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July 13, 2009

PSC Continues to Oppose Tier 5 in Albany
Albany seems to be getting back to work, but the PSC has always been at work, fighting against inclusion in any new, inferior pension tier. Several public-employee unions have made agreements to accept inferior pension benefits for future employees in return for avoiding layoffs or providing other benefits to current employees, but the PSC—together with UUP, the union of SUNY faculty and staff—continues to press for exclusion from any new Tier 5.  Reducing pension benefits for future employees would seriously undermine the competitiveness of jobs in public higher education in New York State.  The PSC’s statewide affiliate, NYSUT, is a leading voice among public-employee unions against a new Tier 5.   

Sign Your Letter in Support of PSC Members at CUNY’s Research Foundation
PSC members at the CUNY Research Foundation’s central office – who earn, on average, $48,500 per year—have been without a contract since January 1, 2009. RF-CUNY demanded the workers pay a larger share of health insurance premiums and offered them below-inflation salary increases, around 2% per year, while spending half a million dollars a year on union-busting lawyers. Tell the RF management—including CUNY Chancellor Goldstein, chairman of the RF-CUNY Board—to offer the central office employees a fair economic package. Sign on here.

EOC Ballots Mailed 7/2, Due July 27
On Thursday, 7/2 the American Arbitration Association mailed ballots to PSC members who work at the Educational Opportunities Centers (EOCs) for the ratification vote on their new contract. Thanks to member pressure, including a petition signed by hundreds of CUNY employees, the PSC and CUNY reached a tentative agreement on 6/11. The ballots are due in to the AAA by 5 pm on Monday, 7/27and will be counted the next day.

If you’re an EOC member and haven’t yet received your ballot, please call PSC Coordinator of Office Services Barbara Gabriel in the PSC office, 212-354-1252.  You can also call her if you would like to observe the vote count.

Contract Enforcement Orientation 7/16
The union will hold a workshop, Introduction to Contract Enforcement, this Thursday, July 17,  from 12:00 to 2:00 pm in the PSC Union Hall, 61 Broadway, 16th Floor. PSC Director of Contract Administration Debra Bergen will provide an overview of basic contractual rights and how they are enforced through the contractual grievance process. The workshop is intended for members who want know more about the contract and new or prospective grievance counselors – the PSC’s contract experts on your campus and in the central office.

Lunch will be provided.  Please email your RSVP by Monday, 7/13 to Albert Muñoz, PSC coordinator of contract administration.

Lenore Beaky Elected to AAUP National Council’s Executive Committee
Lenore Beaky, a professor of English at LaGuardia Community College and Vice Chair of the University Faculty Senate, was elected to the executive committee of the National Council of the AAUP in July. Beaky was elected as a PSC delegate to the AAUP in the PSC’s April elections and she was also re-elected to her second term on the national council in the AAUP elections earlier this spring.  Stanley Aronowitz, distinguished professor of sociology at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, was re-elected to the AAUP’s collective bargaining congress executive council at the June AAUP annual meeting.  Aronowitz was also elected as a PSC delegate to the AAUP in the PSC’s April elections. The PSC is the AAUP chapter at CUNY.

Stella D’oro Workers Fight Plant Closure Threat
Striking workers at the Stella D’oro bakery in the Bronx went back to work last Tuesday, 7/7 after winning a favorable ruling at the National Labor Relations Board. But they immediately faced a new struggle, as management announced its intention to close the plant in October. The union has vowed to keep these jobs in the Bronx, and is working on several fronts to keep the factory open. Moreover, the union has charged that the announced shutdown represents a plan to shift production elsewhere in retaliation for union activity – which is illegal.

As the workers filed back into the plant, their union leader publicly thanked the PSC for support of the strike.  Labor support may be even more important in the weeks ahead; the union is currently discussing plans for future actions.