August 18, 2008
Legislature to Vote on CUNY Cuts Tomorrow—Call Today!
Governor Paterson is seeking an additional $50.6 million from CUNY senior colleges and $7.5 million from CUNY community colleges– on top of the $17.7 million in cuts from CUNY’s operating expenses in the budget passed last spring. PSC leaders and Legislation Committee members were in Albany last week adeveloping strategies to roll back these cuts.
Thanks to those of you who called your Senator or Assemblymember last week. The calls do make a difference. Whether you called or not, please call your Assemblymember TODAY with the message, "No Budget Cuts To CUNY." Find your assemblymember here.
We must let Albany know that these cuts will hurt the quality of education CUNY can provide to our students. There is another answer to the State's budget shortfall. An income tax on millionaires will provide the money needed to close this year’s budget gap and make a down-payment on next year's projected deficit. “In times of economic hardship, investment in higher education should be increased, not cut!” pointed out PSC First Vice President Steve London.
PSC Secretary Arthurine DeSola spoke at a press conference on Friday with City Councilmember Charles Barron and CUNY students, calling for the Assembly to remain steadfast in its opposition to the cuts, and to Paterson’s right-wing tax cap scheme. NYSUT’s press release, quoting PSC President Barbara Bowen, turned up in news coverage around the state.
Sunday is the Deadline for HEOs Submitting Claims for Back Compensatory Time
Members in the Higher Education Officer-title series who want to claim compensatory time to which they are entitled for authorized time worked in excess of 35 hours per week between July 19, 2007 and June 24, 2008 must submit a claim by August 24, 2008 or else they will forfeit the right for compensatory time for this period. A letter and fact sheet explaining the background and details on how to file a claim was mailed to all HEOs is available on the website. If you have questions after reading this material, please contact a HEO grievance counselor in the PSC office at 212-354-1252 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.
Contract Ratification Underway
There is still time to vote on ratification of the contract! The proposed contract brings salary increases across the board, additional increases in the highest salary steps of all annual full-time and adjunct titles, a fund for paid parental leave, a salary differential of $1,000 or $2,500 for CLTs and Assistants to HEO who have earned Master’s or Ph.D.s in relevant fields, the right to use 3 sick days a year for family care, and more. It also comes with two additional agreements for major gains—health insurance for doctoral employees, and 100 new Lecturer lines reserved for experienced adjuncts.
The union’s negotiating team, Executive Council and Delegate Assembly strongly recommend that you vote yes. But don’t rely on our word—study the agreement for yourself and cast an informed vote. All contract documents are available online. Delegates’ statements about their votes are also available on the website. A ratification vote is a chance for you to have a say in your own conditions of employment; don’t miss the opportunity to read and to vote. And remember, you now have three ways to cast your ballot — mail, online and phone — allowing anyone who is traveling this summer to cast a vote from out of town.
Don’t forget to read delegates’ statements about their votes at the July 1 Special DA meeting.
Part B Medicare Reimbursement Information
Eligible retirees’ Medicare B reimbursement checks were mailed by the City of New York last week. If your reimbursement check is for less than you paid to Medicare for Part B coverage, see the directions for requesting full reimbursement in the letter from the City that accompanies the check.
Remember, this benefit was brought to you by your union: The PSC was part of a union coalition that succeeded in winning this annual reimbursement for our members from the City. For more information about signing up, see page 9 of the January 2005 Clarion.
Labor Day Parade Saturday, September 6
Plan to join fellow faculty and staff, as well as thousands of other working people, in organized labor’s traditional show of strength on September 6. This year’s parade assumes special political importance, as it will seek to focus the presidential candidates on labor’s demands. The parade will call for a new political agenda that includes universal health care, passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, and improved health and education benefits for veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq. Be part of the PSC contingent — contact Amanda DeJesus Magalhaes by email or at 212-354-1252.
“Governor Paterson’s proposed budget cut to CUNY is an outright attack on the thousands of New Yorkers for whom CUNY represents the only real chance of a college education. It’s also an attack on us—the people who try to offer a first-quality education at a cash-starved public university. We have less than 24 hours to convince the Legislature to do the right thing and say NO to further cuts to CUNY. This is the day to call. Click here, find your representative, and call.” – Barbara Bowen, President