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April 23, 2007

Bargaining: CUNY Puts its Demands on the Table

Representatives from CUNY and the PSC met on Friday in a bargaining session, with about 20 faculty and staff as observers. The session included the union’s presentation of demands on paid parental leave, assistance with childcare, and expansion of tuition waivers, as well as management’s submission of their proposals.  The PSC bargaining team will listen with an open mind to management’s presentation and will bargain in good faith.  But the management demands delivered on Friday are not a blueprint for reaching a timely settlement.  They include no financial offer, yet seek major concessions.  Taken together, they amount to an aggressive attempt to restructure the University. They call for a weakening of tenure and 13.3.b; an increase in the use of contingent and non-tenure-track faculty; a weakening of academic freedom and due process; the removal of department chairs from the union; the replacement of regular step salary increases with individual increases at the discretion of management.  The complete list of management demands and a union analysis will be in the contract section of the website tomorrow.

City Budget Battle

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’s current proposal falls $59 million short of CUNY’s budget request. That’s unconscionable. Help collect postcards and join us on May 9 at the City Council as we lobby, rally and deliver thousands of postcards calling for urgently needed funding. Visit the website for more information, flyers to hand out to colleagues, a copy of the postcard and a tabling schedule for gathering postcard signatures.

NYSUT Representative Assembly this Week

The PSC is fielding a team of over 40 delegates to the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Representative Assembly (RA), being held April 26-28 in Washington, DC. The RA is the policy-making body of NYSUT, our state-wide parent union.  The PSC has been instrumental in setting NYSUT’s higher education agenda and plays an active, leadership role in the RA. This year we submitted six original resolutions and co-endorsed five others, which, if passed, become part of NYSUT’s legislative agenda. For copies of the resolutions, see the ”documents” archive on the PSC website.

Reminder: Chapter Election Ballots Due this Thursday

Elections for leadership in about half of the PSC’s chapters are wrapping up this week. (The other half have elections next year.) Chapter executive committees and representatives to the Delegate Assembly, the PSC’s governing body, are being chosen by direct election by the membership in a mail ballot. Ballots were mailed on April 2, and are due back this Thursday, April 26. Ballots in contested elections will be counted by the American Arbitration Association; ballots in uncontested elections will be tallied by PSC staff and certified by the Elections Committee. If you are in a chapter holding an election and have not received your ballot, please contact Barbara Gabriel at the PSC office immediately at 212-354-1252.  Results of the election will be posted on the website and announced in next Monday’s “This Week in the PSC.” Check the website’s election page for a list of chapters holding elections and a full list of election rules.

Are you getting “This Week in the PSC” directly from the union?

If not, then send us your e-mail and we’ll add you to the list! And however you got it, please share it with your colleagues, and urge them to send us their e-mails, too. To send us you e-mail, log onto the PSC website, www.psc-cuny.org.

“All the vision, all the hope for the kind of education we would like to offer our students, is on the union side. We are seeking smaller classes, more time with students, more support for research, salaries and benefits that would make CUNY competitive.  I think these are things worth fighting for, and I know that many of you are prepared to join that fight ~Barbara Bowen, President