April 30, 2010
Dedicated Sick Leave Program at CUNY Announced
The PSC is proud to announce that CUNY now has a Dedicated Sick Leave program allowing eligible participants to donate and receive sick days in cases of serious injury or illness. The program arises from a PSC contract demand and fulfills a commitment made in the current contract to negotiate a Dedicated Sick Leave program modeled on the City of New York’s program. Negotiations continue on allowing part-time employees to receive donated sick days, and to create a Sick Day Bank, on which individuals could also draw. The new program covers full-time instructional and classified staff at CUNY and, in a first, was jointly bargained by all the unions representing affected staff at CUNY. Full-time faculty and staff can donate and receive leave from their PSC colleagues, and also from department secretaries and custodial workers.
The program’s eligibility requirements are based on the City’s program, and are specified in the full text of the agreement. To receive dedicated sick leave, a full-time employee has to have been employed at least 2 years at CUNY and have an illness or injury requiring an absence of at least 30 continuous working days. Employees with fewer than 5 years of service may donate only annual leave. Employees with 5 years or more may also donate up to 10 sick leave days per year. Annual leave is credited to a recipient as a full day; sick leave is credited to a recipient as a half day.
Program details and the applications to donate and receive leave will be posted on the PSC website shortly. College HR Offices are responsible for implementing this benefit; contact your HR Office for more details.
May Day: Rally for Immigrant and Worker Rights Tomorrow at 11 am
For the first time in a generation, the New York City labor movement has united with immigrants’ rights organizations to organize a demonstration on May Day, the international workers’ holiday. Our shared demand is: “We will not pay for an economic crisis we did not create!” We are rallying in opposition to the jobless recovery, cuts to public services, and the new wave of attacks on immigrants. This could be a historic march—the beginning of greater militancy and diversity in the city’s labor movement. Bring your family, friends and students to join the PSC contingent at 11:00 a.m. at Foley Square in lower Manhattan. Read more here on the PSC website. PSC contingent will gather at 11 am in Foley Square right across from the corner of Pearl Street and Centre Street.
Join CUNY Action Day at the City Council, Wednesday, 5/5
The PSC will lobby against Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed cuts to CUNY community collegesat the PSC at the Council Lobby Day, Wednesday, 5/5. The PSC is again partnering with NYPIRG after the successful March 9 Albany Higher Ed Lobby Day. To participate, PSC members and students should contact Amanda Magalhaes in the PSC office by email or at 212-354-1252.
Can’t get downtown? You can still sign the letter to Bloomberg asking him to rethink the cuts. Click here for the PSC City budget page.
Final Contractual Increases to Certain Titles Today
Assistant to HEOs and College Lab Technicians with advanced degrees can expect their union-negotiated salary differential in their paychecks soon – for community college employees, on Friday, 4/30 and for senior college employees, on Thursday, 5/6. Retroactive pay (back to 3/19) will be in the same or the following paycheck. Members’ questions or problems should be raised first with the college payroll office; then call a PSC grievance counselor at 212-354-1252, if follow-up is needed.
CLIP (College Language Immersion Program) teachers can also expect their hourly rates to be adjusted upward, onto the new schedule, on those dates, respectively. Retroactive pay (to 3/19th) will be in the same or following paycheck.
These are the last salary adjustments in the current contract, which expires in October. The PSC has held meetings on every campus – and with every chapter – hearing from members about their priorities for the next round. You can send your suggestions, or join the organizing, here.
Junior Faculty Development Day 5/7
All new and untenured CUNY faculty are invited to join us for a daylong program dedicated to issues and challenges facing junior faculty. Session topics include achieving tenure and securing grants and publications; panels are assembled from experienced faculty, department chairs, and PSC grievance counselors. Additional workshops focus on how collective organizing and action by faculty can improve access to research resources and ameliorate excessive workload and other workplace challenges. On Friday, 5/7, from 9 am to 5:30 pm at the PSC, 61 Broadway, 16th Floor. Email Deirdre Brill to RSVP.
Final Phase of Employee Pension Contribution Implemented This Month
This month, the final phase of the employer assumption of the 3% employee pension contribution was implemented for full-time instructional staff participants with 10 years of service enrolled in the ORP (Optional Retirement Program), primarily TIAA-CREF. State legislation was passed in 2008, which mandated that after 10 years of CUNY service, the state and city would assume required employee pension contributions into ORP plans. (Most ORP participants are in TIAA-CREF.) The reduction in contribution was phased-in over 3 years. This legislation permitted ORP participants to achieve parity with other public employees in civilian city and state pension plans (including F/T CUNY instructional staff participants in TRS) for whom elimination of the 3% employee contribution after 10 years was achieved in 2001.
The elimination of the last phase of the 3% employee contribution for F/T ORP participants with 10 years or more of service took effect with the 4/8 paycheck for those at senior colleges and with the 4/16 paycheck for those at community colleges.
The legislation was the result of intense lobbying by the Professional Staff Congress to achieve what had been achieved for our members in the NYC Teachers Retirement System. In the future, all employees will see CUNY assume the 3% employee contribution as of their 10-year anniversary. This could not have been accomplished without the active support of many PSC members and our affiliate NYSUT. PSC members walked the halls in Albany to lobby their state representatives, wrote letters, called, and sent emails.
Full-time instructional staff members with 10 years or more of service at CUNY who belong to TIAA-CREF or other ORP plans should check their paycheck stubs, to be sure that the pension contribution is no longer being deducted. If you believe that there is an error, please contact either your Human Resources office or Clarissa Weiss, PSC Director of Pension and Welfare Fund Benefits.
NOTE: Employees of CUNY are NOT affected by current early retirement incentives or those under discussion in Albany.
Have You Received Your Letter of Reappointment?
Full-time teaching faculty hired in September 2009 should have received letters of reappointment on Thursday, 4/1. Full-time teaching faculty in tenure-track titles, Instructors and Lecturers hired in February 2010 are due letters of reappointment on Saturday, 5/1. Lecturers in their second year of service were due letters by Thursday, 4/1. HEOs in the first or second year of service were due letters by Thursday, 4/1. Adjuncts hired on a semester basis are due letters by Saturday, 5/1 and adjuncts hired on a yearly basis are due letters on Saturday, 5/15.
If you are a PSC member at an Institute or Center, you are due your letter on Saturday, 5/1. All other members in their first year are due letters on 6/1, and in their second year were due letters on 4/1.
If you do not receive a letter, or if you receive a letter of non-reappointment, immediately call a grievance counselor in the PSC office, 212-354-1252.
PSC Green Team Hosts Kenneth Gould on 5/19
On Wednesday, 5/19, the Green Team, a project of the PSC’s Environmental Health and Safety Watchdogs committee, will host speaker Kenneth Gould, chair of the Sociology department at Brooklyn College. Gould will discuss how unions can play a role in the movements for sustainability and environmental justice. At 5:30 in the PSC Union Hall, 61 Broadway, 15th Floor.
The union’s policy making body met on Thursday. PSC President Barbara Bowen reported that the PSC had collected $5,000 for Haiti earthquake relief and rebuilding. Delegates made personal contributions to a scholarship fund for the families of miners killed in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster in West Virginia. To contribute, send a check with “miners’ scholarship” or “Haiti” in the memo line to the PSC, 61 Broadway, 15th Floor, attention Faye Alladin. Delegates voted on four resolutions to be brought to the AFT convention in July. Delegates will vote on additional resolutions next month. Delegates also voted to support promoting the Census.