March 30, 2009
State Budget Deal Includes Some Fair Share Tax Reform and Other Wins
The state budget deal will reportedly include two new tax brackets for New York’s wealthiest residents. PSC advocacy was successful in beating back the proposed cuts to community college base aid and proposed changes to TAP that would have increased the the number of credits needed for full awards. Unfortunately, the budget does include a $600 tuition hike for senior college students. On the labor front, the union movement was able to defeat most of Governor Paterson’s regressive proposals, including the new pension tier. As PSC President Barbara Bowen told members in an email last week, the governor’s announced plan for layoffs does not include CUNY and SUNY faculty or staff.
BCC Budget Hearing This Thursday
The PSC chapter at BCC is hosting the seventh PSC Budget Hearing this week. The union will bring together students, staff and faculty to tell lawmakers about the real-life implications of the governor’s and mayor’s proposed cuts to CUNY’s budget. The hearing is at 4:00 in Schwendler Auditorium in Meister Hall at Bronx Community College, University Avenue and 181st Street in the Bronx. Everyone is welcome. Please come and testify – you can come to any hearing, even if it’s not at your campus. Contact acting chapter chair Sharon Persinger if you’d like to testify. (Thinking of testifying? You can brush up on your budget facts here.)
The last three hearings are:
April 30 – Hostos (at 3:30) and John Jay (at 4:00)
May 7 – LaGuardia (at 2:00)
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.
Budget Hearing at BMCC Draws 300 and Barron
Three hundred concerned CUNY community members – faculty, students, and staff – came together at BMCC on Thursday to advocate against budget cuts, tuition hikes and for Fair Share Tax Reform. The hearing was attended by City Councilmember Charles Barron, chair of the City Council’s Committee on Higher Education.
Hunter Demonstration Last Wednesday Draws 150
As the state budget negotiations come to a close, many groups across CUNY are protesting the proposals for budget cuts and tuition hikes. At Hunter, an independent group of 150 CUNY students, faculty, activists and others gathered outside of Hunter College on Wednesday, 3/25, chanting “They say cutback. We say fight back,” protesting proposed budget cuts, tuition hikes and layoffs.
Next Budget Policy and Media Training Day is Friday, 4/24
Dozens of PSC members have learned more about the budget and how to talk about it at the PSC’s Policy and Media Trainings. In April, PSC Director of Research Kate Pfordresher and Coordinator of Communications Dania Rajendra will discuss the implications for CUNY of the state budget and city budget proposals. Come back to learn the news, or come for the first time to hear the numbers and polish your sound-bite crafting skills. The trainings are two hours, and will be offered at 10 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm on Friday, 4/24. RSVP to PSC Legislative/Communications Associate Amanda Magalhaes by email or at 212-354-1252.
Rally for SUNY Research Foundation Workers on Thursday
SUNY-Stony Brook Research Foundation workers organized a union in December. Like Research Foundation employees at LaGuardia, the Graduate Center and NYC Tech who joined the PSC, they are working toward a first contract and encountering serious obstacles. In an effort to move bargaining forward, they will demonstrate outside the office of a SUNY-RF Board member on Friday, 4/3 at 2 pm. Join the demonstration at 405 Lexington Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Streets, in Manhattan. RSVP to PSC Organizing Coordinator Kian Frederick via email or at (212) 354-1252.
Theater Party at the Working Theater
The PSC Retirees Chapter and the PSC Women’s Committee are sponsoring a theater party for all PSC members. Join them at the Working Theater’s production of “Exit Cuckoo” on Sunday, 5/3 at 3 pm at the Clurman Theatre, 410 West 42nd Street (at Ninth Avenue). The current Clarion has more details. Tickets are $19 each. To reserve tickets, send a check to the PSC, c/o Faye Alladin, 61 Broadway, 15th floor, NY, NY 10006. It must be received no later than Monday, 4/19.
Ballots Mailed Wednesday
Ballots for the election of CUNY-wide union officers will be mailed Wednesday, 4/1, by the American Arbitration Association (AAA). To be eligible to vote, members must be in good standing for at least four months when the ballots are mailed. If you have not received your ballot by Wednesday, 4/8, contact PSC Coordinator of Office Services Barbara Gabriel at 212-354-1252 for a duplicate ballot or to check your membership status. The AAA must receive ballots by 5:00 pm on 4/29 and will count them the following day. The March/April issue of Clarion has lists of and statements from the candidates.