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  Archived material from the recent campaign for a good contract

GO TO: | PSC Demands | Management's Demands | April 28th at B.O.T. | New TV Ad | Open Letter to Chancellor | Petition Supporting Adjuncts | Salary ErosionApril 7-11 Contract Week | Parental Leave | Valentine's Day Tabling | Contract Campaign Brochures | NBC Feature on Paid Parental Leave | Leadership Training | Contract Poster | Contract Petition | Oct 30th Mass Contract Rally | Join the My Five Network | Our CUNY vs their CUNY | Clarion Articles | Bargaining Updates | Help Locate Lost Faculty& Staff | Join the Contract Campaign | BMCC Silent March |


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Many of the links on this page are to PDF documents. You need Acrobat Reader to view a PDF document.  If you do not have a reader, click here for a free download.

Below is archived material on contract negotiations and the campaign for a good contract posted over the past year

MANAGEMENT MAKES ECONOMIC OFFER.  In a letter  dated 5/19/08, PSC President Barbara Bowen informs membership of the offer and outlines the PSC response.

Bargaining Updates.  "This Week in the PSC," the union's weekly e-newsletter, provides updates on this bargaining round.  Click below for the most recent updates.

To sign-up for the newsletter (and for back issues), click here.

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It may be spring break on the calendar, but there is no break in the PSC’s efforts to win a new contract. Beginning the morning of April 21st, the union is airing a hard-hitting 30-second ad that brings the crisis of uncompetitive salaries to the public’s attention. “New York needs CUNY, and CUNY needs a raise,” it ends by saying. Click the image to watch it.  The ad is airing for two weeks during morning network news shows and on CNN and NY1.  

APRIL 28th: DELIVERING A MESSAGE TO THE B.O.T.  CUNY NEEDS A RAISE -- That's the message from CUNY faculty and staff that resonated loud and clear both inside and outside the CUNY Board of Trustees monthly meeting on Monday April 28th at the Baruch Vertical Campus. The PSC has been negotiating with CUNY management for over a year, and they have yet to even make a financial offer. Meanwhile, our salaries are now 20% below salaries at comparable public universities like Rutgers and the University of Connecticut. Picket signs both inside and outside the meeting read "CUNY Needs a Raise." 

Inside, unfurled banners also told the story of how inflation seriously diminishes the value of CUNY wages:  "Household Energy Cost Up 14.9%;" "Transportation Cost Up 7.7%;" "Gasoline Costs up 23.9%:" Food Costs Up 5.2."

If PSC members had received the same percentage salary increases as Chancellor Goldstein has since 2003 (58%) how much closer would we be today to recovering our lost earning power?  To dramatize the point, a math quiz was distributed to board members which you can see by clicking here


During the April 7-11 Contract Week, several chapters began circulating a petition to gather support from all PSC members for the needs of adjuncts in this round of bargaining. Now the union is taking the petition University-wide. Click here to add your name to support the demands for job security and healthcare coverage under the City’s health plan.  

APRIL 7-11: CONTRACT ACTIONS ACROSS CUNY.  PSC members from a dozen colleges organized protest actions the week of April 7 through 11 to demand a fair contract. With picket lines, leafleting, and in a meeting with Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, union members had the same message: it’s time to make CUNY salaries competitive again.  Click here for full coverage in the April '08 Clarion.

OPEN LETTER TO CHANCELLOR GOLDSTEIN.  As we reach the six-month mark without an economic offer from CUNY, PSC President Barbara Bowen has written an open letter to CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein demanding a financial offer large enough to begin restoration of CUNY salaries.  The letter was delivered to Goldstein on Monday, March 17th.  Bowen describes CUNY salaries as in "crisis" and says that steps must be taken to address the crisis in this contract.  While acknowledging that CUNY must gain approval from the City and State for its financial settlement with the PSC, Bowen writes that CUNY's economic offer ultimately represents CUNY's priorities.  She asks: "Is restoration of our salaries a priority or not?"  Bowen calls on Goldstein to advocate as vigorously for our salary needs as he has for his own agenda for CUNY and pledges to work with him, as she has in the past, to achieve a good settlement.  Click here to read the letter.

PARENTAL LEAVE.   Family leave is a major item in contract negotiations.  Click here to learn more.  And help us to gather information on this issue by completing an online questionnaire.

"STOP BREAKING OUR HEARTS!" On Valentine’s Day PSC members on 13 campuses protested the university’s failure to provide any paid parental or family leave. They gathered more than 3,000 signatures on postcards to CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. The postcards say “CUNY, stop breaking our hearts! Give us time with our families!” and call on the university to agree to the union’s bargaining demand for paid leave. Click here to see the full text of the postcard.

It was a powerful moment.  At the 5/29 bargaining session, as PSC negotiators presented the postcards in support of paid family leave signed by faculty, staff and students, several untenured faculty described the bind that CUNY’s failure to provide paid leave creates for them and the ways it also shortchanges students.  

