● Injunctions Against Furloughs Issued
● Paterson Protest at BCC a Success
● Mayor’s Executive Budget Shorts Community Colleges
● PSC To Join Advocates for Adult Literacy in Protesting Funding Cuts
● PSC Wins Award for Leadership on Issues of Race and Ethnicity
● Pre-Retirement Conference is 6/10
● Get Welfare Fund Benefits News Via E-mail
● State Budget Talks Remain Deadlocked
To let us know what’s going on in your chapter, click here to send an e-mail to PSC Communications Coordinator Dania Rajendra.
● 6/4 Part-Time Personnel Committee
● 6/8 Women’s Committee
● 6/10 Pre-Retirement Conference
● 6/15 Academic Freedom Committee Meeting
June 1, 2010
Injunctions Against Furloughs Issued
On Friday, US District Judge Lawrence Kahn issued a preliminary injunction against Governor Paterson’s plan to furlough state workers, including CUNY faculty and staff. The Professional Staff Congress/CUNY, one of several unions opposing the plan in court, argued that the furloughs would violate the New York State and US Constitutions in a motion filed on May 11.
“We are gratified that justice has been done. Today’s ruling is a victory for CUNY faculty and staff – and above all, for CUNY students,” said Dr. Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress/ CUNY and the lead plaintiff on the PSC’s lawsuit. “New York’s furlough scheme had nothing to do with closing the budget deficit: it would have produced about $240 million, while the deficit is $9 billion. The only real way to solve the budget crisis is to enact progressive tax reform.”
Judge Kahn agreed with the PSC’s position on every point, and found that the State’s argument was “transparently unsupported” by the facts or the law. The preliminary injunction prohibits the State from imposing furloughs while the union lawsuit against the governor’s plan moves forward. It is “substantially unlikely,” Judge Kahn concluded, that the State will prevail when the underlying lawsuit is heard. Read more, including a link to Judge Kahn’s decision, here on the PSC website.
Paterson Protest at BCC a Success
CUNY faculty and staff and members of the class of 2010 protested Governor Paterson as he delivered the commencement address at Bronx Community College last Friday. Wearing stickers that read “Fund CUNY: Build Our Future,” they asked the governor to stop cutting CUNY.
“As a professor, I couldn’t be more proud of our graduates and their accomplishments,” said Dr. Nichole McDaniel, who teaches biology at BCC and serves as the college’s union leader. “But Gov. Paterson has consistently turned his back on today’s graduates and those who want to follow in their footsteps – cutting CUNY’s budget, reducing financial aid, and trying to furlough faculty and staff. As we honor our graduates here today, we join with them to insist that the governor give BCC students the support that they deserve.” See more, including pictures, here on the PSC website.
Mayor’s Executive Budget Shorts Community Colleges
The Mayor’s Executive Budget is $9.4 million less than last year’s adopted budget for the 2010 fiscal year and contains $35.9 million in reductions. The impact of this reduced funding level is compounded by the addition of new programs without additional funds to pay for them, inflation that increases the costs of delivering the same level of service, and enrollment increases that create new demands. In particular, the New Community College Initiative, funded by the Mayor at $8.9 million, will redistribute resources from the existing six community colleges to the new one. This is “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” The PSC recommends restoring the Mayor’s reductions to enhance community college funding, in order to pay for new programs, inflation and increased enrollment.
The Mayor would also zero out funding for City Council initiatives including the Black Male Empowerment Initiative, the Vallone Scholarships and the need-based Safety Net financial aid program. The PSC seeks $19.6 million for these programs.
Add your voice to the chorus: sign the letter to City Council leadership letting them know you support full, fair funding for CUNY.
PSC To Join Advocates for Adult Literacy in Protesting Funding Cuts
Teachers of adult literacy, including CUNY Research Foundation teachers who work in the Adult Learning Centers around CUNY are rallying at City Hall on Thursday June 3rd at 11 AM. PSC encourages members to join the protest of Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed $11.7 cut to adult literacy and ESOL programs. This cut is on top of $4M cut in State funding which will affect CUNY directly. For more information, go to www.nycoalitionforadultliteracy.wordpress.com.
PSC Wins Award for Leadership on Issues of Race and Ethnicity
The PSC has won the biennial award from the American Federation of Teachers for Higher Education Professional Issues, for leadership on issues of race and ethnicity through its CUNY and Race Project. The award will be presented at the AFT’s national convention in Seattle this July.
Pre-Retirement Conference is 6/10
The annual PSC Pre-Retirement Conference will be held on Thursday, 6/10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the CUNY Graduate Center. This conference is designed for members who are about five years away from retirement. The event will feature speakers on financial planning, health benefits and taxes. Click here for more details and a registration form.
Get Welfare Fund Benefits News Via E-mail
The Welfare Fund is inviting members to join an e-mail notification list to receive word anytime significant changes are made to the Fund benefits program. Members who want to be included can provide an e-mail address by following the link to the sign-up form on the home page at psccunywf.org.
As new health care regulations affecting Welfare Fund benefits are implemented, e-mail announcements will allow the Fund to inform members on a more timely basis and will reduce mailing and publication costs. All e-mail addresses will remain confidential.
State Budget Talks Remain Deadlocked
The State Legislature still has not approved a 2010-2011 budget. A funding cut of $84.4 million in State funding for CUNY senior colleges is still on the table. Meanwhile, advocates for a just solution to the State’s budget crisis continue to call for measures that would restore billions in much-needed revenues such as a reduction of the rebate on the stock transfer tax from 100% to 80%, (which would bring an additional $2.9 billion into the State’s coffers), and a millionaire’s tax.