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June 23, 2008

Tentative Contract Settlement Reached

On Friday, the PSC and CUNY announced a tentative agreement on the terms of the 2007-2010 contract. PSC President Barbara Bowen has written a letter to members providing an overview of the settlement; read it here on the PSC website.

The Executive Committee of the CUNY Board of Trustees on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the settlement. The PSC has begun its process of approval and ratification, which includes review and approval by the Executive Council and the Delegate Assembly and a ratification vote by the full membership.

The union will provide full details of the tentative agreement as soon as possible.

Last Chance to Impact City Budget

New York City’s fiscal year begins on July 1, and the City Council must pass a budget for the coming year by then. All spring the PSC has worked hard to reverse proposed cuts made in the Mayor’s budget proposal and to secure additional, urgently needed funding for CUNY. Now it’s down to the last week. If you have not already sent a letter to the Mayor and the City Council Speaker voicing your concern over the proposed cuts, please do so today! In May, hundreds of PSC members and CUNY students rallied at City Hall in opposition to the cuts, and many members have visited their City Council Members in the last two months to lobby for restorations. The Mayor’s budget cut $26 million in critical operating aid to the community colleges and another $18 million in vital student services. The City Council, which has been an ally in the past in restoring cuts, needs to hear from all of us to understand how devastating these cuts would be. Send your letter today.

Council Hears Fiterman Financing Woes

PSC officers and members were among those testifying on Friday at a City Council hearing about the ongoing financing hold-ups that are preventing the demolition and reconstruction of BMCC’s Fiterman Hall from moving forward. PSC Secretary Arthurine DeSola, Health and Safety Committee Coordinator Joan Greenbaum and BMCC faculty members Joyce Moorman and Shirley Rausher spoke on the union’s behalf; other PSC members from BMCC and more than 100 BMCC students attended the hearing to add their support. Fiterman Hall was irreparably damaged in the 9/11 terrorist attack and its destruction has meant severe overcrowding at BMCC’s main building at 199 Chambers Street. Financing to conduct a safe demolition of the toxic-laden structure and to rebuild it is in place—except for a missing $79 million in matching funds from the City. The City Council hearing, which the PSC advocated for, was an opportunity for Council Members to hear firsthand how urgently CUNY students, staff and faculty need the Fiterman reconstruction to move forward, and a chance to put pressure on the other end of City Hall, responsible for the financing hold-up.

AAUP Annual Meeting

Eleven PSC delegates attended the annual meeting of the American Association of University Professors, held June 12-15 in Washington, DC. The PSC is affiliated with the AAUP and plays an active part in the national organization. Among other things, delegates to the meeting fanned out over Capitol Hill to lobby their Congressional representatives on issues of academic freedom (specifically, opposing the government’s refusal to let foreign scholars into the country to teach or lecture) and increased support for higher education. The meeting also approved a reorganization of the AAUP. The PSC election for the AAUP delegates this year was contested, and New Caucus candidates won all of the positions.