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May 26, 2009

Delegate Assembly Unanimously Opposes Dept. Chair Term Limits
At its May 21 meeting, the PSC's policymaking body unanimously passed a resolution defending faculty governance and urging the CUNY Trustees to vote down Chancellor Goldstein's proposal to impose a limit of two consecutive terms on department chairs. Delegates reported on similar resolutions passed on campuses through the University, and made plans to inform college presidents that the proposal has met with near-universal opposition. Delegates also discussed ways to increase the pressure for a fair City budget and discussed a report on the first meeting of a new Advisory Council on CUNY and Race. The resolution will be posted on the PSC website this week.

Tell City Council to Reverse Community College Budget Cuts
PSC President Barbara Bowen and First Vice President Steve London testified before a joint hearing of City Council’s Higher Education and Finance Committee’s on May 15. Their message was that CUNY is the Path to New York’s Future – and they urged committee members to reject the CUNY Board of Trustees’ proposed $350 annual tuition increase for community college students, rescind Mayor Bloomberg’s $46.5 million in cuts to CUNY community colleges, reinstate funds for City Council-sponsored programs such as Black Male Empowerment Initiative; and match $160 million in capital funds provided by New York State.
“There is a better way to balance the City’s budget, even in these hard times. The PSC supports progressive income taxes and investment in vital public services,” said Barbara Bowen. You can still send a message to your City Council Member by going to the PSC website and sending a letter now.

Lobby for Adjuncts’ Access to Unemployment Insurance in the City
Add your voice to the call for adjuncts’ access to Unemployment Insurance by sending a letter in support of the bill before the state Senate and Assembly.

You can also advocate for adjunct unemployment insurance by joining PSC lobbying teams who will be meeting with your legislators in their district offices here in the City. Contact Diane Menna at the PSC, 212-354-1252 for details or to sign up.

Contract Now for EOCs—Sign the Petition
Nine months after a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between PSC and CUNY, there is still no agreement on the terms in the Supplement covering employees at the Educational Opportunity Centers (EOCs) in titles represented by the PSC. The union is calling for parity in wage increases and other applicable benefit improvements for employees in EOC titles with equivalent CUNY titles.
EOCs have initiated a University-wide petition drive in support of their campaign.
 “We want our colleagues in the rest of PSC to know we’re angry, and we want them to support our efforts to settle this agreement and see our members paid quickly,” said Brooklyn EOC Chapter Chair Amy Nicholas.

RF-CUNY Action
Speaking of waiting too long for a fair contract, Research Foundation-CUNY workers at the RF Central Office leafleted passersby last week at a meeting of the RF-Board of Directors, which CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein chairs.  After five months without a contract, the RF-CUNY is offering only a 2.5% wage increase over 3 years, with 0% in the first year, as well as reduced benefits for new hires, increases in employee contributions to the health plan. (Click here to see the photos on Flickr.)
Their colleagues at the LaGuardia, City Tech and Graduate Center Research Foundations also continue their fight for a fair first contract, a fight which has gone on for several years. Email PSC Organizing coordinator Kian Frederick if you’d like to help RF-CUNY workers win fair contracts.

Saturday, Rally with Stella D’Oro Strikers (and Teachers)
Just weeks after PSC members and NYSUT teachers visited the striking Stella D’Oro workers (see the video on YouTube!) to offer in-person solidarity and a donation to their strike fund, the workers, on strike nine months from the cookie factory, are holding a mass rally on Saturday. The rally is Saturday, 5/ 30. Strikers and supporters will assemble at the Target, at West 225 Street, one block east of Broadway and the #1 station, and march to the factory. Be a part of the PSC contingent to the rally, and join the chant: No contract, no cookies!