Click here for photos of activities gathering signatures on February 14th.


NBC HIGHLIGHTS PAID PARENTAL LEAVE ISSUE IN CONTRACT TALKS.  "Today in New York" did a feature story on November 13th on the lack of of paid parental leave at CUNY.  Click image to see video of the feature and click here for detailed coverage of the parental leave issue in the February '08 Clarion.

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CONTRACT CAMPAIGN BROCHURES: The union has produced a series of four new brochures about some of the key issues at stake in this round of bargaining. They talk about the need for competitive salaries, the reasons management’s proposal to eliminate the salary steps is a terrible idea, how increasing job security for adjuncts helps everyone, and why we need to defeat management’s efforts to erode job security for HEOs. The brochures are a great tool for starting a conversation with colleagues about these issues. You can preview them by clicking here.  Ask your chapter chair for copies, or contact Nick Cruz ( in the union office.


SALARY EROSION:  A key issues for PSC members in the present contract talks is salary erosion and the effect of the University’s reliance for half its teaching on underpaid part-timers. Faculty salaries have lost 27-51% of their real value since 1971 and are no longer competitive with comparable institutions, regionally or nationally. Professors at Rutgers (New Brunswick) now earn 24% more than their counterparts at CUNY and professors at the University of Connecticut earn 23% more than their counterparts at CUNY (based on average salaries from Fall 2006). At stake is the quality of public higher education, one of the driving engines of New York’s economy. Forty-six percent of college students in New York City are CUNY students, and four out of five CUNY graduates stay in New York, pay taxes here and fill the jobs of the future. Without competitive salaries, CUNY colleges often find that they cannot recruit their first-choice candidates for faculty positions and that many current faculty are seeking to leave.  Academic departments are under strain. The quality of education students receive is jeopardized because the mentorship and continuity that students depend on are the inevitable casualties of this crisis.  

Click here to see charts & data on salary erosion.  For analysis (by PSC First VP, Steve London) of just how uncompetitive CUNY salaries are, click here.

The Case For Salary Restoration for CUNY Faculty & Staff: A one page fact sheet showing the decline in CUNY salaries over three decades and comparing them to other metropolitan-area collages and universities.

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Union Activists Meet and Mobilize at Leadership Training  

On Friday and Saturday, March 7-8, 100 PSC activists from across the University met for a leadership training conference. The main focus of the intense two-day event was a practical effort to discuss and link the issues that matter most to PSC members with the tools it takes to effectively communicate with and mobilize members. A series of participatory workshops helped activists plot concrete next steps in their efforts to organize their campuses. In addition, members heard from two guest speakers, Prof. Gary Rhoades, whose scholarship focuses on the effects of the commodification of higher education, and Prof. Lillian Taiz, the president of the California Faculty Association and a key leader in the CFA’s massive mobilization of members that last year led to the union’s best ever contract for the faculty of the California State University system.  Click here to see photo gallery.

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Picture credit: Lisa Quiñones
Over 50 people, many of them departmental chairs, turned out for a silent march across campus at BMCC on Wednesday, December 12th to protest management demands for concessions in this round of bargaining, specifically the demands to abolish salary steps and to remove department chairs from the union. Members handed out flyers to students that explained how these management efforts to gain more centralized control over the university would be detrimental to students, faculty and staff alike.  Marchers then proceeded to the college's administrative offices, where they met with President Antonio Perez. 

Click here for story in January '08 Clarion.

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HELP US LOCATE LOST FACULTY AND STAFF:  Do you know of colleagues who have left CUNY or have turned down a CUNY position because of salaries and workloads that are not nationally competitive?  Please help us by providing information about those colleagues by clicking here and then completing the online form.

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As summer approaches, the union is putting together a “rapid response” plan that will enable members to organize and coordinate responses to developments at the bargaining table. Click here to join the effort.

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“We are here tonight to call not just for a new contract at CUNY, but for a new kind of contract: one that provides the conditions we need to do our jobs, a contract that enables CUNY to fulfill its historic mission for the people of New York,” PSC President Dr. Barbara Bowen told the assembled crowd at a mass rally at Cooper Union's Great Hall on Tuesday, October 30th.  More.

Click image above for a photo gallery of the October 30th mass meeting and here for Barbara Bowen's speech.

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MANAGEMENT GETS SALARY RAISES/ CUPBOARD REMAINS BARE FOR FACULTY AND STAFF:  As the November/December '07 Clarion noted," Christmas came early for CUNY" management.  The Board of Trustees has awarded Vice-Chancellors and college presidents five-figure salary increases, but has yet to make a financial offer to the PSC in contract negotiations.  At its November meeting, the PSC Delegate Assembly passed a resolution calling "on Chancellor Goldstein and the top managers who were awarded salary increases this September and last September to decline those increases until instructional staff salaries are restored to nationally competitive levels."    Click here for DA resolution and here for Clarion article.  (For analysis of just how uncompetitive CUNY salaries are, click here.)


