October 26, 2010
November 2 Elections: Still Time to Influence the Outcome
The November 2nd general election is fast approaching, and there is still time for you to influence the outcome. The PSC, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), and the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) are working together to elect candidates who understand the value of public education and public employees. “At a time when shrill calls for disinvestment in the public sector and for providing tax breaks to billionaires fill the airwaves, it is more important than ever for our voice to be heard,” said PSC First Vice President Steve London.
Please visit the PSC Political Action webpage (www.psc-pac.org) to see a complete list of endorsed candidates and to see the list of 12 candidate campaigns where your participation is needed. Instructions are on the PSC PAC webpage on how to work directly with the campaigns, or you can email the PSC (email@example.com) to sign up to do phone-banking, labor walks, or leafleting.
On Sat. October 30, PSC and UFT members will team up from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to do a labor walk for Tony Avella, a strong progressive candidate who is challenging a conservative incumbent in Senate District 11. Participants will meet at an Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill at the Bay Terrace Mall at 213-29 26th Avenue. By public transportation: #7 train to Flushing and Q13 bus to Bell Blvd. and 24th Ave. Here is a street map. For more details and to RSVP, please contact Kate Pfordresher or Isabel Mercado.
State Budget Cuts Begin to Make Impact Felt
In the wake of the $84.4 million reduction in State funding, CUNY senior colleges have been ordered by the University administration to carry out across-the-board cuts of 2.5% and to create a reserve of an additional 1.25% to prepare for future cuts. Community colleges have also been told to plan for cuts in city funding during Spring 2011.
PSC leadership met last week with Chancellor Goldstein and his staff to discuss the impact of the cuts. Goldstein reiterated his position that he had no interest in pursuing retrenchment. PSC President Barbara Bowen said that CUNY agreed to provide the union a full accounting of the impact of the cuts. The PSC leadership has developed a task force to guide the union’s response to budget cuts as they affect members and will act both in local chapters and across CUNY.
PSC Reminds City Council: More Full-Time Faculty Key to Higher Graduation Rates
The City Council Committee on Higher Education held a hearing on retention and graduation rates at CUNY October 21. The public discussion on graduation rates has too often taken a narrow and punitive focus. PSC President Barbara Bowen countered this, reminding councilmembers of the importance of investing in CUNY so that the University will be able to hire full-time faculty members who have the time to mentor and nurture students. Bowen said CUNY senior colleges have a 33 to 1 ratio of students to full-time faculty while CUNY community colleges have a 46 to 1 student-faculty ratio. Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, enjoys an 18 to 1 ratio.
Empire Pride at Work Conference
LGBT union members and their allies will gather to discuss their latest organizing initiatives during a Nov. 13 “Pride and Solidarity in Action” Conference at the Murphy Center for Labor Studies at 25 W. 43rd St., 19th Fl. The conference runs from 2-7 p.m. It is sponsored by the New York City Committee of Pride in Our Union and the Empire State Pride Agenda. RSVP’s are required. To reply, contact Sheilah Sable at ssable@prideagendagg or 518-472-3330 ext. 303.