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June 9, 2008

Keeping the Heat On

With temperatures in the high 90’s, “keeping the heat on” may seem like the last thing you want to do…but when it comes to progress at the bargaining table, it’s exactly the right move. As talks continue, the union needs you to stay in touch and stay involved. The PSC is asking members to sign up to be part of a phone campaign so we can have hundreds of people make cell phone calls or send faxes in response to developments at the bargaining table.The union is also asking members who are on campus this summer to sign up for local activities, giving us the crucial capacity to mount quick creative responses as things unfold. You can join either the phone campaign or the one-the-ground response team on the website or by contacting Organizing Director Chris Aikin.

Meanwhile, the PSC negotiating team is keeping the heat on management, conducting discussions and technical meetings several times a week since May 12, when CUNY finally made an economic offer. The union continues to press CUNY to move quickly, as the bargaining team is aware of current economic conditions and concerned about the difficulty management created by delaying more than eight months before making an economic offer.    

Fiterman Hall Financing Hearing

The demolition and rebuilding of BMCC’s Fiterman Hall, irreparably damaged in the 9/11 terrorist attack, continues to be delayed by political wrangling over funding, specifically over a dispute about the City’s contribution to the work. Meanwhile, BMCC continues to burst at the seams without the much-needed space of a rebuilt Fiterman Hall. The PSC has been an active member of the labor-community coalition that has advocated for a transparent, safe and timely process for the reconstruction project. A City Council hearing on the subject is scheduled for next Monday, June 16, and PSC officials expect to testify. The PSC’s involvement has been spearheaded by its “Health and Safety Watchdogs,” the union’s environmental committee. The committee will meet this Wednesday, and its Environmental Sustainability Subcommittee will also meet on Wednesday. For more information, see the calendar or contact the Watchdogs.

Adjunct/CET Professional Development Fund Temporarily Suspended

The Adjunct/Continuing Education Professional Development Fund that was established with the 2002-2007 contract settlement has been temporarily suspended. In the last round of bargaining, when the Fund was set up, CUNY would not agree to an ongoing annual contribution, so the Fund was established with a fixed amount, $500,000. As the PSC had predicted, it has been a resounding success, awarding 277 grants for a total of $479,000. At its last meeting, the committee that oversees the fund decided temporarily to suspend acceptance of new applications until such time as the University agrees to the PSC demand to continue support for the fund. The committee is also asking adjuncts and Continuing Education faculty  who have received grants though the fund to send the union accounts of their work and the different that the grants have in their professional lives. Send reports to Clarissa Gilbert Weiss.

Israel Kugler Memorial Tribute This Wednesday

The PSC’s memorial service for Israel Kugler is this Wednesday at the CUNY Graduate Center at 1:30pm. All are invited to come and celebrate the life of one of the founders of the PSC. Kugler was a lifelong champion of academic freedom, collective bargaining and democracy in the workplace.  Contact Linda Slifkin at the union office for more information about Wednesday’s memorial; see the PSC website for our special tribute section.

Share “This Week” with your Colleagues

“This Week in the PSC” arrives faithfully in your mailbox every Monday, with news and information from PSC that keep members up-to-date and enable greater participation in the union, which strengthens its work. Encourage your colleagues to read it; and if they are not receiving it, urge them to sign up for it today. Did you know past issues of “This Week” are archived on the PSC website? If you ever want to look something up you read in an earlier edition, you can find them all here. One technical note: If you keep past issues of “This Week” in an e-mail folder, you should know that due to an adjustment made by the company that manages our bulk e-mail, the links in the old e-mails no longer work. The links in the archived web editions, though, are fine.