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• 4/28 City Council Higher Education Committee Hearing

• 4/28 Workers’ Memorial Day

• 4/29 Chapter Meeting, BMCC

• 4/29 PSC Election Ballots due to AAA by 5:00

• 4/30 Budget Hearing at Hostos CC

• 4/30 Chapter Meeting, York

• 4/30 Delegate Assembly

• 5/1 Junior Faculty Development Day

• 5/4 Retirees Chapter Meeting

• 5/6 CUNY at the Council

• 5/7 Budget Hearing at LaGuardia

• 5/14 Chapter Meeting, City Tech

• 5/20 Paid Parental Leave Retroactive Benefit Request Deadline

• 5/20 Chapter Meeting, BMCC

• 5/26 Chapter Meeting, CCNY

• 6/17 Pre-Retirement Conference

April 27, 2009

Union Election Ballots Due Wednesday by 5:00
Ballots for the election of CUNY-wide union officers were mailed Wednesday, 4/1, by the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The AAA must receive ballots by 5:00 pm on 4/29 and will count them the following day. Contact PSC Coordinator of Office Services Barbara Gabriel with questions, 212-354-1252.

Junior Faculty Development Day 5/1
The PSC will hold its annual professional development day for untenured faculty on May 1 from 12 to 6 pm. Come hear panel discussions about achieving tenure at CUNY, paid parental leave, grants and publications, academic freedom, and more. Email PSC Organizer Nicole Rodriguez-Robbins with questions or to sign up.

Hostos Budget Hearing on Thursday

Join the PSC at one of the last Budget Hearings, even if it is not on your campus. They are:

April 30 – Hostos (at 3:30)
May 7 – LaGuardia (at 2:00)

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.

Paid Parental Leave Retroactive Deadline is 5/20
Full-time CUNY employees represented by the PSC who became parents of a newborn or newly adopted child (under the age of five) between 7/17/08 and 3/20/09 and have at least one year of full-time service at the time of birth or adoption are eligible for a retroactive Paid Parental Leave benefit. You must apply for it by Wednesday, 5/20. The PSC website has instructions and the retroactive benefit application form, plus the letter of agreement on Paid Parental Leave. Questions? Call or email Clarissa Weiss in the PSC office, 212-354-1252

Adjunct Reappointment Letters Due 5/1
Most adjuncts must receive written notice of reappointment (or non-reappointment) for next semester by 5/1. This letter should include your title and your hourly rate. If by next Friday, you have not received a letter, or your letter does not include your title and hourly rate, please call a grievance counselor for part-timers at the PSC, 212-354-1252.

Adjuncts who are eligible for one-year appointments must receive their letters by 5/15.

Class assignments, however, depend on the budget, the curriculum, and sufficiency of registration.  Once you have received an appointment, you must be told of changes in the conditions which impact your employment as soon as the college knows of them.

Full-time faculty, including CLTs, whose date of initial appointment was 2/1/09, as well as HEOs hired since 9/30/08 are also due written notice of reappointment or reappointment by 5/1. If you do not receive a letter, or if you do receive a letter of non-reappointment, immediately contact a PSC grievance counselor, 212-354-1252. The last day the union can file a grievance challenging a denial of reappointment is June 10, 2009.

CUNY Day Breakfast Draws 13 Council Members
At the PSC’s Ninth Annual CUNY Day Breakfast, 40 PSC members were joined by 13 Council Members: Tony Avella, Charles Barron, Leroy Comrie, Elizabeth Crowley, Alan Gerson, Letitia James, Oliver Koppell, Miguel Martizez, Diana Reyna, James Sanders, Helen Sears, Albert Vann, and David Weprin. Council Members Gail Brewer, Bill deBlasio, Robert Jackson, John Liu, Christine Quinn and Comptroller William Thompson sent staff.

Barron and Gerson, among those honored with a “Friend of the PSC Award,” pledged their support for CUNY. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, PSC Health and Safety Co-chair Joan Greenbaum, the PSC chapter at BMCC, the Fiscal Policy Institute and the New York State Youth Leadership Council also received awards from the union, or, as Gerson called PSC members, “New York’s Wisest.”

Win on BMCC Bus Parking Plan

PSC learned last week that the plans to park dozens of City buses on West Street, just outside BMCC’s main air intake ducts is on hold. City Council Member Alan Gerson, who last week received a “Friend of the PSC Award,” has been a leading voice, along with the union and BMCC administration, of this plan. 

Faculty members needed for PSC-CUNY Research Awards
The PSC-CUNY Research Award Program needs faculty members to coordinate grants in their area of expertise. Members meet to establish guidelines for grant disbursement, form grant review panels, and select grant recipients. You can volunteer to join the University Committee on Research Awards (UCRA) or nominate colleagues. The UCRA is looking for faculty to coordinate the following areas: anthropology, chemistry, computer science, creative writing and English, education, health sciences, health and human services, and sociology.

Nominees should forward a CV, including grants and fellowships received and research undertaken to: The Research Committee, University Faculty Senate, 535 East 80th Street, New York, NY 10075. Or e-mail this information to Stasia Pasela by May 15. For information, call the UFS at 212-794-5538.

New COBRA Rules Affect Some PSC Members
COBRA coverage allows workers to keep health insurance provided by their former employer—at a considerable cost. But some relief is being offered by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law in February.

Under the new law certain workers who lost or will lose jobs between Sept. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009, may purchase insurance coverage at only 35% of the usual COBRA premium, for up to nine months. Eligible workers laid off from last September onwards who declined COBRA will be given a second chance to enroll.

The NYC Health Benefits Program—with CUNY following their lead—recently sent a mailing to all individuals whom they determined to be affected by the new law.  You can get detailed information on the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund website, or by calling the Fund at 212-354-5230.