August 2, 2010
State Budget Impasse Continues
The State Legislature was called into special session on July 28 by Gov. Paterson but no progress was made toward finalizing the New York State budget.
The Assembly and the State Senate have both passed a budget authorizing State spending, and the Assembly has also passed a revenue bill to fund it. But State Senate action on the revenue measure remains blocked by some Senators’ insistence on first passing some version of Paterson’s plan for CUNY & SUNY, the “Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act” (PHEEIA).
Opposition to the privatization and differential tuition pieces of the PHEEIA proposal has been building among Senate Democrats, especially among members of the Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus. Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, chair of the Caucus, said that if some Senators insist on PHEEIA being part of the budget, then there is a "stalemate."
The PSC is strongly opposed to PHEEIA (more on the union’s position here). To send a message to your representatives, click here.
PSC Bargaining Team Meets to Develop Bargaining Agenda
The new PSC Bargaining team has been meeting intensively during the summer to develop a proposed list of priorities for the upcoming round of negotiations. The union’s current contract expires in October, and negotiations are expected to begin this fall. In developing the union’s bargaining agenda, the 15-member Committee on Negotiations is being guided by the major priorities announced by the union for the next phase of bargaining, and by members’ own comments and suggestions—expressed in chapter meetings, suggestion cards, and the union’s survey on workload.
The bargaining team will present its proposal to the Executive Council this fall, and if approved, the proposed bargaining agenda will be brought to the Delegate Assembly for a vote. The members of the bargaining team, elected by the Executive Council to represent all constituencies of the union, are: Barbara Bowen, President; Steve London, First Vice President; Arthurine DeSola, Secretary; Mike Fabricant, Treasurer, Robert Cermele, Vice President Senior Colleges; Anne Friedman, Vice President Community Colleges; Marcia Newfield, Vice President Part-Time Personnel; Iris DeLutro, Vice President Cross Campus Units; Diane Menna, Senior College Officer; Steve Trimboli, Cross Campus Officer; Michael Batson, Part-Time Personnel Officer; Lorraine Cohen, Community College Officer; Costas Panayotakis, University-wide Officer, Andrea Vásquez, Cross Campus Officer and Felipe Pimentel, Community College Officer.
“During the chapter meetings I held last spring, faculty and staff across the University expressed urgency about certain needs and proposed creative new solutions about others,” said PSC president Barbara Bowen. “Your ideas are the foundation of our bargaining agenda. The key to a successful new contract is that all of us stay involved. Join the union’s Committee of 500 to be part of the power we will need at the table.”
ERI info from the PSC
Two separate information brochures on CUNY’s 2010 Early Retirement Incentive (ERI) are now available on the PSC website (TK). One brochure is for members of TRS; the other is for members of TIAA-CREF and other plans in CUNY’s Optional Retirement Program. Printed copies will be available at the union office. ERI information is also available on the CUNY website.
There have been some changes in the dates for the 2010 ERI. Most are minor, but TRS members retiring under Plan A of the 2010 ERI should note that the open enrollment dates have been changed to December 29 through January 26.