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December 7, 2009

RF Talks Continue; Strike Deadline Tomorrow
The PSC and RF management negotiated much of the day Monday and will continue tomorrow – the strike deadline. Help RF President Rothbard hear the message: PSC members at the Research Foundation deserve a fair deal, and they deserve it now. Please call him at 212-417-8507 and leave a message if he’s not in – or you can email him at Richard_Rothbard@rfcuny.org.
PSC members are doing everything they can to reach a settlement that treats the RF members with respect, but the union is also preparing seriously for the possibility that they may be forced to strike.  Sign up for picket line duty and/or other strike support by calling PSC Organizing Coordinator Alisa Simmons in the PSC office, 212-354-1252 x206 or email her, asimmons@pscmail.org.

Read more about the struggle on the PSC website.

PSC Beats Back Worst of CUNY Cuts
The PSC, with our state-wide affiliate NYSUT, defeated the worst of Governor David Paterson’s proposed mid-year budget reductions to CUNY last week, but Albany did enact significant reductions. In good news for our students, TAP cuts were defeated entirely.

CUNY senior colleges cuts were: $24 million from the general fund and $29 million from CUNY’s stabilization reserve fund. (Paterson proposed taking all $53 million from the general fund.) Community college base aid was reduced by $130 per full-time equivalent student ($4.4 million total) plus an additional $901,000 reduction in community college rental aid. (Paterson proposed $10 million.) CUNY will be hurt by these cuts, however, the immediate consequence of the mid-year cuts should not involve layoffs or cancellation of searches.

Unfortunately, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already announced he will propose $9.5 million in cuts to CUNY community colleges, so now is a good time to sign up to join the union effort to protect CUNY funding. Email Amanda Magalhaes or call her at the PSC office, 212-354-1252.

Read more on the PSC website, including what you can do

Tier V Victory
The thousands of messages PSC members sent to Albany worked!  CUNY faculty and staff represented by the PSC are not included in the lower pension tier passed last week in Albany.  This is a real victory for the PSC—and for the power and funds members put behind the union’s political work. 
The new Tier V reduces the value of future employees’ pensions, in part by requiring a contribution of at least 3 percent of salary throughout employees’ careers, not just for the first 10 years.  It would also require 10 years of vesting, rather than the current 5 years—a change that would be especially disadvantageous to CUNY’s thousands of part-time faculty. 

Read more from PSC President Barbara Bowen on the PSC website.

Lobby with the PSC – Sign Up This Week
Talk with your state lawmakers in Albany about PSC priorities next year with NYSUT. The dates are: 3/1-2, 3/22-23 and 5/10-11. Sign up by emailing PSC Legislative and Communications Associate Amanda Magalhaes or calling her in the office, 212-354-1252, by 12/16.  

Reappointment Letters Due 12/1
Adjuncts who have a semester appointment must be notified by December l. However, adjuncts who have letters of yearly appointment (anyone hired for the seventh consecutive semester, exclusive of summers) must be notified by May 15 of appointment for both the following Fall and Spring semesters. If you are a yearly appointee and do not receive a class for the spring semester, please call a grievance counselor for adjuncts in the PSC office, 212-354-1252. Continuing Education teachers (including CLIP) are not entitled to appointment letters. 

As of their second year of service, full-time faculty, CLTs and instructors are also due written notice of reappointment with tenure (or non-reappointment) by 12/1. If you do not receive a letter, or if you 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 1/14/2010.

School Reform Conversation 12/14
Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for Education Reform will hold the fourth in a series of conversations in its “Educational Policy for Action” series about the NYC schools on 12/14 at 4:30 pm in the PSC Union Hall, 61 Broadway, 16th Floor. Anne T. Henderson will review significant institutes that train parents to become advocates for improving public education, effectively fulfill governance roles in public education, be more fully engaged in public education, and/or participate in community organizing for school reform.

Are you sure you’ve signed a union card?
Some CUNY employees are surprised to learn that they’re not yet members of the PSC. To be a member, you must have signed a union card. For more, see the new Clarion and learn more about the workings of the PSC Membership Department. Part-timers, look for new posters in your offices and departments with membership cards. If you’d like one in your space, let your campus part-time liaison know.