October 4, 2010
PSC Brings 5 Buses to “One Nation” Rally in Washington
A spirited PSC contingent of 250 people traveled for ten hours by bus to be part of the October 2 “One Nation Working Together” rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The protest was sponsored by 400 unions and civil rights and community groups in support of “jobs, equal justice, and quality public education for all.” Organizers said 175,000 people took part.
Students joined faculty and staff on the PSC buses, and some danced through the crowd with cymbals and drums as they called for more money for education. PSC members said they came to show their opposition to right-wing extremism and their sense of urgency about the need to create jobs and end the foreclosure crisis.
The PSC was one of many organizations that linked these issues to ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Harry Belafonte, a speaker at the rally who had also addressed the historic 1963 March on Washington, noted that for Afghanistan, “The President's decision to escalate the war in that region alone cost the nation $33 billion. That sum of money could not only create 600,000 jobs here in America, but would even leave us a few billion to start rebuilding our schools, our roads, our hospitals and affordable housing.”
NY Voter Registration Deadline Is October 8
To vote in the November 2 general election in New York State, registration forms must be postmarked by October 8. Voter registration forms are available in libraries, post offices, and offices of many City and State agencies.
RF Employees Demand Action on First Contract
CUNY Research Foundation (RF) employees held coordinated protests at three City University campuses last week, each demanding a fair first contract. In the protests at City Tech, LaGuardia and the Graduate Center, held September 27, 28 and 29 respectively, RF workers and other PSC members called on management to move toward a settlement at the September 30 collective bargaining session.
About 550 RF employees, many of them part-timers, work at the three campuses. Some of them have not received a pay raise in a decade.
“It was rousing to have people here from so many areas,” said Jay Klokker, an RF worker who teaches English as a Second Language at the City Tech’s Adult Learning Center. “I hope this will be the nudge that the Research Foundation needs to settle this in a fair way.” RF employees on the three campuses were joined by library and teaching faculty, CLTs and several members of a SUNY-Stony Brook union local.
PSC and CUNY Reach Agreement on Winter Session Teaching Load for Adjuncts
In response to requests from department chairs and adjuncts for a change in the contractual provision on winter session workload, the PSC and CUNY management signed an agreement last week to allow adjuncts to teach up to eight hours during the 2011 winter session at all CUNY colleges (except Kingsborough and LaGuardia, for which a separate agreement on winter teaching load already exists). Classroom contact hours during the 2011 winter session will not be counted toward adjuncts’ workload in the fall 2010 semester or the spring 2011 semester.
“The union leadership appreciates how hard it is for adjuncts who rely on their CUNY employment to make a living wage, and how hard it is for department chairs to staff their courses given the inadequate funding they receive for full-time faculty positions,” said PSC President Barbara Bowen. “I hope this agreement provides some relief; it recognizes the fact that almost all CUNY colleges now offer a significant winter session with courses for full credit.”