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September 10, 2007

Contract Expires September 19

Our current contract expires in a week and a half, on Wednesday, September 19. We will mark the day with two events to step up the pressure on CUNY management and take the union’s contract campaign to a new level of activism.

Our CUNY vs. Their CUNY, 6:30pm, Union Hall, 61 Bwy

Join us for an evening of creative presentations about what’s at stake in this round of negotiations. Imagine: the elimination of salary steps…department chairs without union protections…erosion of job security for HEOs and others. These and other nightmares will be brought to life in plays, cartoons, songs, dramatic readings—by PSC members Joyce Moorman, Rebecca Hill, Mark Noonan, David Winn, Page Delano, Joseph Entin, James Davis, Jason Smith, Howard Pflanzer, Kevin Birth, Abigail Schoneboom, Nancy Berke, Nick Agrait, Josh Brown and Bill Friedheim. The evening will be emceed by  Blanche Wiesen Cook and Rebecca Hill.

Make sure management’s stripped-down, top-down, underfinanced vision of CUNY does not become reality.  Join us! Wednesday, September 19, in the union hall at 61 Broadway, 16th floor, Manhattan. Reception at 6:30 pm, program from 7 to 9pm.  A flyer for the event, which you can copy and distribute to colleagues or hang on your door, is on the union website.

Petitions to be Delivered to Goldstein – Last Week to Sign!

Earlier in the day on September 19, we will deliver to CUNY Chancellor Goldstein all of the signatures we have gathered on the petition supporting the union’s bargaining demands. There are 3,700 now and the list is still growing. This is the last week for PSC members to sign the petition. If you’ve already signed, please take a moment and reach out personally to one or two other colleagues who haven’t and urge them to sign as well. If you haven’t signed yet yourself, you can do so right now on the website.

Reception to Honor New Orleans and Other AFT Volunteers, September 20

On Thursday, September 20, at 5pm, the PSC will host a reception in honor of the 16 members who participated this year in the AFT’s Union Summer program. Most volunteered to help rebuild New Orleans while others went to Baton Rouge, Houston and San Antonio. The program was created at the urging of the PSC in response to members’ desire to get concretely involved in the rebuilding effort after Hurricane Katrina. The level of devastation in New Orleans wrought by the lethal mix of natural disaster, social inequality and government neglect is almost impossible to imagine, participants reported, and the disparity between the work done on rich and poor sections of town is shocking. Members who went to other cities worked on a variety of  volunteer projects. Come learn more about the union’s community involvement—join us September 20.

Last Raise of Current Contract

The final salary increase of the 2002-2007 collective bargaining agreement takes effect on the last day of the contract, September 19. Annual base pay for full-time faculty and staff will increase by $800 on that day; the increase will be reflected in the September 29 paycheck for those at senior colleges, and the September 21 paycheck for those at community colleges. Non-teaching adjuncts  will receive a 1% uncompounded increase (i.e., 1% of their base pay at the outset of the contract); at senior colleges, starting with the September 29 paycheck, and at community colleges, starting with the October 5 paycheck. Hourly increases for Continuing Education Teachers go into effect on the same schedule as the non-teaching adjuncts’ raises. Teaching adjuncts (except at LaGuardia) are being paid a “blended rate” throughout the semester; this rate combines the rate before September 19 and the higher one after that date and distributes the total evenly throughout the nine adjunct pay periods of the semester. Teaching adjuncts should have received a letter from their colleges detailing and explaining the blended rate.

Retirees Notified of City Security Breach

On August 18, 2007, a laptop computer being used by a consultant to the New York City Financial Services Agency (FISA) was stolen. The computer contained personal identifying information on a certain number of retirees who receive pensions through city pension systems.  It is likely that some PSC retirees are included in this group. The City is unable to provide us with information about which individuals were included. Two weeks later a notice was sent out to all retirees. The union was first made aware when our retired members began receiving letters from FISA. The Welfare Fund followed up to obtain copies of all correspondence distributed as well as FAQ sheets to assist our members. The data of primary concern is name, Social Security number and bank account number. The affected group among PSC members appears to be some or all of those who have a TRS or NYCERS pension. The letter sent by FISA includes enclosures that will help assess the risk as well as obtain ways to monitor whether there are consequences.

The PSC has expressed its extreme displeasure with the level of security that permitted this breach and has called for further investigation, including City Council hearings, to determine appropriate remedial measures.

Office Closed this Thursday

The PSC office will be closed Thursday, September 13, in observance of the Rosh Hashanah holiday.


"In honor of Labor Day, both Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Spitzer attended breakfasts with labor union leaders in New York last week.  At the breakfast with the governor I had an opportunity to thank him for signing our pension equity bill and to respond to his comment that last year’s major funding increase for K-12 education was ‘the single most transformative investment’ his administration has made.  While recognizing the importance of that investment, I called on the governor to complete the job and match the investment in the public schools with an equally transformative investment in the public universities." ~Barbara Bowen, President