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June 22, 2009

City Budget Deal
City Council heard the union’s message: CUNY is the Path to New York’s Future. After weeks of back-and-forth negotiations, the mayor and the City Council reached a budget deal on June 19 that restores most of the budget cuts planned for CUNY’s six community colleges, although it does not provide the extra funding that would have eliminated the need for a tuition increase. Under the agreement, $21.4 million out of $25 million in cuts to CUNY’s budget were restored by the Council. Meanwhile, the Council added $2.75 million in funding to the Vallone Scholarships received and restored $2.5 million for the Black Male Empowerment Initiative. Funding was also restored for the Center for Puerto Rican Studies ($470,000), the Dominican Studies Institute ($470,000) and the Murphy Institute Center for Worker Education ($250,000). Additional operating funds may be available for CUNY's community colleges, but this could not be confirmed.

These restorations were made possible by the hard work of PSC members and CUNY students who spoke out at the union’s nine on-campus budget hearings, sent hundreds of letters, participated in the lobby days at City Council and reminded our elected officials that CUNY is the path to New York’s future.

Delegate Assembly Says No to Tier 5
The PSC Delegate Assembly unanimously passed a resolution June 18 opposing Governor Paterson’s proposal to create a separate Tier 5 for future public employees despite recent agreements by two state employees unions not to oppose it.

Delegates also voted not to make an endorsement in the race for mayor, and discussed other possible endorsements.

Affordable Housing Survey—Fill It Out!
The PSC and TIAA-CREF are discussing developing affordable housing options for PSC members.  Please participate in the union’s preliminary survey, designed to assess the demand for affordable housing in the metropolitan area among the faculty and professional staff.

Join the Fight for Adjunct UI
Despite the chaos in Albany, the PSC continues pressing for our main legislative agenda item this Spring, access for adjunct faculty to unemployment insurance.

Members and allies can send a letter to their state representatives. 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.

Research Foundation Workers Mobilize for a Fair Contract
PSC members who work at the CUNY Research Foundation’s Central Office will hold their second informational picket tomorrow, 6/23 from 12 to 2 p.m. outside the Research Foundation’s headquarters at 230 W. 41st St., near Times Square. Management’s contract offer has improved considerably (though not nearly enough!) since members and their allies held a noisy picket in the driving rain on 6/4. “You can’t imagine how much it means to the Research Foundation employees—the people who process our grants—to see CUNY faculty and staff at their rallies.  You don’t have to stay long to offer your support, and to be inspired by the determination of these PSC members fighting for fairness,” said PSC President Barbara Bowen

PSC Members to Rally for Healthcare Reform in Washington
PSC members are traveling to Washington on Thursday, June 25 to lobby and rally for healthcare. 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. There’s still time to sign up; to attend, email or call Kate Pfordresher at the PSC, 212-354-1252 by 6/23 at 5 p.m.