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December 22, 2008

Emergency Mobilization A Success

The PSC Emergency Mobilization in response to Governor Paterson’s 12/16 speech on his 2010 Executive Budget proposal drew five hundred PSC members, CUNY students, and allies from the community. PSC leaders delivered 55,000 signed postcards protesting cuts to CUNY to the Governor’s NYC office and met with the governor’s higher education director to demand a better approach—steady public investment. In addition to those rallying, the protest drew reporters from ABC and CBS news, as well as several student, immigrant and independent outlets, plus the civil-service weekly newspaper, the Chief-Leader.

Meanwhile, the PSC radio advertisement aired in New York City on 1010WINS, WCBS AM and WABC AM. 

The Governor’s Budget

On Tuesday, Governor Paterson presented his budget proposal. He did not include progressive revenue options – such as raising the income tax rate for New York’s highest earners. But he did include tuition hikes (only 20% of which would go to CUNY – the rest goes back to the State to plug the budget gap!), cuts to community colleges, a new loan program, and regressive changes to TAP.  The governor has also targeted state workers for major cuts including their wage increases, pensions and layoffs as a “last resort.” Unions have already voiced their strong resistance.

The PSC has been mobilizing to fight the cuts to workers and to CUNY. The plans for next semester’s budget hearings on CUNY campuses, as well as lobbying legislators here in the City and in Albany, are already underway. It’s never too early to sign up to participate. Please contact Amanda Dejesus Magalhaes by email or at 212-354-1252 to sign-up.

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 on January 10, 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 email Albert Muñoz at the PSC if you plan to attend.

Sign on for Employee Free Choice

Right now in the US, private sector workers are at an unfair disadvantage when they try to form unions. Current procedures favor management and undermine workers’ democratic right to organize. That’s bad for all workers – union, non-union, public sector and private. Sign your name to get the new Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.

Happy Holidays from the PSC

The Professional Staff Congress wishes all the readers of "This Week" a happy and peaceful holiday season. “This Week in the PSC” will return on January 12.