May 10, 2010
PSC Challenges Governor’s Proposals for a Pay Cut and Remains Watchful about Early Retirement Incentive
Close to 150 PSC members protested Governor Paterson’s plan to impose a one-day furlough on state workers the week of May 17. “Furloughs are a false solution,” PSC President Barbara Bowen told members on Sunday. “We will challenge Gov. Paterson’s illegal and irrational attempt to balance the budget through furloughs,” PSC President Barbara Bowen said. As This Week was being prepared, the state legislature had not passed the bill; union lawyers were preparing to challenge the measure in court, as was UUP, the faculty union at SUNY; and PSC members and leaders were in Albany lobbying today and tomorrow.
On the early retirement incentive, as in the past, CUNY’s Board of Trustees would have to approve participation in any early retirement incentive by CUNY employees. If the legislation passes, and if CUNY approves participation, the incentive would include both TRS and Optional Retirement Program participants. There is no news yet on whether CUNY expects to approve participation in the early retirement incentive.
City Council Stands with PSC Against Cuts to CUNY, Decries Closing of Admissions
The Mayor’s Executive Budget did make some restorations to CUNY, but serious cuts remain.
City Council Committee on Higher Education Chair Ydanis Rodriguez and Council Members Charles Barron, James Vacca, Fernando Cabrera and Mathieu Eugene joined the PSC and NYPIRG at a press conference last Wednesday, deploring the mayor’s proposed cuts to CUNY. PSC members and students spent the day talking with Council members about how to shore up support for CUNY.
The press conference also addressed CUNY’s announcement that it would close admissions and, for the first time ever, begin a waitlist for students hoping to come to CUNY. “For the first time in its history, CUNY has announced that it cannot afford to keep its doors open to all the students who are qualified to attend. The University simply doesn’t have enough room—or enough money. Closing doors to students violates everything CUNY has stood for for 160 years,” Bowen noted. The Daily News coverage included a quote from Bowen and BCC faculty member Sharon Persinger.
There’s still time to sign the letter to Mayor Bloomberg asking him to rethink the cuts. Click here for the PSC City budget page.
RF Workers at Three Campuses Push for a Fair Contract Settlement
In a final push before the semester ends, PSC members at the NYC Tech, LaGuardia and Graduate Center Research Foundations need your support in their fight for a first contract. RF-CUNY demands that workers immediately increase the contribution to their health insurance premium from 11% to 19% while offering them salary increases of only 1.5% and spending $500,000 a year on anti-union lawyers. Help us send the message that RF workers deserve a fair contract now! Click here to sign the petition to the RF Board of Directors and join us at our rally for a fair contract at the next RF Board of Directors meeting, Monday, May 24th, 9:00-10:30am. For more information, contact PSC Organizing Coordinator Alisa Simmons at 212-354-1252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workload Survey Continues
A telephone survey of PSC members began last week. The survey is designed to help the union leadership understand members’ workload and assess whether it has changed in recent years. A statistically valid random sample of members will be contacted.
PSC’s statewide affiliate, NYSUT, will conduct the survey through their member polling center. If you are called and you have “caller ID,” it will say “Benchmark Polling” – that’s NYSUT, not a telemarketer. The survey takes about 15 minutes. If you are called, please participate. Your answers will be very helpful to the PSC’s bargaining team in developing strategies for contract negotiations to address members’ concerns about workload.
Last Letters of Reappointment Due Saturday
Full-time teaching faculty in tenure-track titles, Instructors and Lecturers hired in February 2010 were due letters of reappointment by Saturday, 5/1. Lecturers in their second year of service were due letters by Thursday, 4/1. HEOs in the first or second year of service were due letters by Thursday, 4/1. Adjuncts hired on a semester basis were due letters by Saturday, 5/1 and adjuncts hired on a yearly basis are due letters by Saturday, 5/15.
If you are a PSC member at an Institute or Center, your letter was due by Saturday, 5/1. All other members in their first year are due letters by 6/1, and in their second year were due letters by 4/1.
If you have not received a letter, or if you received a letter of non-reappointment, immediately call a grievance counselor in the PSC office, 212-354-1252.
PSC Green Team Hosts Kenneth Gould on 5/19
On Wednesday, 5/19, the Green Team, a project of the PSC’s Environmental Health and Safety Watchdogs committee, will host speaker Kenneth Gould, chair of the Sociology department at Brooklyn College. Gould will discuss how unions can play a role in the movements for sustainability and environmental justice. At 5:30 in the PSC Union Hall, 61 Broadway, 16th Floor.
Last Labor Goes to the Movie Screening: American Casino
Labor Goes the Movies ends it series on Crisis with American Casino, which chronicles the devastating effects of Wall Street's financial wizardry. The post-film discussion will be led by Costas Panayotakis of City Tech, who writes on political economy and is completing a book on the relationship between capitalism, scarcity and economic democracy. The snacks begin at 6 pm and the screening begins at 6:30.