October 22, 2007
CUNY Board Approves Raises for Management, Offers Nothing to Union
One Week Left to Mobilize for the Mass Meeting
Just days after our contract expired, the CUNY Board of Trustees approved hundreds of thousands of dollars in raises for management—yet they continue to make no financial offer to improve the salaries and working conditions of the faculty and staff. Meanwhile, faculty and staff salaries have lost up to 45% of their real value since the mid-1970s, when many of us began our CUNY careers. If you think it’s time CUNY changed its priorities and provided fair treatment for the faculty and staff, come to the union’s mass meeting on Tuesday, October 30, from 6:00 to 8:30 in the Great Hall of Cooper Union in Manhattan. Collectively, we have one week left to make sure the event sends the most powerful message possible to management and acts as a springboard for our own contract campaign. Sign up today on the PSC website to attend. Don’t miss the chance to hear about the union’s strategy, to find out how you can be part of it and to increase our leverage by being present.
Meanwhile, the PSC bargaining team was back at the negotiating table today. The session included management responses to a number of demands from the PSC, such as tuition waivers for faculty and staff children, transparency in the HEO reclassification process, and improved job protection for the most experienced adjuncts. There was fruitful discussion on a range of issues, and the two sides agreed to several “sidebar” meetings to continue in-depth discussion of specific issues. There will be one more bargaining session before the mass meeting, on Monday, October 29.
Contact Amanda DeJesus Magalhaes at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend the October 29 bargaining sessions. Visit the negotiation section of the website for all the latest news and updates on bargaining [add link].
This Week is Campus Equity Week
Campus Equity Week (CEW) is the last week in October—this week. This biannual event is part of an international effort to transform the unacceptable conditions of part-time faculty in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. This year the PSC will be participating in CEW by highlighting the indispensable role CUNY adjuncts play in making the University run and mobilizing to support the union’s adjunct-related bargaining demands. For more information and to participate, visit the website. At the national level, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) will highlight an issue felt sharply at CUNY: teaching without job security and without tenure, adjuncts do not have the protection of academic freedom. At CUNY, academic freedom for all faculty is undermined when half the faculty teaches without it.
PSC budget Presentation and Discussion this Thursday
Every year the PSC Finance Committee, working under the guidance of the treasurer, develops a proposed budget for the union for the coming year. PSC Treasurer Mike Fabricant will present the budget as adopted by the union’s Executive Council in an open meeting this Thursday, October 25, at 5:30pm in the union hall on the 16th floor at 61 Broadway. All members are welcome and encouraged to come. The proposed budget then goes to the Delegate Assembly for approval.
Anti-War March this Saturday
On Saturday, October 27, PSC members will join others in a large labor contingent for a crucial anti-war march. The New York City demonstration is part of a national day of action with major demonstrations in 11 cities. With Congress showing no will to end the funding for the war and many policy-makers now beating the drums for a preemptive strike on Iran, anti-war actions have rarely been more urgent. To date, the war in Iraq has cost the lives of 3,684 U.S. troops (among them six CUNY students), the lives of at least 974,000 Iraqis, and over $450 billion spent. This unjust war has cost far too much already—but it won’t stop until we stop it.
PSC and labor marchers will assemble at 11am on Broadway, north of 17th Street. See the PSC Peace and Justice Committee page on the website for more information and for a flyer you can hand out to colleagues, students, friends and neighbors to ask them to join you on October 27.
SAVE THE DATE: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 6PM, COOPER UNION: MASS MEETING FOR A FAIR CONTRACT
"Come to the mass meeting if you believe that people working together can create change. Come if you haven’t given up on the idea that intellectuals can contribute to public life. Come if you believe in standing up for your own rights and the rights of your students. Come if you want to experience, at least for one night, an alternative to the culture of commercialism, individualism and political despair that surrounds us. Come if you have anger, but also come if you have hope.” ~Barbara Bowen, President