November 8, 2010
PSC Delegates Adopt Bargaining Agenda
In a packed meeting attended by more than 200 people, the PSC Delegate Assembly voted on Nov. 4 to adopt a bargaining agenda for negotiations on a new contract. Delegates approved the proposal from the union’s Executive Council by a wide margin. Its main themes, which follow the union’s strategic priorities, include:
- maintaining progress on salaries;
- creating a process for advancement for employees in Higher Education Officer-series titles;
- achieving substantial movement toward parity and job stability for adjuncts;
- restructuring full-time faculty workload to allow more time for students and research.
The demands approved by the DA include other initiatives such as tuition waivers at CUNY for members’ children and additional support for department chairs. In addition to the 115 delegates and alternates, more than 100 other PSC members attended, most of whom came to voice their support for the urgency of winning gains on adjunct parity. The main focus of the evening’s energetic discussion was on the best strategy to reach that goal.
Full text of the demands, and coverage of the DA, will be published in next issue of Clarion.
Stop Mid-year Cut to Community Colleges
Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to cut 5.4% of current-year funding to CUNY community colleges would seriously degrade the core educational work of already overworked, under-resourced campuses, faculty and staff. The mayor’s proposal is bad news for current and future community college students. The PSC’s community college chapters have launched a petition campaign calling on New York City Council members to reject the Mayor’s proposed mid-year cut, to preserve CUNY’s ability to serve its students. Sign on to the petition electronically here, or e-mail John Gergely (email@example.com) for materials to circulate at your campus. Action on this petition is urgent, as a final decision on the cut is expected in the coming weeks.
Elections: Union Action Makes Difference in Key Races
Grassroots action by the PSC and other unions helped elect a number of pro-union, pro-CUNY candidates in a year when Republicans racked up electoral gains with calls for cuts in public spending.
“I believe in movement politics,” said Attorney General-elect Eric Schneiderman. “This was a campaign of activists – and boy, did we show what activists can do.” Schneiderman’s 55%-44% victory came with strong backing from the PSC and other unions, tenant organizations and groups dedicated to equal rights for all. Comptroller Tom DiNapoli won by 50%-47% with a campaign that hit hard at his main opponent’s cozy relationship with Wall Street. Get-out-the-vote organizing by unions was a big reason that candidates hostile to public workers lost both races.
Efforts by the PSC and other unions also made the difference in a State Senate upset in Queens, where Tony Avella, a strong advocate for public education, defeated anti-immigrant State Sen. Frank Padavan.
Countdown to CLT Retreat – 5 Days to Go
The College Lab Technicians (CLT) chapter will hold a retreat for all CLTs on Saturday, Nov. 13, from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM. The retreat will focus on issues including: lab safety, indoor air quality, ways to address problems on your campus and the upcoming contract negotiations. Dave Newman of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) will be the featured speaker. “It’s a chance to talk with CLTs from other campuses and find out what the union is doing to address issues of concern,” said Alan Pearlman, the CLT chapter’s vice chair. The retreat will be at the PSC Union Hall, 61 Broadway (near Wall St.), on the 16th floor. Breakfast and lunch provided. Please RSVP to Alisa Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.