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November 19, 2007

PSC Members Testifying on the CUNY Budget Today

PSC members and leaders are testifying this afternoon and evening at a CUNY Board of Trustees public hearing on the proposed 2008-2009 CUNY budget. CUNY’s budget request makes important advances in some areas, but, in the union’s view, is still inadequate Click here to read PSC First Vice President Steve London’s testimony at today’s hearing. For more information and analysis on the budget, background documents and more, visit the PSC website.

Must-see PSC TV: “Choosing between Career and Baby”

That was the lead on a WNBC “Today in New York” feature on PSC parental leave activists that aired last Tuesday. The story highlighted the demand for paid parental leave made by the union in this round of bargaining. You can see it on the PSC website. It truly is not only a must-see but a must-share—share it with your colleagues, with your students, with your family and friends.

Contract Campaign and Bargaining Update

On Thursday, members of the Delegate Assembly unanimously passed a resolution calling on CUNY managers to decline the recent raises they received until instructional staff salaries are restored to nationally competitive levels. This one’s a must-read—and again, a must-share.

There are many ways you can participate in the union’s contract campaign, and your participation is essential if we are to win a good contract. You can sign up online for various activities. You can help the union collect retention data by letting us know about colleagues who have left CUNY because of salaries or workloads . And you can wear a blue union button to highlight one of the issues at stake in the negotiations; the buttons say “CUNY needs a raise,” “CUNY is contingent on us,” “Hands off salary steps,” “Hands off HEOs” and “Hands off Department Chairs.” Get yours today by talking to your chapter chair or contacting Nick Cruz at the union office.

You can also attend the next bargaining session, Tuesday, November 27, 9:30am, as an observer. This will be a crucial session as pressure on management mounts to make an economic offer in the wake of statewide settlements. Contact Amanda DeJesus Magalhaes if you would like to attend the November 27 bargaining session.

Visit the negotiations section of the website for all the latest news and updates on bargaining.

 Join the Writers Guild Picket Line Tomorrow

On Tuesday, PSC members will join the Writers Guild of America (WGA) on its picket line in support of their strike. WGA members, who write the scripts of the television shows that keep our nation entertained, have been on strike for three weeks. At issue in the strike is the TV studios’ move into new media and their refusal to pay writers for their work when it is published online. The issue is familiar to faculty and others who have also dealt with questions of intellectual property rights and payment for work originally written offline but then repurposed on the Internet. For a short video introduction to the issues at stake for the writers, click here. PSC members have been supportive of the strike since it stated, with many joining the picket line for a few hours whenever they could. Tomorrow  we will go as a group: 12-2pm, E. 56th St. and Madison Ave., look for PSC signs.

Adjuncts to Presidents: Don’t be a Turkey!

As “This Week in the PSC” readers know, adjuncts at five CUNY colleges are not paid to teach, only to proctor, during finals week, no matter how much actual teaching they do. The PSC’s “Campaign of Outrage” has taken this dirty little secret about CUNY’s cheapness and exposed it, bringing it to students and media attention. This week the campaign will highlight the issue again as members visit two of the college presidents (at Bronx Community College and Baruch), present them with turkeys, and call on them to rectify the foul treatment of adjuncts.

Happy Thanksgiving

The officers, Executive Council and staff of the PSC wish all our members a joyful and restful Thanksgiving, with enough time spent away from work to enjoy the things in life for which we are thankful. In observance of the holiday, the PSC office will be closed Thursday and Friday of this week.

"This Thanksgiving, CUNY's presidents and top managers have a lot to be thankful for—hefty five-figure raises for many, plus $5,000 bonuses on top of that. Meanwhile, faculty and staff salaries stagnate, thousands of adjuncts work without a living wage, new parents don't get a single day's paid parental leave, and graduate employees receive no health insurance. Is that your idea of fairness? If not, join your colleagues in the fight for this contract. Start today by wearing a blue button in solidarity. And then take a few days off to enjoy the holiday. You've earned it.” ~Barbara Bowen, President