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February 19, 2008

Thousands Send Goldstein a Valentine’s Day Message

PSC members on 13 campuses spent Valentine’s Day raising awareness of the shameful fact that CUNY does not provide a single day of paid parental or family leave. Support from students, faculty and staff was overwhelming; thousands of people signed postcards to Chancellor Matthew Goldstein saying “CUNY, stop breaking our hearts! Give us time with our families!” and adding their support to the union’s bargaining demand for paid leave in the contract being negotiated now. If you haven’t signed the postcard yet, you can do so on the PSC website now. You’ll also find photos from several of the campus actions on the site.

The Case for Competitive Salaries: Insert Your Story Here

The PSC negotiating team has heard your message loud and clear: CUNY will not be a first-rate university if it continues to offer third-rate salaries.  CUNY must begin the restoration of our salaries to competitive levels in this contract.  Scores and scores of you have sent in accounts of how CUNY’s eroded salaries are hurting the University; you have told us about outstanding faculty and staff who have decided to leave and job candidates who turn down offers because the pay is simply too low, especially for New York City.  The union bargaining team thanks you for sharing your information with us—we have received powerful testimony.  We continue to draw on this information in our discussions with management, but we need to hear everyone’s voice to fight for the best salary increases possible. To make the case we need to illustrate as strongly as possible how the status quo—the lack of competitive salaries—is hurting the University. We need to document, college by college, department by department, member by member, how our substandard salaries are undermining our ability to offer a quality education to our students. We need your story. Click here to tell us your story. Be sure to include your name, title, department and campus—and to indicate whether we may use your name in discussing the information you provide.

Celebrate Women’s History Month with the PSC

March is Women’s History Month, and the PSC’s Women’s Committee is sponsoring a talk and discussion on March 14 entitled “Family-Friendly Union Workplaces: Evolution, Vision and Action” at the union hall (61 Broadway, 16th floor) from 12 to 3pm. It promises to be an interesting conversation—and clearly a timely one for PSC members, as we continue our fight to establish paid family leave at CUNY. To download the flyer to pass it on to colleagues, go to the website. For more information, contact Marcia Newfield.  

New Contract Brochures Available

What’s at stake in our contract negotiations? The PSC has produced a new series of brochures that answer that question for six key issues 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; why we need to defeat management’s efforts to erode job security for HEOs; how the lack of paid parental leave is forcing PSC members to choose between having a career and having a family; and what must be done to secure our health benefits. The brochures are a great tool for starting a conversation with colleagues about these issues. You can preview them on the website; four of them are available now in hard copy; the last two (parental leave and benefits) will be available this Friday. Ask your chapter chair for copies, or contact Nick Cruz in the union office.


 "The PSC is a home not just for our collective aspirations for the University and our profession; it is also a site for shared intellectual life. In honor of Black History Month, I would like to extend a special invitation to you to join us this Friday at our monthly ‘Labor Goes to the Movies’ screening. We will be watching Isaac Julien’s rarely seen filmFrantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask,about one of the twentieth century’s most important theorists of decolonization.  Even if you’ve never come to a PSC movie before, consider coming to this one and being part of the discussion following the film." – Barbara Bowen, President