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January 26, 2009

Emergency Lobbying Day in Albany on Tuesday, 2/3

NYSUT has scheduled a one-day lobbying blitz in Albany next week. The PSC will be a prominent presence, voicing our opposition to Paterson’s proposed cuts to community colleges and arguing for progressive revenue options – the responsible way to handle the deficit. If you’d like to join us in Albany, email Amanda DeJesus Magalhaes or call her in the PSC office, 212 354-1252.

CUNY’s Research Foundation Management Offers PSC Members 0% – Chapters Organize

Research Foundation of CUNY management offered PSC members at the Central Office 0% for the first year and 1% for each of the next two years, plus higher health care costs after members voted overwhelmingly to reject an initial offer of a 2% increase for an 18 month extension.

At the LaGuardia RF-CUNY and City Tech RF-CUNY, management has offered higher health care costs and 1.25% a year. RF-CUNY workers at the Graduate Center have just begun their negotiations.

PSC members at all four chapters are uniting and organizing for a fair contract.

Nominating Petitions Available Today

As reported in the December Clarion, nominating petitions for the union-wide election in April will be obtainable upon request from chapter chairpersons or from Barbara Gabriel, coordinator of Administrative Services, at the PSC office from January 26 to March 2, 2009. Petitions must be received at the Professional Staff Congress, 61 Broadway, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10006 by 5 pm, March 2, 2009. The PSC website has the complete election rules here.

Fiscal Policy Institute Report in the News

Crain’s New York Business ran a long, excellent piece about the important Fiscal Policy Institute Report on state underfunding of public higher education released on January 15. Outlets including India Post, Sing Tao Daily, Albany Business Review, and Albany Watch also covered the story.

Student Budget Summit This Saturday

The PSC offers an in-depth training for students on the facts about the budget this Saturday, 1/31. Students from any CUNY campus, undergraduate or graduate, are welcome to attend this free training. Please let your students know! They can learn more or sign up here on the PSC website.  Alumni of the first GROW training have already emerged as leaders in campus movements to increase public investment in CUNY and resist regressive budget proposals.

NYC Labor Chorus Celebrates Lincoln Bicentennial

The NYC Labor Chorus and Queens College’s Aaron Copeland School of Music are honoring Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday with a gala concert on Thursday, 2/12. The program includes labor composer Earl Robinson’s work The Lonesome Train; theorchestral score had been lost, but was recovered with the help of a PSC-CUNY grant, member Maurice Peress told the PSC. Tickets are available for purchase from the Riverside Church Box Office, 212-870-6784, and proceeds benefit the Riverside Food Pantry.

Two Solidarity Events This Saturday

There are labor solidarity events this Saturday, 1/31: a march and rally for striking Stella D’Oro workers, who have been in on the line since August. The march begins at 11 am at 237th Street and Broadway in the Bronx. The rally is at 1 pm at the Target shopping center, 225th Street and the Major Deegan in the Bronx. You can also hear from the workers from Chicago’s Republic Windows factory at Jobs With Justice-sponsored community forum, from 3 to 5 pm at the Judson Memorial Church. Last month, Republic workers held a sit-down strike and won severance from their employer, and the possibility of reopening their factory. For more information about Saturday’s event, call JwJ at 212-701-9473.