June 8, 2010
Emergency Rally Next Wednesday: Save Our City!
Please make every effort to join the PSC at the city-wide rally to stop layoffs, prevent cuts to public services and protect New York’s schools and colleges on Wednesday, 6/16 at 4 pm at City Hall. Many of us have been calling for a mass mobilization to oppose the mayor’s punitive budget; this is your chance to show your support. To help with the citywide leafleting effort, please email PSC Organizing Director Rob Murray or call him, 212-354-1252
Early Retirement Incentive Details Sparse
The PSC has been informed that Chancellor Goldstein plans to recommend the Board of Trustees approve CUNY’s participation in the Early Retirement Incentive at their meeting on 6/28. This legislation provides enhanced retirement benefits for eligible full-time employees. Details about who among CUNY workers will be eligible have yet to be released, and the union will keep members informed as it is learns details.
Members may call or email PSC Director of Pension and Welfare Benefits Clarissa Gilbert Weiss, 212-354-1252.
Help Adjunct Unemployment Pass This Session
As the PSC continues its fight for a fair budget for CUNY, we are pressing to remedy the serious inequity in the state unemployment insurance program. Under the current law, part-time faculty have been prevented from claiming the benefits due them, the same benefits to which all other seasonal workers are entitled.
Please join the push for fairness now by signing the letter to Albany lawmakers here.
Mayor’s Executive Budget Still Leaves CUNY Community Colleges Short
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 Supports Students Hunger Striking for the DREAM Act
On Friday, the PSC announced its support of the hunger-striking students outside Sen. Charles Schumer’s office. “We are proud that among the students of the New York State Leadership Coalition are several of our students at CUNY,” PSC President Barbara Bowen said. “We see every day how the failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform robs these students of their futures, and denies us of their leadership and their enormous potential,” she said. The strikers have asked supporters to:
Call Senator Schumer’s office and tell him that you support the students and that he needs to move the DREAM Act. Schumer chairs the Senate Judiciary subcommittee responsible for immigration. He is in a position to move the bill forward quickly. (212) 486-4430 and (202) 224-6542
Visit the hunger strikers at 757 Third Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets. They particularly need volunteers to stay with them through the night and early morning.
Material support including water and Pedialite. The PSC EC moved to provide a financial contribution, and individual donations are welcome.
PSC to Host Pre-Retirement Conference 6/10
The annual PSC Pre-Retirement Conference will be held on Thursday, June 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 atpsccunywf.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, though the PSC, in coalition with other state workers, beat back the governor’s call for furloughs. 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.