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October 19, 2009

Rally on 10/27 and Click to Tell Your Representatives: No Budget Cuts to CUNY
The PSC is joining forces with United University Professions, the union that represents faculty and staff at the SUNY four-year colleges; the United Federation of Teachers, representing K-12 teachers in New York City; the local unions that represent faculty at the SUNY community colleges; and the students of New York to send a unified message to Albany: cutting public higher education now, when the need for it has never been greater, is a stunningly bad policy choice.  There are alternative ways to approach the budget deficit that don’t mean the loss of a decent future for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers..

Please do everything you can to come to the emergency mobilization on Tuesday, October 27 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Hunter College.  Bring your students, your colleagues, your community. 

This is our first major joint rally with UUP and UFT, and it presents a real opportunity to demonstrate the importance of public higher education. 
Two weeks ago, Governor Paterson announced a plan to cut $53 million from CUNY’s senior colleges. Then last week, he proposed a $9.9 million cut to CUNY community colleges.  His proposed mid-year cuts target higher education in particular—a particularly bad option as the state attempts to recover from a recession.
We need to tell Albany that we will not stand quietly by as public higher education in this state is destroyed.  Cuts of this magnitude will mean fewer faculty, larger classes and decreased student services—all of which attack our students’ education and undermine our work. 
Also, click here to send a message directly to your legislator.  

Rally with RF Workers 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 twice since the union members held a one-hour walk out and voted last month to authorize a strike.
Join the call for a fair contract by attending a rally on Thursday, 10/22 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm outside the RF-CUNY Central Office, 230 W 41st Street between 7th and 8th Avenues in Manhattan. Please email Kian Frederick or call her in the PSC office, 212-354-1252, to let her know you’re coming.

Movement in Salary Schedules on 10/20
On Tuesday, 10/20, salaries for all PSC members increase 3%. Those at the top steps of all annual salary schedules with steps receive a 6.1% increase; and those in all adjunct titles at the top steps will receive an increase of 8.75%. Adjuncts at most colleges are paid a blended rate, which means the value of the increase has been averaged across the semester and included in their checks since the first pay date last month. Senior college full-time employees should see a couple of days’ increase in their 10/22 check and full value of the increase in the following check. Community college full-time employees will not see the increase until their 11/27 paychecks because of City payroll delays, and should receive the value of their increase since 10/20 in that check. Increases for employees at the EOCs are appearing over several paychecks.
If you have questions about whether your check is right, first call your campus payroll office. If your question is unresolved, call a grievance counselor at the union, 212-354-1252.
For more on how the union won the raise, see pages 9 and 12 of the new Clarion.

H1N1 Flu: Is Your Campus Prepared?
PSC President Barbara Bowen testified last week at a New York State Assembly hearing about H1N1 flu preparedness and continues to pressure the City and CUNY to do more to be ready for this fall’s expected epidemic. “My message is simple, but alarming: CUNY has not developed or implemented an adequate H1NI influenza prevention plan,” Bowen told lawmakers. Her testimony is available on the PSC website.
Have you noticed H1N1 preparations on your campus? Are you still waiting to see some indication of preparedness at your college? The PSC is asking union members to survey the conditions around their offices and classrooms and report them directly to the union. Take the survey by clicking here.

Environmental Health and Safety Workshops Begin Wednesday
The PSC Environmental Health and Safety Watchdogs will again hold workshops this fall. Both workshops feature health and safety expert Dave Newman and consistently garner rave reviews from member participants. The first, on Wednesday, 10/21, will address Indoor Air Quality and the second will cover your rights to a clean and safe campus – and how you can help win improvements – on Wednesday, 10/28.  They are both at 5:30 pm in the PSC Office, 61 Broadway, 15th Floor. Confirm your attendance with the Watchdogs via email or by phone, 212-354-1252.

Learn the Contract: Workshops Continue 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 affect the 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.

New Court Ruling on Agency Fee Withholdings
The US Court of Appeals upheld last week the PSC’s right to charge non-members for political activities aimed at securing a new contract and for lobbying efforts related to collective bargaining, but remanded to the Second District Court for further review the bases of the union’s actual apportionment of charges in four categories of expense and one category of expense of the PSC’s national affiliate.