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November 10, 2008

PSC Responding to Plans for Adjunct Layoffs Caused by Budget Cuts

Despite CUNY management’s assurance that no courses would be cancelled as a result of the $50.6 million budget cut to CUNY this summer, some departments in the senior colleges have notified faculty that certain adjuncts would not be reappointed and that class size for full-time faculty could increase.  The PSC leadership immediately began to investigate and will announce a response as soon as our information is complete.  If your department has initiated cancellation of courses for the spring for budgetary reasons, please contact PSC Director of Contract Administration Debra Bergen by email or at 212-354-1252.

Contract Provision Update: Community College Pay Date is Thursday

All Community College employees will see their new salary or wage rates, plus their retroactive pay, in their Thursday paychecks. Salary schedules are available here.

CUNY Central payroll has assured the union that adjuncts at senior colleges will receive 10/06/08 rates and retroactive pay on November 20, as reported in previously in This Week in the PSC.

Previous Provisions of the Week

“This Week” has covered contract provisions since members ratified the contract in September. Previous provisions include: Doctoral Employee Health Insurance, Pay Dates, Salaries, Three Sick Days to Care for Family Health, and an update on Paid Parental Leave  and HEOs' 35-hour Work Week. Frequently asked questions and answers about the new contract are available on the PSC website.

CUNY Rising Cards: How Is Your Chapter Doing?

The PSC has collected 28,950 CUNY Rising [add link] postcards, calling on Paterson, Bloomberg and Goldstein to invest in CUNY with public funds – not tuition hikes.
Hostos collected the most cards so far -- 5,200! It’s not too late, though, to up your chapter’s count – see the schedule here and contact your chapter chair (here's a list) or Chris Aikin by email to get involved. The rest of the counts are: City Tech, 4800; Brooklyn, 2250; Baruch, 2000; Medgar Evers, 1800; BCC, 1800; John Jay, 1600; CSI, 1400; LaGuardiaCC, 1200; Lehman, 1200; York, 1100; CCNY, 1000; BMCC, 800; Hunter, 700; Queens, 650; Grad Center, 550; QCC, 550; KCC, 350.

Each card represents a voice against budget cuts and tuition hikes – a chorus that grows as Gov. Paterson makes more and more dire announcements about the state budget. He has called the legislature back on Tuesday, November 18 for a special session to make even more budget cuts this year – and next year is going to be worse. The PSC will be in Albany on November 18, and is working hard to oppose budget cuts, fight tuition hikes, and argue for progressive revenue options. It’s all part of the union’s year-long campaign to win a fair budgets for CUNY from the City and the State. Public investment is the way out of the recession and a new deal for New York starts with CUNY.

Health Insurance Selection Period Continues Through 11/28

All PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund members (including adjuncts) and other eligible employees may change their basic health insurance coverage during this fall’s health benefits transfer period, November 3 to 28. Because 2008 is an even-numbered year, retirees are also eligible to participate. More information is on the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund website.

November is also the “open enrollment” month for doctoral student employees to enroll in the NY State Student Health Insurance Program scheduled to take effect in January 2009. See last week’s This Week for more information.

Hearing on Proposed Changes to the PSC Constitution

There is an open hearing from 5 to 7 pm on Thursday, November 20, in the PSC Union Hall, 61 Broadway, 16th floor. Members are invited to discuss proposed changes to the PSC constitution. Copies of the changes were mailed to members’ homes this month. If you have not received your copy by Nov. 14, please contact Barbara Gabriel by email or phone at 212- 354-1252. The Delegate Assembly will discuss and decide on changes at its Nov. 20 meeting.  

Green Building Standards

The PSC “Green Team” (the committee on sustainable development) will host a workshop to introduce the standards for environmentally sustainable construction and the certification system for new and existing CUNY buildings.   The workshop will explore environmental sustainability as a social justice issue, and consider ways in which the implementation of LEEDS can promote green jobs, equitable working conditions and a better indoor/environment for those who teach, work and learn at CUNY.

RSVP to the Health and Safety Watchdogs, by email or 212-354-1252 extension 208.

HEO/CLT Professional Development Fund Reminder

Higher Education Officers (HEO-series employees) and College Lab Technicians can apply for a grant of up to $3,000 to support their professional development. Information on who is eligible to apply, and how to do so, is available on the PSC website. You must receive your approval before your activity takes place.

For consideration this month, applications are due Tuesday, November 18. (The next due date is Tuesday, December 16.)

In-State Tuition Workshop

CUNY is hosting a workshop for CUNY staff, especially those who work in student services and financial aid, about tuition policy as it relates to undocumented students on November 17, from 10 am to 1pm at New York City Tech. RSVP to Nadine Huggins, 212-568-4679 or by email.   

“Where is the boldness and imagination in Albany?  Every day we hear about more cuts and layoffs, and now Governor Paterson has suggested that unions reopen their contract negotiations, presumably to give up money already agreed to.  There is an alternative to budget cuts and layoffs, and it’s time Albany adopted it: increase the State’s revenue.  New York State would have $16 billion more in the budget this year if it had simply restored the tax cut on the highest incomes enacted in 1994.  What New York needs is a restructuring of the tax system and other enhancements to revenue—not devastation of the public sector. ” -- PSC President Barbara Bowen