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June 2, 2008

Bargaining and Contract Campaign Update

PSC and CUNY negotiators met last Thursday for the latest bargaining session. President Barbara Bowen presented the union’s response to CUNY’s economic offer, emphasizing the need to enhance the economic package.  Without an economic package that begins real restoration of salaries, she said, CUNY is in danger of permanent harm.  Reiterating what she has written to members, Bowen stated that the salary increases proposed by management fall short of what is needed—at all ranks—to close the salary gap with comparable institutions.  The session also included a powerful presentation by several untenured faculty members on the need for paid family leave.  As bargaining team members presented the 5,000 postcards in support of paid family leave signed by faculty, staff and students, the young faculty members described the bind that CUNY’s failure to provide paid leave creates for them and the ways it also  shortchanges students.  

Other discussion at the session focused on proposals CUNY has identified as important to management in this round of bargaining and on several PSC proposals.  One significant piece of progress was that management indicated that CUNY was no longer pressing to eliminate the salary steps.  Faculty and staff overwhelmingly rejected this idea, and the union bargaining team presented staunch resistance to it at the bargaining table.  Pressure works—management has clearly moved on this issue.   

As summer and bargaining heat up, the union needs you to stay in touch and stay involved. The PSC is asking members to sign up to be part of a phone campaign so we can have hundreds of people make cell phone calls or send faxes in response to developments, regardless of where they are. The union is also asking members who are on campus this summer to sign up for local activities, giving us the crucial capacity to mount quick creative responses as things unfold. You can join either the phone campaign or the one-the-ground response team on the website or by contacting Organizing Director Chris Aikin.

Sign the Petition Supporting Adjunct Contract Demands Today!

If you haven’t yet, please sign the petition supporting the union’s demands for part-time faculty in this round of bargaining. As reported, the petition calls for job security for part-timers and for health benefit  coverage under the City’s healthcare plan. Besides being an issue of basic fairness, securing decent conditions for adjuncts is in the interest of every full-time employee.  Your support will make a difference.

Community College Workload Meeting This Friday

Full-time faculty at the community colleges have been meeting and organizing around workload issues for a year and will hold their next meeting this Friday, June 6, 12pm at the PSC 61 office, Broadway, 15th floor. The group has been working on both long-term strategies to reduce teaching loads and get more reassigned time, and short-term efforts to figure out what can be done now to address workload issues on campuses. For more information, contact Anne Friedman.