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March 9, 2009

Budget Hearings at City Tech and CSI This Thursday

New York City College of Technology and College of Staten Island are hosting the next PSC Budget Hearings. The union will bring together students, staff and faculty to tell lawmakers about the real-life implications of the governor’s and mayor’s proposed cuts to CUNY’s budget.  The City Tech PSC chapter will hold its hearing at 4:00 this Thursday, March 15 in the Atrium Auditorium. The CSI hearing is at 5:00 in the Campus Center, Green Dolphin Lounge. Everyone is welcome. Please come and testify – you can come to any hearing, even if it’s not at your campus.  Contact the chapter chair to sign up.

The rest of the hearings are:
March 19 – Baruch and Queens (both at 4:00)
March 26 – BMCC (at 4:30)
April 2 – BCC (at 4:00)
April 30 – John Jay and Hostos (at 4:00)
May 7 – LaGuardia (at 2:30)
The union is proud to have DC37, University Student Senate, and NYPIRG co-sponsor the hearings. Be there, be heard! Find more information on the PSC website.

Members Lobby in Albany, Join Massive Rally at City Hall

More than 30 CUNY faculty and staff, organized by the PSC, held meetings with State legislators to call for increased support for CUNY from both the State budget and the federal stimulus.  The two days of intensive lobbying in Albany were coordinated by our statewide affiliate, NYSUT.  Teams of faculty and staff fanned out through the Legislative Office Building, to hold meetings with key legislators on the Higher Ed and Finance Committees. Members stressed the need for real public investment, not reliance on increased tuition.  Meanwhile, PSC members joined tens of thousands of other unionists at City Hall on Thursday with a similar message – increased revenue and state investment is our way out of this economic crisis. City Tech student Selah Brown and PSC President Barbara Bowen addressed the crowd from the stage. See pictures and video featuring Bowen here. (Selah Brown is an alum of the PSC’s Policy and Media Budget Training.

PSC Takes the Lead in Organizing Symposium in Albany

The PSC, with NYSUT, UUP, SUNY and CUNY, organized a symposium last week titled “From Recession to Resurgence: Public Higher Education – the Key to Revitalizing New York’s Economy.” The conference featured economist Jeff Madrick, who discussed public education – especially public higher education – as an integral piece of rebuilding not only New York’s economy, but also in our society as a whole. State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky responded to the presentation. Then four panelists elaborated on the ideas Madrick presented. Those panelists were CUNY’s Joyce Moy, who runs the Asian American/Asian Research Institute; Mathew Cusack and Michael Garvey, both entrepreneurs whose businesses depended on research and other support from SUNY; and Frank Mauro, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute. Brian Taffe, host of Albany’s Capital Tonight program, moderated.

Bowen, London and Fabricant Speak at National Higher Education Conference 

PSC leaders and members participated fully in the AFT’s Higher Education conference, “Generating Power: Mobilizing the Union to Revitalize Higher Education.” PSC First Vice President Steve London presented on the topic of “Academic Freedom in the Digital Age,” Treasurer Mike Fabricant spoke about “Incorporating FACE into Your Contract Campaign” (FACE is Faculty and College Excellence, the AFT’s proposed state legislation to improve academic staffing in higher education nation-wide.) Bowen, an AFT vice president, and the initiator of the nationwide legislation campaign on academic staffing, led the presentation of FACE in the opening plenary, and introduced economist Dean Baker, who gave the Polishook lecture, (named for the former president of the PSC) “The Causes of the Economic Crisis and the Role of Higher Education in the Recovery.” Other PSC leaders helped to organize sessions on organizing contingent faculty, increasing racial diversity among faculty nationwide, and bullying in the workplace.

Budget Media and Policy Training Tomorrow!

Last month, PSC members brushed up on the facts about the State and City budgets and perfected their skills in talking on radio and TV.  They emerged ready to take on any talk-show host about the budget.  If you missed the trainings, come this time! We are offering three throughout the day on Tuesday, 3/10 – at 10 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm. (Each session is two hours.) All members are invited. Please RSVP to PSC Communications Coordinator Dania Rajendra by email.

Members who have already taken the training continue to take to the airwaves – Kathleen Barker from Medgar Evers was on NY1’s The Call last week, and City Tech student Selah Brown used his PSC training to give his 30-second speech at the big Fair Share Tax Reform rally.

PSC Health and Safety Watchdogs Hold Workshops This Month

The Watchdogs are offering workshops on Wednesdays in March, covering “everything you might want to know about your working environment and what you and others can do about it.” The workshop this Wednesday, 3/11, at 5:30 pm in the PSC office, is on Indoor Air Quality. The rest of the schedule is:         

3/18 – Getting Things Done On Campus
3/25 – Construction and Renovation On Campus

RSVP to the Watchdogs by email or by calling the union office, 212-354-1252.

Celebrate Women’s History Month with the PSC Women’s Committee

The PSC Women’s Committee is celebrating women’s history month with an open mike event about “Women who have inspired us” on Tuesday, 3/24 at 6 pm in the PSC Union Hall. To RSVP, email Marcia Newfield or call her at the PSC office, 212-354-1252.