CONTRACT DEMANDS: Click here for full list of PSC Collective Bargaining Proposals presented to CUNY management on Friday, March 2nd.

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MANAGEMENT PRESENTS DEMANDS CUNY management presented its demands on Friday, April 20th.   "The list demands that, taken together with a series of demands rejected in the past, amount to an attempt to restructure the University.  Rather than presenting a vision that moves CUNY’s demands call for a weakening of some of the basic rights and professional conditions that make a university a university."   Click here for management's demands.  An analysis of those demands appeared in the 4/24/07 contract update which you can access by clicking here.

The Chief published an article on management's demands.  Click here to read it.
May 11, 2007 Chief Article

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Join the My Five Network! 

The idea is simple: If we want a good contract, we need to organize, and one of the first steps in getting organized is talking to each other and having a way to communicate critical bargaining news to every PSC member. The My Five organizers will be the heart and soul of that effort, serving as a bridge between the union’s bargaining team and the rest of the membership. Each My Fiver will keep in contact with five colleagues. We’ll provide tips on how to do it, and later this spring we’ll offer a training for My Five organizers.  Click here to be directed to the electronic My Five sign-up form.  Signing-up will take you less than a minute.

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On Wednesday morning, September 19th, the PSC delivered petitions to Chancellor Matthew Goldstein demanding fair salaries and working conditions at CUNY.  5,534 faculty and professional staff signed the petition, sending a powerful message to management about the strength and depth of support by PSC members for the union's bargaining demands.  Click here to see the petition.

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A NIGHT OF SERIOUS FUN On Wednesday, September 19th, a packed PSC Union Hall was the site of a cultural evening of serious fun about the competing visions of the University and what is at stake in the current round of contract negotiations.  Click here to see the full program and what the fun was all about.

Click here to see the other panels of the cartoon to the left that was premiered at the September 19th event.

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Clarion Articles:

  • Click here for all Clarion articles on this round of bargaining.

Still No Financial Offer From CUNY/Negotiations at Very Slow Pace.  A financial offer from CUNY seems imminent, but negotiations have slowed until there is one.  Click here for articles in the February '08 Clarion.

The Law, the Contract and CUNY Policy on Family Leave.  A primer on parental rights -- and how PSC members are organizing for paid family leave.  Click here for article in the February '08 Clarion.

PSC's Multi-Contract Strategy.  Union leaders laid out a new, multicontract strategy to nearly 1,000 members at the PSC’s October 30 mass meeting.  Click here for article in the November/December '07 Clarion.

Uncompetitive Salaries Hurt CUNY.  CUNY salaries don't measure up, which means that the university is having trouble attracting and retaining new faculty and staff.  Click here for analysis in the October '07 Clarion.

Nineteen Reasons to Come to October 30th.  On Tuesday, October 30 at 6:00 pm, the PSC is holding a mass membership meeting in the Great Hall of Cooper Union in Manhattan. Why you should come.  Click here for nineteen reasons.

Momentum Gathers for Mass Meeting on October 30th.  Click here for news on organizing and the agenda for the mass meeting.

September '07 Update.  Articles on (1) member-to-member organizing and (2) management's failure to make a financial offer.  Click here for September Clarion article.

Summer '07 Updates.  Read about (1) the June and July '07 bargaining sessions,  (2) a PSC contract proposal calling for a certificate of continuing employment for adjuncts and (3) a petition signed by approximately 2,500 PSC members in support of the union's contract proposals.  Click here for the contract centerfold from the Summer '07 Clarion.

Salaries First Focus of Bargaining.  In contract bargaining sessions on March 19 and April 2, PSC negotiators moved forward with a detailed presentation of the union’s contract demands. Backed by extensive research, the bargaining team made the case for improvements in salary, health coverage and workload.  Click here for April Clarion article.

First Bargaining Session.  Click here for information on the February 7th bargaining session and the February 15th Delegate Assembly meeting which voted on demands.

Nov. 3, 2006.  PSC sends formal request CUNY management to begin negotiations on next contract.  Click here for the Nov. 3rd letter and response by CUNY.

Contract Campaign Poster  


To view, download & print the poster click image.  To get one for your door or a handful to put up and/or pass on to colleagues for their doors, contact the union’s organizing department at 212-354-1252.

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GO TO: PSC Demands | Management's Demands | Open Letter to Chancellor | Salary ErosionParental Leave | Valentine's Day Tabling | Contract Campaign Brochures | NBC Feature on Paid Parental Leave | Leadership Training | Contract Poster | Contract Petition | Oct 30th Mass Contract Rally | Join the My Five Network | Our CUNY vs their CUNY | Clarion Articles | Bargaining Updates | Help Locate Lost Faculty& Staff | Join the Contract Campaign | BMCC Silent March |