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November 3, 2008

Contract Provision Update: Senior College Pay Date is Thursday

Full-timers at senior colleges will see their new salary rates, plus their retroactive pay, in their Thursday paychecks. As “This Week” reported previously, adjuncts at senior colleges will receive their retroactive salary from 9/20/07 and their 2007 rate increase of 3.15 percent on November 6. Then, on November 20, adjuncts at senior colleges will receive their retroactive pay increase from 10/6/08 and their 2008 rate increase of 4 percent. All faculty and staff at community colleges will see their new rates and retroactive pay in their paychecks next week.

As PSC officers have been on campus in October, they report a frequently asked member question: “In this economic climate, are our raises safe?   What about our new benefits—are they safe, too?”  

In a word, yes. While no one can say with absolute certainty how the State budget will develop, the PSC leadership made sure that the money for these contractual provisions was signed into law this summer,  before the economic woes made the news. But it wasn’t just luck – President Barbara Bowen asked CUNY to put the negotiations on a fast track in early June, and the bargaining team stayed up until 4 am in the final days, nailing down the details of the contract, to make sure the “pay bill” was passed and signed into law before the Legislature adjourned for its summer recess. You can join the postcard drive on your campus to voice your opposition to further cuts to CUNY.

Previous Provisions of the Week

“This Week” has covered contract provisions since members ratified the contract in September. Previous provisions include: Pay Dates, Salaries, Three Sick Days to Care for Family Health,and news about Paid Parental Leave news and HEOs' 35-hour Work Week. Frequently asked questions and answers about the new contract are available on the PSC website.

Health Insurance Enrollment Period Begins Today

All PSC members may change their health insurance options during this Fall’s health benefits reopener period, November 3 to 28.

More information for both full-timers (who make changes to their health insurance benefits through the City’s Health Benefits Program) and part-timers (who change their benefits through the Welfare Fund) is on the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund website.

November is also the “open enrollment” month for doctoral student employees to enroll in the NY State Student Health Insurance Program scheduled to take effect in January 2009. See last week’s This Week for more information.

CUNY Rising Postcard Collection Continues

There is an alternative to budget cuts to CUNY and elsewhere in this recession. The PSC, among other unions and Nobel Prize-winning economists, says the City and the State must look at additional revenue sources – not cuts – this year and next. Give a CUNY Rising postcard to your colleagues and your students, keep a few available in your office, or join in the tabling on your campus. You can find out when your chapter is tabling by contacting your chapter chair (here’s a list) or contact PSC Organizing Director Chris Aikin by email or at 212-354-1252 to get involved. 

Health and Safety Training on Ergonomics

The PSC Health and Safety Watchdogs and the HEO Chapter are sponsoring a workshop on repetitive strain problems that result from using computer work stations. NYCOSH's Dave Newman will talk about how you can protect your health on the job. The workshop is on November 5, 2008 from 6 to 8 pm at the PSC, 61 Broadway, 15th floor. Email your RSVP to the Watchdogs or call 212-354-1252 x208.

“Given the intensity of excitement about this election, I hardly need to remind you to vote.  CUNY faculty and staff are well informed about the issues, and I respect your right to make your own choice.  But political participation does not begin and end with voting; it will take a movement to shift the economic priorities of this state and this country, beginning with public investment in public goods.  Let’s start by changing the conversation about CUNY and pressing for investment, not cuts.” -- PSC President Barbara Bowen