By Stanley Aronowitz, PSC University Wide Officer



APRIL 2001



PSC Home Page

The CUNY Budget: Moment of Truth

TeachCUNY reaches 18 campuses, 100s of classrooms

Negotiations Update

Letters to the Editor

New PSC Committee on Diversity Begins Work

Health and Safety Update: It's in the Air

New Faculty Speak Out at Brooklyn College

DA Approves Dues Change for Part-Timers

Lights Out for Edison 

Spotlight on Adjunct Concerns at Legislative Hearing

Washington State & California Take the Lead on Adjunct Equity

What the Statistics Say

What the Adjuncts Say

ACTing Out: Giuliani & Media vs CUNY (with bibiliography on testing)

"Teach CUNY" and the Classroom

How Not to Teach at CUNY

The Past Year and the Union's Future

Against Common Sense






After nine months of bargaining for a new contract, management still refuses to put an economic proposal on the table. The PSC is one of a handful of municipal unions that have no economic offer. Management claims it is waiting for the PSC to drop most of its demands, but at the same time has been dragging its feet on the union’s request to schedule more frequent sessions. It has agreed to only two bargaining sessions a month in April and May, and the two sides only met twice in March.

At a March session management presented thirteen demands that represented a huge step backward from the administration’s stated intention to rebuild City University. Among these are proposals to eliminate step increases for all academic ranks and revert to discretionary pay increases; to reduce our annual leave by two weeks; to gain the right to fire professional staff after one negative evaluation; to give presidents the right to unilaterally offer over-scale salaries for purposes of recruitment and retention; and to take away the right of prospective retirees to Travia leave. The PSC responded by firmly rejecting management’s efforts to weaken the contract. Barbara Bowen and other bargaining team members reminded Brenda Malone, the Board of Trustees’ negotiator, that if management persisted, these retrograde proposals would make progress on the contract nearly impossible.

There are some hopeful signs that the two sides may be able to hammer out agreements on “non-economic” issues such as a faster grievance process, health and safety improvements and improved conditions for CLIP teachers. Yet the prospect of receiving an economic proposal in the near future has been clouded by the city’s failure to make reasonable offers to other municipal unions. (The majority of CUNY’s funding comes from the state, but the city provides funds to the community colleges and is also involved in PSC negotiations.) Citing unprecedented budget surpluses, the other unions turned down the city’s ridiculous two-year proposal for 21¼2% a year.

There has been much speculation about whether outgoing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani really wants to settle with most unions before he leaves office in January 2002. However, as this newspaper went to press a tentative settlement was announced between the city and DC 37. Its reported terms include a 27-month contract, two 4% across-the-board increases and 1% for “equity increases” at the end of the agreement. The announcement came just days after the Public Employee Relations Board declared an impasse between the city and the UFT, which could delay a teachers’ settlement for months. The PSC paper will have further coverage of these developments in May.

The PSC is organizing to increase pressure on the Board of Trustees and the CUNY Administration. The union’s successful letter-writing campaign, “Teach CUNY” day and the rally at the Board of Trustees’ April 23 meeting are all elements of this campaign. Meanwhile the negotiating team continues to seek a substantial salary increase, workload reduction, parity for adjuncts, justice for HEOs and CLTs and the right of the union to negotiate over the rapid changes in the university that affect our terms and conditions of employment.

Negotiations Update: Research Foundation 

Negotiations are resuming between the PSC and management of the CUNY Research Foundation (RF CUNY).  After an initial insistence that all talks be held at the Foundation’s central office, management has agreed to hold two sessions, one at RF CUNY on Thursday, April 19, and one the following Thursday, April 26, at the PSC.

“The members of the Foundation bargaining team are happy to get past this hurdle and look forward to moving ahead,” said Debra Bergen, the PSC’s Director of Contract Administration.