October 14, 2008

Contract Provision of the Week: HEO Work Week

It’s not a new provision, but it’s got new teeth after the PSC won a lawsuit and an arbitration affirming Higher Education Officers’ rights to a workweek of 35 hours, as stated in Article 15.4.b. of the contract.

More than a year ago, an arbitration ruling affirmed that the PSC contract bars CUNY from regularly scheduling HEOs for more than 35 hours a week. The arbitrator also ruled that the contract allows CUNY to grant compensatory time off to HEOs. In May 2007, the union also won a legal settlement, based on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that established time-and-a-half overtime pay for eligible HEO-series employees for time worked beyond 40 hours in a week.

The full Clarion coverage about the win is available on the PSC website.

Contract Provisions of the Week
Last week the union announced that CUNY had announced the dates for payment of  retroactive pay and new salary rates. They are November 6 for senior colleges and November 14 for community colleges. Other provisions covered: Salaries, Three Sick Days to Care for Family Health,and news about Paid Parental Leave news. Frequently asked questions and answers about the new contract are available on the PSC website.

Send The Message: No More Cuts to CUNY!

As the mayor and the governor threaten even more budget cuts, you can remind Chancellor Goldstein about how CUNY is already doing without – and how much cuts hurt. On the PSC website, you can click to send Chancellor Goldstein an email asking him to stand against cuts this round – and tell him what the $50.6 million that was cut from the State budget for CUNY this summer could have bought on your campus. (In her column in Clarion this month, President Barbara Bowen explains that the Legislature voted for the massive budget cut only after Chancellor Goldstein took the position that CUNY could tolerate the cut .) Click on the "Act Now" icon on the PSC website to send Chancellor Goldstein yours.  

PSC Budget Presentation on 10/23, Comments Sought

Every year the PSC Finance Committee, working under the guidance of the treasurer, develops a proposed budget for the union for the coming year. PSC Treasurer Mike Fabricant will present the budget as adopted by the union’s Executive Council in an open meeting on Thursday, October 23 at 5:30 pm in the Union Hall on the 16th floor at 61 Broadway. All members are welcome and encouraged to come. The proposed budget then goes to the Delegate Assembly for approval. 

HEO/CLT Professional Development Fund Reminder

Higher Education Officers (HEO-series employees) and College Lab Technicians can apply for a grant of up to $3,000 to support their professional development. Information on who is eligible to apply, and how to do so, is available on the PSC website. You must receive your approval before your activity takes place.

For consideration this month, applications for are due on Tuesday October 20. (The next due date is Tuesday, November 17.) In the new contract, the PSC also won money to renew the  Adjunct/CET Professional Development Fund. Information about applying for grants from that fund will be available from the union shortly, and will be announced in “This Week.”

Support Striking Stella D’Oro Workers

As "This Week" reported last month, union workers are on strike at the Stella D’Oro factory in at 236th Street and Broadway in the Bronx. At their last meeting, the PSC Delegate Assembly voted to support Local 50 of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers International. Unionized workers across the country are seeing their benefits erode; as this happens, the pressure to diminish the pensions, healthcare and other benefits for employees in the public sector grows.  Join the Stella D’Oro workers for their rally on Saturday, October 18. Call Lenny Dick of the PSC chapter at Bronx Community College at 917-282-1250 or e-mail him for more information on how you can help.

Union Square Commemoration
It’s the tenth anniversary of the designation of Union Square as a national historic landmark for its prominent role in US labor history. A program, Union Square, Then and Now, will be held Thursday, October 23 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the South Plaza near the statute of George Washington. Organizers note the occasion is an opportunity to stop and honor the lives and efforts of our predecessors.

French Cultural Celebration at Medgar Evers
As part of a festival on urban French culture, “I Kiffe NY” (“kiffe” is French/Arabic slang for being crazy about), the French Embassy partnered with Medgar Evers College to present a film and panel on French and American hip-hop cultures, “Urban Cultures in France and in the United States.” It’s on Wednesday, October 15 at 6:00 pm in Founder Auditorium, Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn.

This is the only event of the festival to be held at a CUNY College, and the Embassy chose Medgar Evers because of its location in the heart of Brooklyn and its predominantly African-American student body. In addition, Medgar Evers College is one of the few Historically Black Colleges located in the North. More information is available here.

“Both Brooklyn College and Queens College were founded during the Depression.  If that was possible in the thirties, it is possible to invest in CUNY now.  What New York State needs to solve its budget deficit is more revenue, not more budget cuts.  There are several viable proposals for restoring the State’s revenue stream through fairer taxation; it’s time for Albany to adopt them.” -- PSC President Barbara Bowen