PSC Joins the Working Families Party.
After a spirited debate, the PSC Delegate Assembly voted 51-35 in favor of affiliating with the Working Families Party (WFP). The proposed affiliation came before the delegates after having received a thorough examination and a recommendation from the PSC’s Legislation and Solidarity Committees, as well as the Executive Council. WFP has backed a number of progressive policies favored by the PSC (e.g., living wage legislation and the Fair Share Tax bill of 2009) and helped to elect progressive candidates in the City Council and State Legislature. Joining the WFP gives the PSC a hand in shaping the party’s issue agenda and endorsements, but the Union is not bound by the WFP’s endorsements.
Hang an Adjunct Health Insurance Campaign Poster on Your Office Door.
To keep adjunct health insurance at the top of CUNY’s list of funding priorities, the issue must remain visible on every CUNY campus. Please help show broad University support for the campaign by wearing a button or hanging a poster on your office door. A limited number of t-shirts are also available for active members. To get your campaign materials, come to a campus meeting or contact your chapter chair. While you’re at it, you can help collect petition signatures, sign up to attend a meeting on the issue with your college president, or help organize other on-campus actions. This latest wave of activity is building toward the CUNY Board Trustees’ hearing on November 21. If you want to testify about the importance of adjunct health insurance at that hearing, contact PSC Communications Coordinator Fran Clark.
Tell Congress: Hands Off the Safety Net!
Congress’s “Super Committee” is meeting in Washington and considering cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and pensions. Their plans could increase economic insecurity and reduce access to health care for millions of Americans. As workers, we’ve earned our network of benefits, and we must fight to keep them. Please send this Act Now letter to your representatives in Congress. Tell them, hands off the social safety net!
See Defending the Social Safety Net: A Call to Action and coverage of last week’s safety net forum to learn more about the campaign.
PSC to Assembly Higher Ed Committee: Stable Funding for CUNY is Long Overdue.
Last Wednesday (October 26), PSC Secretary Arthurine DeSola testified before the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Higher Education at a hearing examining the effects of the current state budget and the state’s new tuition policy. In her testimony, Secretary DeSola reaffirmed PSC’s position that CUNY should be funded with public dollars, not endless tuition hikes. She also called for continuation of the state millionaires’ tax, and told the legislators that the state must fund all of CUNY’s mandatory cost increases.
“Tuition alone cannot and should not make up for the state’s long-term disinvestment in CUNY’s senior colleges,” she said.“That is why it is vitally important to ensure that state funding cover all mandatory cost increases, so that new investments from tuition, or preferably tax dollars, can be dedicated to improving and expanding educational services.” Read the testimony.
Missed the Defending Public Higher Ed Conference? Listen online.
On October 7, more than 200 people attended the Defending Higher Ed conference organized by PSC members from the CUNY Graduate Center. Audio recordings of sessions led by Gary Rhoades, Frank Mauro, Frances Fox Piven, Antonia Levy and PSC President Barbara Bowen (speaker bios) are now online. Listen in for a rich discussion of challenges facing public higher education.