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April 16, 2007

New date for “CUNY at the Council – PSC Day of Action!” – now May 9

Professional Development Day Draws Record Crowd

Over 100 members participated in the PSC’s annual Junior Faculty Professional Development Day, held this past Friday. The day was a big success, with helpful information disseminated, ideas shared and interesting discussion all around on topics ranging from getting tenure to winning grants. For more information on the union’s professional development activities, visit the website by clicking here.

Training this Thursday for My Fivers

Are you thinking about joining the My Five network but unsure of exactly what the job entails or whether you’re up for it? Already a My Fiver but eager to hone your one-on-one organizing skills? Come to an informal workshop training this Thursday, April 19, at 5:30pm at the union office (61 Broadway, Manhattan). We’ll talk about tips on how to reach out and build relationships with other union members, tools you can use to start a conversation, short-term and long-term goals for the My Five Network and how it fits in with the union’s overall contract campaign strategy. Join us!

Contract Poster Coming to a Door near you (perhaps yours!)

Beginning today, the PSC is distributing a new contract campaign poster that members can put up on bulletin boards, office doors or wherever else faculty and staff might see them. You can download an 8.5x11” version here. Full-size 11x17” posters are available from your chapter chair, your my Five contact or the union office. Bargaining resumes this Friday, April 20, and we hope as many members as possible will see this poster before then.

Union Mounts Campaign for Full Pay for Adjuncts for 15th Week

Union activists began circulating a petition today asking all PSC members to signal their opposition to college policies that shortchange some adjuncts out of a full semester’s pay. At issue is the practice by five colleges (Baruch, Bronx CC, Staten Island, Kingsborough and Queensborough) of paying teaching adjuncts only two hours during finals week for time they spend proctoring exams rather than the three hours pay rate they receive during the rest of the semester. The reality is that teaching is more than standing in front of the classroom and that adjuncts, like other faculty, teach as much in that finals week as in any other (indeed, often more: meeting with students, grading exams and papers and more). The PSC grieved this injustice in 2006, but the arbitrator ruled that the five colleges could continue denying full pay because it was “past practice.” But PSC members are determined not to make that ruling the last word on the matter: they are gathering signatures calling on the college presidents to reverse the practice, and they are prepared to step up their actions until this insult to our professionalism has ended. Join the “campaign of outrage” today and sign the petition by clicking here.

Budget Update: CUNY at the Council May 9

New York City has a record budget surplus of $3.9 billion, but city funding for CUNY is down 17% since 1990 and the Mayor has proposed $59 million in cuts to CUNY’s budget request. That’s unconscionable. Join us on May 9 at the City Council to lobby and rally for urgently needed funding. Get the flyer for the event on the website and copy it for your colleagues. Help gather postcard signatures; campuses tabling this week include Brooklyn, Staten Island, LaGuardia, York, BMCC, Queens, CCNY, Bronx CC and NYC Tech; for a tabling schedule, check the website.

Final numbers are in on the state budget: CUNY is receiving an 8.6% increase in state funding, just about what the Governor had proposed in his original budget, and aid per FTE for community colleges is being increased by $150, $50 more than the Executive Budget recommended. This continues the trend of recent years of modest increases that fall far short of the kind of renewed investment that’s needed to reverse decades of under-funding.

You may find it hard to believe that CUNY is so cheap as to claim at certain colleges that adjuncts work only two hours, not three, during the fifteenth week.  It’s embarrassing—and outrageous—but true.  We all stand to lose if CUNY gets away with this unprofessional way of defining teaching.  Join me in flexing some union muscle to force CUNY to do the right thing.  Sign the petition and join us at actions later this spring.” ~Barbara Bowen, President