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December 1, 2008

A New Deal for New York Begins with CUNY

It’s no secret that CUNY has been starved, through tough times and flush ones. Now that we’re again in tough times, New York needs CUNY to help revitalize the economy. CUNY needs real investment – investment from New York State. Help amplify the union’s message by explaining how a real State investment could make a difference for your classroom or office -- come to the Board of Trustees hearing on the CUNY budget on Wednesday. There’s also still time to sign up to testify.

The PSC calls on faculty, staff and students to testify on CUNY management’s proposed 2009-10 budget for CUNY, which will include a tuition increase. Tuition has risen faster than inflation, yet per-student funding from the State has fallen by 14% since 1990. The only meaningful solution to the State’s persistent underinvestment in CUNY is renewed State investment.  A significant portion of any economic stimulus funding that comes to New York State should go to public higher education—the best source for revitalizing the economy. 

If you want to add your voice in support of increased investment and against shifting more of the State’s costs onto CUNY students, come to the Board of Trustees hearing on CUNY’s 2009-2010 budget on Wednesday, December 3 at 4 pm at CUNY Central, 535 East 80th Street.

To sign up to testify, call the Office of the Secretary at 212-794-5450 before 4:30 pm on Tuesday, December 2, and indicate that you wish to address the budget. There is a three minute limit. (PSC members and CUNY students may email Dania Rajendra if they want information for their testimony.)

What You Can Do To Win a Better Budget For CUNY

On December 16, Governor Paterson will announce his proposed budget for CUNY, and the PSC is ready to respond.  On that afternoon, we will deliver the tens of thousands of postcards we have collected to the governor’s Manhattan office.  Join us in a show of strength.  If, as expected, the proposed budget for fiscal year 2010 includes cuts to CUNY and a tuition increase for students, the union will be there in force to demand a better approach—steady public investment.  If New York could found two CUNY colleges and build another during the Depression—all while keeping tuition free—it can invest in CUNY now.

The rallies, press conferences, and radio ad are all part of the union’s year-long campaign to win fair budgets for CUNY from the City and State. Public investment is the way out of the recession – a new deal for NY starts with CUNY.

If you can’t come to the hearing on Wednesday, you can still help on campus:

  • Collect more CUNY Rising cards.

These postcards show Goldstein and Board members that the CUNY community opposes a tuition hike. We’re up to 45,000 and we're not done yet.

Reappointment Letters Due Today

Adjuncts and other part-timers must receive written notice of reappointment (or non-reappointment) for next semester by December 1. This letter should include your title and your hourly rate. If by next Monday, you have not received a letter, or your letter does not include your title and hourly rate, please call a part-time grievance counselor at the PSC, 212-354-1252. Class assignments, however, depend on the budget, the curriculum, and sufficiency of registration.  Once you have received an appointment, you must be told of changes in the conditions which impact your employment as soon as the college knows of them.

Full-time faculty, CLTs and instructors in the second or more years of service are also due written notice of reappointment or reappointment with tenure by December 1. If you do not receive a letter, or if you do receive a letter of non-reappointment, immediately contact a PSC grievance counselor, 212-354-1252. The last day the union can file a grievance challenging a denial of reappointment is January 10, 2009.

Clarion Wins Awards

For the fourth year in a row, Clarion has been named as the best local union newspaper in its circulation class in the US and Canada. The International Labor Communications Association chose the paper as the best among the largest union locals, and also cited Clarion for best cartoon in a local union paper (“Nickeled and Dimed,” by Ricardo Levins Morales, on the exploitation of CUNY adjuncts), and for best local union editorial (“The Limits of CUNY Lite,” by Barbara Bowen, on why CUNY’s advertising won’t help win more funding). Last fall’s PSC contract campaign brochures, produced by former Communications Coordinator Dorothee Benz (“Why Not CUNY?”), won for best special publication by a local union.

Sign on for Employee Free Choice
Right now in the US, it’s too hard for workers to form a union. That’s bad for all workers – union, non-union, public sector and private. Sign your name to the union effort to get the new Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.

Chance to See Celebrated Hurricane Katrina Documentary
This month’s feature from Labor Goes to the Movies—on Friday, December 5—is Trouble the Water, a film that has been called by The New York Times “one of the best American documentaries in recent memory” and that won the Sundance Film Festival Documentary Grand Jury Prize for 2008.  The screening will be introduced by a film scholar and followed by discussion.  PSC members who volunteered with the AFT to help with the rebuilding of New Orleans are especially encouraged to come.