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April 20, 2009

Unemployment Insurance For Adjuncts Bill Passes NYS Senate Labor Committee

Since State lawmakers passed the budget, the PSC has turned its legislative focus to passing S. 4123, a bill that would ensure contingent faculty’s access to unemployment insurance. Because part-timers have no guarantee of being rehired for the following semester once a course ends, they are similar to other workers (in construction and the entertainment trades, for example) whose employment is episodic and who receive unemployment benefits when they are not working and otherwise eligible – and adjuncts should receive the same benefits.

On Monday, the Senate Labor committee passed S. 4123 unanimously, and now the Senate Finance Committee will consider it. First Vice President Steve London, phoned in this report from Albany, and added that he, “along with the New York State AFL-CIO and other unions, including the UAW and the Steelworkers, lobbied for S. 4123 and general unemployment reforms measures, such as increasing the maximum benefit, and making sure the benefit keeps up with inflation.”  

Check the PSC homepage regularly for what you can do to help this proposed legislation along. Want to learn more? Come to the policy and media training on Friday!

Junior Faculty Development Day 5/1

The PSC will hold its annual professional development day for untenured faculty on May 1 from 12 to 6 pm. Come hear panel discussions about achieving tenure at CUNY, grants and publications, academic freedom, and more. Email PSC Organizer Nicole Rodriguez-Robbins with questions or to sign up.

Next Budget Policy and Media Training Day is Friday

On Friday, PSC staff will give trainings on the implications for CUNY of the state budget and city budget proposals as well as the PSC push to win unemployment coverage for part-time faculty and staff. The trainings are two hours, and will be offered at 10 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm on Friday, 4/24. RSVP to Amanda Magalhaes by email or at 212-354-1252.

Union Election Ballots Due 4/29

Ballots for the election of CUNY-wide union officers were mailed on 4/1 by the American Arbitration Association (AAA). To be eligible to vote, members must have been in good standing for at least four months when the ballots were mailed. If you believe yourself eligible to vote and have not received your ballot, 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.

Paid Parental Leave Retroactive Deadline is 5/20

Full-time CUNY employees represented by the PSC who became parents of a newborn or newly adopted child (under the age of five) between 7/17/08 and 3/20/09 and have at least one year of full-time service at the time are eligible for a retroactive Paid Parental Leave benefit. You must apply for it by Wednesday, 5/20. The PSC website has instructions and the retroactive benefit application form, plus the letter of agreement on Paid Parental Leave. Questions? Call or email Clarissa Weiss in the PSC office, 212-354-1252

CUNY Day Breakfast Tomorrow

For their untiring work on Fiterman Hall, the BMCC building destroyed on September 11, 2001, and now being slowly dismantled and rebuilt, the PSC will honor Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver; City Councilmembers Alan Gerson and Charles Barron; the BMCC Chapter; and Joan Greenbaum, the PSC liaison to the WTC Community Labor Coalition. The union will also honor the Fiscal Policy Institute for their January report about NYS underfunding of public higher education and the New York State Youth Leadership Council for their work on the DREAM Act and for fair funding for CUNY.

Final Campus Budget Hearings

Join the PSC at one of the last Budget Hearings, even if it is not on your campus. They are:

April 30 – Hostos (at 3:30)
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.

Get Up to Speed on LEED on Wednesday, Earth Day

The PSC Health and Safety Watchdogs and Green Team invite all members to a workshop with Jodi Smits Anderson, director of sustainability programs at DASNY, on Wednesday, 4/ 22 at 6:30 pm. The discussion will include environmentally friendly building design and CUNY’s plans for LEED certification on new buildings at 11 campuses. It’s in the PSC Union Hall, 61 Broadway, 16th Floor