Gabriel in the PSC office, at 212-354-1252. (More information on the PSC website.)