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July 27, 2009

CUNY mistakenly sends out termination notices
In launching CUNYfirst, the new University-wide computer program, CUNY mistakenly sent termination notices to the supervisors of some Higher Education Officer (HEO) members. Supervisors were not notified of the error before the mistaken notices were sent, but the mistake was quickly corrected.  Unfortunately, some members were informed of the alarming, if false, news.

Contact PSC Coordinator of Contract Administration Albert Muñoz by email or at 212-354-1252 with questions or concerns.

Help Stop Tier 5 
Several unions have reached agreements with the Governor and the Mayor to create a new pension tier for new employees.  These agreements require legislative action, but so far no legislation has been passed.  The PSC has not entered into negotiations for a new pension tier. Creating a Tier 5 would not affect future benefits of those who already belong to a pension system, since these are protected by law. (For adjuncts and CLIP teachers who have not yet joined a pension system, this highlights the importance of signing up right away.) “A lower pension tier would make recruitment of new faculty and staff to CUNY even harder than it is today. It would hurt our colleagues and harm our students' education,” said PSC President Barbara Bowen.

The union may need you to sign a petition, send a fax or attend a rally to stop a Tier 5 proposal from impacting PSC members; click here to e-mail the PSC's Sharon Tonge to join our activist list. The situation in Albany changes every day, and the result may depend on you.

For more information or to schedule an appt. with a pension counselor, Part-timers can call Linda Slifkin at the PSC Office, 212.354.1252.

Support PSC Members at CUNY's Research Foundation
PSC members at the CUNY Research Foundation's central office - who earn, on average, $48,500 per year - have been without a contract since January 1, 2009. RF-CUNY has demanded that the workers pay a larger share of health insurance premiums and offered them below-inflation salary increases, around 2% per year, while spending half a million dollars a year on union-busting lawyers. Tell the RF management - including CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, chair of the RF-CUNY Board - to offer the central office employees a fair economic package. Sign on here.

Union Wins Full 15th Week Pay for Adjuncts
The PSC and CUNY have agreed that, effective with the Fall 2009 semester, teaching adjuncts across CUNY will be paid the same amount in the last week of the semester as they are for all the other weeks. The agreement will affect many adjuncts teaching at Baruch, College of Staten Island, and Bronx, Kingsborough and Queensborough Community Colleges.

“Starting in the Fall, teaching adjuncts at all CUNY campuses will now get paid equitably for the last week of the semester,” said Diane Menna, PSC part-time officer and lead organizer of the union’s “Campaign of Outrage.” 

Rutgers Post-Docs Unionize
The New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission last week certified the vote of nearly 350 post-doctoral associates and fellows to be represented by the Rutgers Council of AAUP Chapters-AFT, the union that represents more than 5,000 faculty and graduate employees at Rutgers University. This is only the third group of post-docs in the country to vote for union representation. More from the AFT.

Professionals for the Public Interest Seeks Your Ideas
In May, the AFT joined 18 other organizations in launching Professionals for the Public Interest, a coalition of unions and professional associations whose goal is to shield the integrity of the work of professional workers in a variety of fields against outside pressures.

As its first project, PftPI is kicking off an "Integrity at Work" contest, which seeks compelling stories and ideas about defending your professional integrity on behalf of the public good. The deadline is July 31. More on the PftPI website.