June 4, 2007
The PSC bargaining team met with management on Friday for the latest negotiation session. Among the issues discussed was the PSC’s demand for salary steps for Law School faculty, who currently have salary ranges rather than steps. Law School professors joined the union bargaining team for the presentation at the table. They described how the kind of discretionary pay system proposed by management would endanger the educational success of the School. It would erode the collegiality and fairness that draw law faculty to teach at CUNY—in spite of often uncompetitive salaries. Management presented arguments for several of their demands, including a series of demands that would sharply decrease job security for HEOs.
If a workplace with fair salaries and respect for job security is important to you, you should consider signing the union’s petition in support of our vision of CUNY. Click here to see how many of your colleagues have already signed. A single signature might not be enough to force a change in management’s position, but the impact of thousands of names from every title and rank and college should not be underestimated.
Although it’s summer on the calendar, the PSC and CUNY are planning to continue a full schedule of negotiating sessions throughout the summer months. This would be a good time to sit in on one of the sessions as an observer; more than 100 members have already done so during this round of bargaining. Contact Cheshire Frager at firstname.lastname@example.org to participate.
AAUP Meets in Washington this Week
The annual meeting of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), of which the PSC is an active member, will take place in Washington, DC this week, June 7-10. The PSC is sending 14 delegates to the meeting, whose theme is “Telling the Truth in Difficult Times.” The packed four-day agenda includes lobbying on Capitol Hill, panel discussions on everything from bargaining gender equity issues to the rise of the global university and a special exhibit of some of Robert Shetterly’s portrait series “Americans Who Tell the Truth.”
Help Rebuild New Orleans: AFT Union Summer
Many members of the PSC have asked how they can help rebuild New Orleans after the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and many members have already been there as volunteers. Based on this experience, PSC President Barbara Bowen made a presentation to the AFT Executive Council, which led to a decision to develop a Union Summer Program dedicated to revitalizing New Orleans. Members of the union are invited through this program to participate in specific community and union-building projects, which will last two weeks. Assignments will include working with Habitat for Humanity and Acorn and will range from house-gutting to phone banking, tutoring and house calls to potential union members. For more information and to download an application, go to the PSC website. Completed forms should be faxed to the union office at 212-302-7815. Participation is on a first-come-first-served basis.
City Budget Update
Following the successful “CUNY at the Council – PSC Day of Action” event at City Hall on May 9, PSC members have kept up the drumbeat for better funding for CUNY from the City. Our message is clear: With a record surplus, it’s unconscionable to accept the Mayor’s budget proposal, which calls for a cut of $34.8 million from the CUNY budget. Faculty and staff have been calling their City Council representatives and demanding that the cuts be restored and additional funds added. The PSC proposed new funding for faculty counselors, the urgent need for whom is painfully obvious in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy. CUNY students’ access to faculty counseling and mentoring is limited because of an acute shortage of full-time faculty counselors. The union’s proposal would double the number of counselors at our community colleges. Click here for a copy of the proposal, and here for information about the union’s City budget campaign.
Campaign of Outrage Continues
On Thursday the PSC held the fifth of its demonstrations outside the administration offices of the five colleges that refuse to pay adjuncts their full pay during finals week, this one at Kingsborough. Like the others in the previous week, it was a spirited protest. Meanwhile, news coverage of the demonstrations has continued: see the online version of the Norwood News article on the Bronx protest, and a piece on the whole campaign in AFT On Campus.
“You may be enjoying a well-deserved break at the end of the semester, but here’s something you can do even while on vacation to advance the fight for better salaries and working conditions. Take a look at the list of people from your college who have signed the union’s contract petition. If there’s anyone in your department or office who hasn’t signed, write them a personal message asking if they’d like to add their name to yours. No message from the union leadership will mean as much as a personal message from a friend and colleague. Almost everyone is happy to sign the petition, but sometimes they have to be asked”
~Barbara Bowen, President