October 29, 2007
Mass Meeting Tomorrow!
Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 30, is the mass meeting for a fair contract that you’ve read about in this space for the last several weeks. Join us as we stand up and stand together for a new contract that will give us the conditions we need to do our jobs. Faculty and staff salaries have lost up to 50% of their real value since 1971 and CUNY professors now make 20% less than their counterparts at Rutgers and 18% less than their counterparts at the University of Connecticut. Rather than address this crisis, CUNY management has proposed eliminating the annual step increases, a move that would only further undermine our ability to recruit and retain faculty and staff. If this is unacceptable to you, come to the mass meeting tomorrow. We will talk about the salary erosion problem, we will hear an up-to-the-minute update from the negotiating table, we will discuss the union’s strategy, and we’ll talk about what we can all do next to help win a good contract.
Union and management negotiators met again this morning in one final bargaining session before the mass meeting. CUNY management has still made no financial offer to the union. Today’s session was productive, however, with the union responding to several management demands. More details will be provided at the mass meeting.
Check the negotiations section of the PSC website regularly for negotiation updates, copies of the union’s and management’s bargaining demands, creative commentary on management’s demands from the “Our CUNY vs. Their CUNY” event and more. Contact Amanda DeJesus Magalhaes at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend a future bargaining session.
Arbitration Victory on Annual Evaluations
The PSC has won a significant arbitration case upholding the integrity of the annual evaluation process. In a decision signed October 16, an arbitrator ruled that a supervisor at City College violated Article 18 of the union contract when he conducted an annual evaluation of a member that focused only on one aspect of the member’s performance. The contract explicitly states that evaluations “shall be based on total professional performance,” and once again, an arbitrator has essentially said to CUNY that the contract says what the contract says! This ruling underscores an important principle about annual evaluations—that they are genuine, comprehensive assessments—and thereby undercuts management ability to abuse the evaluation process and unfairly skew the results by focusing on a single area.
"Tomorrow night at 6 o’clock we have a chance to make a difference together—maybe even to make history together. PSC members will stand together and stand up at the mass meeting to demand the salary increases and other improvements we need in a new contract. Our words, our discussion, our commitments to take the next steps in this contract fight will matter. But it is our numbers that will matter most. If CUNY management sees a unprecedented number of faculty and staff, united, organized, together, it will signal to them how serious we are about winning the changes we need.” ~Barbara Bowen, President