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July 23, 2007

Save the Date: September 19, an evening of cultural presentations on “our CUNY vs. Their CUNY”

The Contract Campaign Organizing Committee is inviting PSC members to contribute a piece of creative work on what life would really be like under management’s demands, or under the PSC’s demands, to be considered for presentation at a cultural event on September 19, the date the current contract expires. As “This Week” readers know, the union has been in negotiations with CUNY management for a new contract since February. The bargaining demands presented by the two sides reflect radically different visions for the University. As part of an effort to highlight for members just how different those visions are we are calling on the many artistic skills of PSC members to bring to life what is really at stake in these negotiations. For more details and submission information, visit the negotiations section of the website. Watch for a postcard the union is mailing today, too, which also contains details.

Save September 19 on your calendar for this not-to-be-missed event. And save October 30, too; the union is planning a mass rally that evening in the event that management has not agreed to a new contract by then.

HEOs on the Move

Last Wednesday, PSC members in the Higher Education Officer series titles (HEOs) at the Graduate Center met to discuss a range of issues, from local concerns to efforts to mobilize for the union’s contract campaign. The event was the third in a series of HEO meetings taking place across most of the CUNY campuses this summer. Meetings were held earlier at NYC Tech and York. Three more are planned for this week, at Staten Island, John Jay and Hunter; and more next week as well. After the meetings, local activists and union organizers have been knocking on office doors (or cubicle walls) to talk to HEOs on campus about the contract campaign.

Summer of PERB

Some things slow down over the summer and some do not. One area where the PSC has been very busy has been in efforts to protect members’ rights under the law and under the contract, and in particular cases now before the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB). PERB is a state body which hears cases involving complaints about violations of the state’s public sector labor law, the Public Employees Fair Employment Act (commonly known as the Taylor Law). PSC cases at PERB this summer include one on the intellectual property rights of faculty over online BA program materials; a case where a college retaliated against a member who testified for a co-worker in an arbitration case; one concerning the union's right to obtain members' work e-mail addresses from CUNY; and one where management refused to provide documents and personnel file access needed to process a grievance.

Contact Governor Spitzer Today to Sign Pension Equity Bill

As we reported last week, the next stop for the pension equity bill that the union has worked seven years to pass is the governor’s desk, and we need your help to secure his signature and seal the victory on this crucial legislation. You can send a letter to Governor Spitzer right now through the PSC website. You can also write a personal letter to the governor. For details and background, see last week’s edition of “This Week in the PSC."

HEOs are part of the hidden human infrastructure that makes CUNY work. Without us, the University would come to a standstill. The union’s bargaining demands in this round include important concerns for HEOs—for opportunities for advancement through reclassification and for better job security,  giving us the right to have a reason for non-reappointment for the first four annual reappointments. This summer the HEOs are on the move to rally behind these demands and behind all of the union’s bargaining demands.”   ~Arthurine DeSola, Secretary