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March 10, 2008

Union Activists Meet and Mobilize at Leadership Training

On Friday and Saturday, 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 for photos.

Budget Battle for Better Funding: Insert Your Voice Here

Chronic underfunding of CUNY affects our jobs, our students, the quality of education we can offer. Fighting for increased funding from the State and City is a crucial piece of the work of addressing these problems. Right now the State process is heating up and the City process is gearing up. To make a difference in this year’s budgets, we need as many PSC members as possible to raise their voices. The governor’s executive budget proposes cuts in CUNY funding for the 2008-2009 fiscal year, but we need more funding, not less! Send a letter now to your State Assembly and Senate representatives urging them to restore the cuts and make the necessary investment in CUNY. Meanwhile, the City Council will hold a hearing on the Mayor’s executive budget for CUNY this Friday, starting at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall. PSC members and the public are invited to testify starting at 11:30 a.m. Of particular concern to the PSC is reversing proposed cuts and increasing funds for student services, especially mental health counseling.  For more information, contact Kate Pfordresher in the PSC office.

For more information on the budget and an online copy of this year’s state budget brochure from the PSC, visit the website. For hard copies of the brochure to share with colleagues or bring to meetings, contact Britt Minott in the union office. Your PSC VOTE/COPE contributions fund the PSC's efforts to increase CUNY's budget.

PSC Women’s History Month Forum Friday 3/14

March is Women’s History Month, and the PSC’s Women’s Committee is sponsoring a talk and discussion this Friday, 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

3/22 Protest Marks Fifth Anniversary of Iraq War

PSC members will be part of a series of anti-war demonstrations marking the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. On March 22 we will join with other in a “River to River” protest, linking hands across the whole of Manhattan. The PSC will assemble at noon on the SW corner of 14th Street and 3rd Avenue.

Happy Birthday, “This Week”

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the publication of “This Week in the PSC.” To celebrate, we are asking “This Week” readers what they think of the electronic newsletter and what suggestions they have for improving it. That means you! Click here to send us your feedback.

"Thank you for the flood of responses we received to our request for information about how CUNY's substandard salaries affect you—and your students' education.  A small sample is published in the newClarion; I think you'll find it powerful reading.  If your reaction is anything like mine, you'll feel a new resolve to demand salary restoration in this contract." – Barbara Bowen, President