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June 15, 2009

PSC Continues to Press Legislative Agenda, Despite Chaos in Albany
PSC leaders and union representatives have continued to work this week for the union’s legislative priorities this session, despite the disorganization of the State Senate.  Together with NYSUT and the other public-employee unions in New York City, the PSC is strongly opposing inclusion of future members in an inferior pension tier, Tier 5.  Leaders are also working with NYSUT to gain passage in the Assembly of the PSC's bill on Unemployment Insurance for Adjuncts. For more information, read on.

Join the Lobbying for Adjuncts’ Access to Unemployment Insurance
If you haven't yet sent a letter to your representatives letting them know you’d like them to support adjuncts’ access to unemployment insurance, please do so by clicking here.
You can also advocate for adjunct unemployment insurance by joining PSC lobbying teams, which will be meeting with legislators in their district offices here in the City. Email or call Amanda Magalhaes at the PSC, 212-354-1252, for details or to sign up.

Tell City Council to Reverse Community College Budget Cuts
As the City Council negotiates next year’s budget, the PSC continues to remind members of the City Council that CUNY is the Path to New York’s Future.

“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 PSC President Barbara Bowen.

Send that reminder to your own council member by going to the PSC website and sending a letter now.

Health Care Rally in DC on Thursday, 6/25
Join your PSC colleagues and thousands of union members in Washington, DC to demand real health care reform. This rally and lobby day, co-sponsored by the AFL-CIO and Health Care for America Now!, comes at a historic time. This summer, Congress will craft a solution to our broken health care system. Buses leave NYC between 6 and 7 a.m. and will return on the same day. To attend, email or call Amanda Magalhaes at the PSC, 212-354-1252 by this Friday, 6/12.

AAUP Representatives Lobby for Direct Federal Funding to Institutions and Better Labor Law for Faculty
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) held its annual governance meeting in Washington, D.C. last week.  Attending were 14 PSC representatives elected in April.  First Vice President Steve London and Treasurer Mike Fabricant joined the AAUP Capitol Hill lobbying activities seeking direct federal student loans and reversing the 1980 Supreme Court's "Yeshiva Decision" which made faculty unionization in the private sector almost impossible.  They also held discussions with Congressman Tim Bishop (Suffolk County) on legislation to provide direct federal funding to public universities. Stanley Aronowitz (CUNY Grad Center) was re-elected to the Executive Committee of the AAUP's Collective Bargaining Conference, of which the PSC is a constituent member.  Several CUNY faculty also presented papers at the Globalization, Shared Governance, and Academic Freedom International Conference held concurrently with the AAUP's annual meeting.  The AAUP annual meeting presents opportunities for PSC delegates to discuss national trends in higher education with colleagues from across the country, and to consider "censure" resolutions of institutions that violate academic freedom.

EOCs Win Fair Agreement
Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) employees successfully maintained parity with CUNY titles under the PSC collective bargaining agreement when they reached agreement with CUNY on the EOC Supplemental Agreement last week.  They won across-the-board salary increases of 10.49%, increases to the top step of full-time and adjunct salary schedules, $1,000 added to each step of the EOC Lecturer schedule (EOC Lecturers are nearly half of the full-time employees at the EOCs), annual salary differentials for EOC Assistants to HEO and EOC CLTs with job-related MAs or PhDs, paid parental leave effective 9/1/09 and access to dedicated sick leave and the sick leave bank under the same terms as CUNY employees.  Full-time EOC employees also won access to the HEO-CLT Professional Development Fund as part of the agreement to restructure professional development opportunities.

EOC Chapter Chairs Amy Nicholas, Santiago Villafañe and Karen Berry (assisted by Evelyn McCatty) worked with PSC Executive Director Deborah Bell over three bargaining sessions to craft an agreement that meets the bargaining committee's goals.  The chairs said the support of their colleagues across the University in signing the EOC petition over the past month helped CUNY see the urgency of reaching a settlement. Vice Chancellor Pamela Silverblatt and her staff and CUNY Budget Director Matthew Sapienza expedited the final stages of bargaining, and Silverblatt said she hopes to bring it to the CUNY Board of Trustees for approval at the June Board meeting.