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December 8, 2008

Emergency Mobilization: 12/16 at Paterson’s NYC Office

On December 16, Governor Paterson will announce his proposed budget for CUNY. Anticipating a budget for fiscal year 2010 that includes cuts to CUNY and a tuition increase for students, the union is preparing now to respond with an emergency mobilization.  The PSC will be out in force to demand a better approach—steady public investment. During the Depression, New York founded two CUNY colleges and built another—all while keeping tuition free. It can invest in CUNY now.
Be there to tell the Governor a New Deal for New York Starts with CUNY! We will be delivering more than 50,000 CUNY Rising postcards at our Emergency Mobilization on December 16, 4 p.m., at the Governor’s NYC office, 633 Third Avenue, at 41st St. Email Chris Aikin, PSC organizing director, if we can count on you to come.

The campus rallies, press conferences, and radio ad are all part of the union’s year-long campaign to win fair budgets for CUNY from the City and State. Public investment is the way out of the recession – a New Deal for New York Starts with CUNY.

A New Deal for New York Starts with CUNY

Faculty, staff and students filled the room at the Board of Trustees hearing about CUNY's 2009-10 budget on Wednesday. A dozen students spoke movingly about the struggles they already face to pay their tuition and living expenses in a worsening economic climate, and pleaded with Chancellor Matthew Goldstein and the Board not to take away their shot at higher education.

PSC member testimony is on the web. The Board meets today to decide on CUNY’s 2009-10 budget.  PSC President Barbara Bowen will be among the speakers at a rally organized by student government activists to call on the Board not to approve the proposed tuition hike and to fight for renewed public investment. 

New Report Gives NY an “F” in Higher Ed Affordability

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education gave New York an “F” in affordability again this year. The think tank released its regular “Measuring Up” report on Tuesday. Nationwide, states are making little or no progress in providing affordable college opportunities or improving college completion rates for their residents, the report found.

AFT Campaign Against the Two-Tier Academic Labor System

PSC president Barbara Bowen developed an initiative within the American Federation of Teachers: a campaign for a national legislative campaign to address the staffing crisis in higher education.  The AFT released a new report, "Reversing Course: The Troubled State of Academic Staffing and a Path Forward" on Monday, earning coverage in the USA Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed, and WCBS national radio.  Bowen appears in the national radio segment and is quoted in the articles in the Chronicle and Inside Higher Ed. 

The report offers the first documentation of the number of courses taught by contingent faculty at public institutions nationally—rather than just the absolute number of contingent versus permanent faculty.  It finds that more than half of the undergraduate courses at U.S. public colleges and universities are taught by “contingent” faculty and graduate instructors rather than full-time tenured faculty, and that contingent faculty are employed in every discipline.  It also documents, on a national scale, the huge wage gap between full-time and part-time faculty,  resulting in an unstable and financially exploited workforce.

Most important, the report includes an interactive model that allows individual universities to calculate the actual cost, over a period of several years, of achieving equity in salary and benefits for part-timers and increasing the proportion of courses taught by full-time faculty to 75%. “Reversing Course” was prepared for the AFT by the research firm JBL Associates. Read more here.

Invitation to CUNY Civil Rights Movement Participants

This year's special winter screening in the Labor Goes to the Movies series will be the Civil Rights documentary, Eyes on the Prize.  To mark the day-long event, the union invites all CUNY faculty, staff and students--past or present--who participated in the Civil Rights Movement to join us for the screening.  CUNY played a significant role in the Civil Rights movement; the best known contribution is the work of Queens College student Andrew Goodman, who was one of three Civil Rights workers murdered in Mississippi in 1964.  Many others from CUNY, including some faculty still teaching at CUNY, volunteered to work in the South.  We invite you to watch the film in the company of colleagues and other Civil Rights activists, and to share your testimony about your own work in the movement.  Please e-mail Albert Munoz at the PSC if you plan to attend on Saturday, January 10.