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December 14, 2009

RF Central Office Workers Win without Striking
Facing a strike deadline of close of business last Tuesday, CUNY Research Foundation President Richard Rothbard finally made enough movement for the RF-CUNY PSC bargaining team to recommend a settlement.
“That much movement was possible because the bargaining team held to their principled positions, and because they had your support,” PSC President Barbara Bowen told union delegates last week. “They join me in thanking you for the calls, messages, letters and sign-ups for strike duty.  Your support made a palpable difference….Although the tentative settlement is not everything our members wanted, it is a real victory, won because of their unity and courage.”

More information about the four-year agreement will be available on the PSC website tomorrow.

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 month, 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.   

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 month  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 Deadline 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.  

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 information, read the 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 organizer or part-time liaison know.

Happy Holidays from the PSC
The officers and staff of the PSC wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season.