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October 5, 2009

RF Workers Continue to Mobilize for a Fair Contract
PSC members at the central office of CUNY’s Research Foundation (RF-CUNY) have met RF-CUNY management at the bargaining table once since the union members voted to authorize a strike. RF-CUNY made some encouraging moves, but maintains its proposal to increase the employee contribution to the health insurance to 19% in the third year and keep it at 19% in a newly proposed fourth year. 
There are two more bargaining dates scheduled for this month, and PSC members continue to mobilize for a fair contract. “This is about respect,” Chapter Chair Tony Dixon told “This Week.” “By all indicators, RF-CUNY has plenty of money. It’s hard for us to watch as they spend it on a 44% raise for President Rothbard and on an expensive anti-union law firm, when they could be putting that money toward a fair contract for us. So it’s really about respect.”
To join other PSC members in supporting the RF workers, or with any questions about their mobilization, please email Kian Frederick or call her in the PSC office, 212-354-1252.

Union’s Endorsed Candidates Win Run-Off Election
Both PSC-endorsed candidates (Bill de Blasio for Public Advocate and John Liu for Comptroller) won last week’s Democratic primary run off. The PSC Political Action Committee website has more information on them, plus the 43 other PSC-endorsed candidates who won their primaries and will have the union’s support in November’s general election. After an extensive, informed discussion at the last Delegate Assembly, the union voted not to make an endorsement at this time in the mayoral race. The union’s Legislation Committee and leadership bodies will continue to consider the issue in the final weeks of the mayoral election campaign. 

Learn the Contract: Workshops Begin Wednesday
Contract orientation workshops will provide members with a basic overview of contractual rights and benefits, the union's structure for contract enforcement, Weingarten rights and CUNY's various policies that impact on terms and conditions of employment. This training is intended for chapter activists and members interested in learning more about basic contractual rights. If you’d like to come, please RSVP to PSC Coordinator of Contract Enforcement Albert Muñoz.
The Summer Clarion covered the PSC contract enforcement department, and how it protects your rights. Click here; it is on page 7.

Click in Solidarity with Stella D’oro Workers
Two dozen PSC members participated in Friday’s demonstration at the cookie plant in the Bronx to demand the workers’ union jobs remain in the Bronx. Click here to add your support.

Student Organizing Training Sunday, 10/18
After a very positive response last year, the PSC is again sponsoring the US Student Assocation’s GrassRoots Organizing Training this semester. At the first day, students came to learn how to make change on their campus. Students who couldn’t come last weekend are welcome at the second day, Sunday, 10/18, for in-depth training on the facts about public funding for CUNY’s budget. Please let your students know! They can learn more or sign up here on the PSC website.

Call and Click for Health Care Reform
Congress is shaping health care reform legislation right now. The New York State AFL-CIO is asking New York’s union members to contact their lawmakers to tell them we want health care reform that: Controls costs • Provides guaranteed coverage for all Americans • Holds insurance companies accountable • Includes a public health insurance plan option • Requires all employers to pay their fair share • Rejects new taxes that would hurt working families
There are two ways to tell them:

  1. Call your member of Congress and say, “Health care reform is urgent and we need it now. I want Congress to side with working families, not insurance companies!” Dial 1-877-3-AFL-CIO (1-877-323-5246) to talk with your representative.

  2. Click here to write your member of Congress today.

Report Says Work Pressures Cause Students’ Failure to Graduate
Even though more of today's young adults are motivated to seek a postsecondary education, too many of them are sidelined by the expense of paying for school while meeting other financial obligations. This report from the think tank Demos argues that to increase postsecondary success among low- and moderate-income students, we must reform financial aid and provide additional financial supports to help students cover the cost of living expenses (especially housing and transportation) so that young students can work less, study more, and finish their degrees. ho have been paid late should also email Albert Muñoz.