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April 9, 2007

Tell Your City Council Member: The Time is NOW to INVEST in CUNY

Across campuses, PSC members are organizing to send a message to the New York City Council: CUNY urgently needs the Council to go beyond what Mayor Bloomberg proposed in his initial budget. If you haven’t already, please sign a postcard to Council Speaker Christine Quinn and join in your campus’s tabling effort to gather thousands more postcards. Campuses tabling this week include Queens, LaGuardia, BMCC, CCNY and NYC Tech. The postcards will be delivered to City Hall on May 2 at a press conference where we will be joined by Council Higher Education Committee Chair Charles Baron. May 2 will also be a day when PSC members meet with their Council representatives to share first-hand the need for additional City aid for CUNY. For more details on the City budget, a full schedule of the postcard tabling, a copy of the postcard and more, visit the PSC website’s budget action page.

E-Freedom of Speech and Union Rights

Listservs are a hot topic on campuses right now, thanks in part to recent battles PSC chapters have won on the right to use listservs to communicate union news and union politics uncensored. The administration at Hostos Community College tried this spring to institute a listserv policy that required prior approval for all e-mail posts, including on the faculty listserv. PSC chapter leaders protested, pointing out that such restrictions were (among other things) violations of the Taylor Law and the union contract because of their interference with the union’s ability to communicate with its members. In response, Hostos has now enabled the union to set up a dedicated listserv for PSC members at Hostos. Last year (as reported in the December 2006 Clarion), PSC members fought back an attempt by Kingsborough Community College management to ban union politicking from its listserv.

A Great University…Needs a Good Contract

The PSC continued to present that message at the bargaining table, meeting with CUNY negotiators on April 2.  PSC negotiators argued that deep and comprehensive investment in the instructional workforce is the only way to build a great university.  It cannot be done with smoke and mirrors.  The session focused on workload and health insurance issues, with PSC negotiators making the case for members’ needs.  CUNY management has still not presented its demands; but it is clear that the PSC is offering the blueprint for a genuine renewal of the University.  It’s not too late to sign up to be a member-organizer for this contract; hundreds of members making a small commitment of time each week add up to the power we need.  Click here to become part of the My Five network.

Junior Faculty Development Day this Friday
(still time to sign up!)

"How to Survive and Thrive at CUNY," the PSC Junior Faculty Development Day, is coming up on Friday April 13, 12 – 5pm. This is an important professional development opportunity for untenured CUNY faculty members.  It will include workshops on tenure, junior faculty reassigned time, publications and grants and issues of concern to junior faculty in the current contract negotiations.  To register, contact Grant Howe at the union office at 212-354-1252 or ghowe@pscmail.org.

Important dates: When you must be Notified about Reappointment

The contract specifies the dates by which CUNY must notify you of whether or not you have been reappointed to your current position; the grievance section of the website contains a full list of dates. It also lists the dates by which you must file a grievance if you want to challenge a non-reappointment. If you do not receive notice by the appropriate date for your title, or if you received notice but were denied reappointment, you should contact your grievance counselor.

PSC in the News

Recent coverage of PSC events and initiatives include two articles on CUNY Week activities, “PSC Lobbies for CUNY Aid; Tech Event Highlights,” in the Chief Leader and “Avella Decries Mayor’s Proposed Cuts to CUNY,”  in the Queens Times-Ledger; and one in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the Faculty and College Excellence Act (FACE) efforts, “Legislative Campaign Pushed by AFT."


New York City has the largest budget surplus in its history, $3.9 billion.  Given the size of the surplus and the City’s history of under-funding CUNY, there is no excuse for not fully funding CUNY this year.  The PSC is pressing the City hard with that message, and has gained strong support among City Council Members.  Join me on the steps of City Hall on May 2 to deliver the message in person—I look forward to standing with you there. ~Barbara Bowen, President