Higher Ed News Shorts

By Larry Hanley, CCNY


MAY 2001

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PSC Home Page

PSC Demands Progress in Contract Talks

State Stalls on Budget, Giuliani Wants Cuts and Conditions

Victory at Hostos

Change proposed for Full Time Dues

Letters to the Editor

Results From 2001 Chapter Elections

New Chapter Officers and Delegates

CUNY News Shorts

Women in CUNY: The Numbers Tell the Tale

Taking Action on Health and Safety at City College

Higher Ed News Shorts

PSC Retirees Chapter on the Move for Full Reimbursement for Medical Part B

1300 Rally Outside WBAI, Demand Listener Control

Obituary: Ed Rogowsky

Obituary: Debra Bernhardt

CUNY, The PSC and the Prison- Industrial Complex

Opinion: "At-Pleasure" Pay

Opinion: Notes on "Labor Notes"

DC 37 Settles, Impasse in City Talks with UFT

Ray Markey Talks About the Librarians' Contract

TRS Mess



Harvard Students Win Progress on Living Wage.  After winning a range of concessions, Harvard students ended their 21-day occupation of Massachusetts Hall, which houses the office of the university’s president.  Forty-six students began the sit-in on April 18, demanding that Harvard pay its support staff a minimum of $10.25 per hour plus benefits. Student activists claim that as many as 2000 campus workers are paid less than a living wage; Harvard claims that only 403 of the University’s “regular” workers make less than $10.35 an hour.  Student protestors have particularly targeted Harvard’s recent moves to outsource and subcontract support workers.   The deal that brought the sit-in to an end includes a living-wage policy committee with representatives of students and campus unions, a moratorium on outsourcing and possible back pay for Harvard custodians.  The students hailed the moves as “important first steps towards a time…when no worker at Harvard needs to worry about basic health care or paying the rent.” Harvard’s endowment recently climbed past $19 billion. 

AAUP Reports Stagnating Faculty SalariesReleasing its annual report on faculty salaries on April 16, the American Association of University Professors reports that nationwide average faculty salaries barely managed to keep pace with inflation.  Faculty salaries increased 3.5% for 2000-2001; the rate of inflation for the same period was 3.4%.  These broad numbers conceal, however, some more alarming trends.  Average salaries at private universities and colleges continue to outpace those at public universities, and the gap is widening.  Female faculty members still do not earn equal pay for equal work.  Salary gaps between elite and other institutions continue to widen, as do gaps between disciplines within institutions.  Professors are paid about 25 to 30 percent less than other professionals with similar levels of education.

California Faculty Union Asks for Student Support.  In preparation for contract negotiations, the Cal State University-Long Beach (CSULB) chapter of the California Faculty Assocation has sent letters to all Long Beach student organizations asking their support for a contract that allows faculty to more effectively serve students.  The letter faults Cal State management on a variety of issues: while student enrollment in the Cal State system has grown by 35,000 students over the past five years, only one tenure-track position has been added to the total faculty lines.  The letter’s author, Hamdi Bilici, president of the CSULB California Faculty Association, also expresses concerns over Cal State’s increasing use of part-time faculty.  Bilici’s letter likewise underscores system-wide administration bloat; the number of administrators has increased at double the rate of enrollment growth.  Bilici closes his letter by raising the possibility of a faculty walkout.  “If and when it comes to that,” he writes.  “I hope you [the students] will walk out with us.”

Privatization Hurts:  A team of British researchers has concluded that privatization of the public sector has direct, negative effects on health.  The group collected data on 600 British civil service employees for 18 months before and after privatization of their services.  Following privatization, insecure employment and unemployment rose in tandem with rates of minor psychiatric morbidity and consultations with primary physicians.  In a paper in the March 2001 issue of the British Medical Journal, the researchers conclude that privatization adds to insurance costs.