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March 2, 2009

Mass Rally for Fair Budget This Thursday, 3/5

The One New York coalition, of which the PSC is a member, is sponsoring a rally at City Hall on March 5 at 4 pm to make visible New Yorkers’ – and the NYC labor movement’s – support for fair share tax reform as the best and smartest way to deal with the City and State budget problems. The PSC supports the One New York proposal to close the budget gap by asking New Yorkers who make more than $250,000 a year to pay a bit more.

The PSC contingent will gather at 3:30 at the main entrance to BMCC, 199 Chambers Street. From there, members and students will march with PSC banners and signs to the rally at City Hall. Please come and show your support for tax fairness in New York. Let PSC Organizing Coordinator Nick Cruz know you are coming.

You might get a reminder call from PSC President Barbara Bowen about the rally – the PSC, along with many of our allies in the labor movement, is making automated calls to members to remind them about the meeting time and place. (The PSC’s is 3:30 pm, on 3/5, at BMCC.) See you there!

Brooklyn Budget Hearing A Big Success

More than 200 Brooklyn College faculty, staff and students came to discuss the real-life implications of the governor’s and mayor’s proposed cuts to CUNY’s budget. PSC and DC37 leaders were on hand to assure the participants they’d relay the clear message to Albany and City Hall: Raise Taxes, Not Tuition! State Senator Kevin Parker sent a representative as well. Pictures and more details are available here on the PSC website.   

There are 9 more hearings coming up, and each one is open to the public. Please come and testify – you can come to any hearing, even if it’s not at your campus.  Contact the chapter chair to sign up.

March 12 – City Tech (at 4:00) and Staten Island (at 5:00)
March 19 – Baruch and Queens (both at 4:00)
March 26 – BMCC (at 4:00)
April 2 – BCC (at 4:30)
April 30 – Hostos and John Jay (both at 4:00)
May 7 – LaGuardia (at 2:30)

The union is proud to have DC37, University Student Senate, and NYPIRG co-sponsor the hearings. Be there, be heard! Find more information on the PSC website.

Lobbying in Albany: Members, Radio Ads, Joint Conference with Management

More than 30 PSC members will travel to Albany today and tomorrow to meet with legislators about the importance of increasing funding for public higher education and allocating a fair portion of the federal stimulus money to CUNY and SUNY.  The PSC contingent will join counterparts from the faculty and staff unions at SUNY for a day of concentrated higher education advocacy.  The proposal that New York State reform income taxes rather than cut services and “tax” students is gaining ground in Albany, but the union’s continued pressure is critical. Join the PSC for the Albany visits later in March or in May. Email Amanda DeJesus Magalhaes to sign up.

To support the budget message and union members’ lobbying in Albany, the PSC is airing a radio advertisement on 5 stations in Albany this week. Listen to the ad here.

Tomorrow, economist Jeffrey Madrick will headline a conference for State lawmakers and others on the essential role of public higher education in revitalizing and rebuilding the economy. The PSC has been a leading force in crafting a coalition between labor and management. CUNY, SUNY, UUP and NYSUT together with the PSC are cosponsoring the conference, “From Recession to Resurgence: Public Higher Education – the Key to Revitalizing New York’s Economy.”

Some HEO Reappointment Letters Due 3/1

If you receive a notice of non-reappointment, contact your local campus grievance counselor or call the PSC central office (212-354-1252) to speak to a grievance counselor. (Counselors in all titles are available.) You have the right to challenge a denial of reappointment through academic channels on your campus and through the grievance process. Time is of the essence for filing grievances. Here is information on how to challenge a denial of reappointment.

Members in a Higher Education Series title who are currently serving in their third or later year of service: your college owes you a notice of reappointment or non-reappointment by
March 1. If you are in a HEO-series title in your first or second year of service, notices are due on April 1. If you started your employment on October 1, 2008 or later, your notice is due by May 1.  This is covered by Article 13.13 of the PSC-CUNY contract.

Budget Media and Policy Training on Tuesday, 3/10

Last month, PSC members brushed up on the facts about the State and City budgets and perfected their skills of talking on radio and TV.  They emerged ready to take on any talk-show host about the budget.  If you missed the trainings, come this time! We are offering three throughout the day on Tuesday, 3/10 – at 10 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm. (Each session is two hours.) All members are invited. Please RSVP to PSC Communications Coordinator Dania Rajendra by email.

Members who have already been trained took to the airways and the internet when Gov. David Paterson appeared on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show last week. See the comments or listen to the show here.

DA Report

At their meeting last Thursday, PSC delegates focused on the State and City budgets for CUNY and the implications for the federal stimulus package for public higher education. They reported on the efforts on their campuses to build for the campus budget hearings, and heard a report from the Brooklyn delegation, who had just returned from the hearing at their campus. Following a presentation by the PSC leadership and staff on the rationale for fair share income tax reform, delegates practiced honing their own budget messages.

Delegates also heard reports about other campus issues and the Stella D’Oro workers on strike since August. Acting on a resolution offered by a group of delegates opposing layoffs of adjuncts for budgetary reasons, the DA voted to authorize a small committee to redraft the resolution for discussion at the March meeting

New CUNY Community College Proposal Prompts Letter from PSC

The PSC wrote to Chancellor Matthew Goldstein last week about the CUNY proposal for a new community college. “The PSC welcomes academic innovation and strongly supports the goal of better serving the people of New York through community college education,” PSC President Barbara Bowen wrote, before detailing the union’s concerns about the University’s failure to include the PSC and UFS in the planning and about specific terms and conditions of employment at the proposed new college. Read the letter on the PSC website.

PSC Health and Safety Watchdogs Hold Workshops This Month

The Watchdogs are offering workshops on the four Wednesdays in March, covering “everything you might want to know about your working environment and what you and others can do about it.” First up, this Wednesday at 5:30 pm in the PSC office, is “Know your rights.” The rest of the schedule is:

3/11 – Indoor air quality
3/18 – Getting things done on campus
3/25 – Construction and renovation on campus

RSVP to the Watchdogs by email or by calling the union office, 212-354-1252.

Celebrate Women’s History Month with the PSC Women’s Committee

The PSC Women’s Committee is celebrating women’s history month with an open mic event about “Women who have inspired us” on Tuesday, 3/24 at 6 pm in the PSC Union Hall. To RSVP, email Marcia Newfield or call her at the PSC office, 212-354-1252.