News

Barbara Bowen, President, Professional Staff Congress/CUNY

The Professional Staff Congress congratulates William C. Thompson on the approval of his nomination by The New York State Senate Higher Education Committee as Chair of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York. We also congratulate the other five CUNY trustees whose appointments were also approved: Fernando Ferrer, Mayra Linares-Garcia, Robert Mujica, Ken Sunshine, and Sandra Wilkin.

We commend Governor Cuomo on the decision to appoint a chairperson with a distinguished record of service in the public sector and a deep knowledge of New York’s working-class communities. The governor has put forward a group of trustees who have pledged to advocate vigorously for CUNY and are poised to make important contributions. We look forward to their efforts in defense of CUNY’s beautiful founding mission: to educate ‘the children of the people, the children of the whole people.’

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Governor Cuomo recently signed into law a bill that allows honorably discharged military service personnel the opportunity to purchase up to three years of credit toward their New York City or New York State public pensions. Previously, New York state law only allowed former military members the chance to buy back pension credit if they fought in certain major military conflicts such as WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Read about it in the Daily News. NYC Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) members wanting to take advantage of this opportunity should contact TRS at 888-869-2877.

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PSC leaders were in Albany Wednesday, June 8 standing alongside Senate Higher Education Chair Kenneth LaValle and Assembly Higher Education Chair Deborah Glick to call for passage of a true Maintenance of Effort (MOE) for CUNY and SUNY before the end of the legislative session on June 16. The 2016-17 Enacted State Budget held CUNY tuition flat for one year but it failed to fund the tuition freeze or address the MOE provision that PSC members fought hard for. Even the inadequate MOE provisions of SUNY 2020, which led to a decline in per-student funding because they didn’t cover increasing operating costs, are set to expire at the end of June. Without any MOE language, our four-year SUNY and CUNY campuses face further state funding reductions in next year's state budget. A strong MOE is needed to ensure that state funding is provided to cover operating costs such as rent, energy, fringe benefits and salary step increases. The news conference is being sponsored by PSC, UUP, NYSUT and NYPIRG.
The event was covered by the Times Union's Capitol Confidential blog and by Capitol Tonight's State of Politics.

Do your part to help pass the MOE by sending this letter to your legislators in Albany.

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A letter sent from the CUNY Rising Alliance to Governor Cuomo, Leader Flanagan and Speaker Heastie last week called for funding for CUNY contracts and passage of a true Maintenance of Effort for CUNY during this legislative session. It was delivered the first work day after the front-page Times story, "Dreams Stall as CUNY, New York City’s Engine of Mobility, Sputters" and a few days before the First Lady's visit to City College. Read the letter here and coverage of the letter on Capital Tonight’s State of Politics blog here.

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Pilot program likely to pass test

By Shomial Ahmad

After a hiatus of nearly 25 years, the military’s college-based officer training curriculum returned to CUNY three years ago as a pilot program. Now the Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps – commonly known by the acronyms ROTC or SROTC – is poised to gain a permanent foothold at CUNY.

At the end of May, the pilot program is set to expire and, according to Rishi Raj, ROTC program director at City College of New York, it is set to be made permanent by the U.S. Army Cadet Command.

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The Elections Committee met on Friday, May 13th to certify the spring chapter elections:

  • Brooklyn EOC – Chair - Felicia Wharton
  • College of Staten Island – Chair – George Sanchez
  • Hunter Campus Schools – Chair – David Towber
  • HEO – Chair – Andrea Vasquez
  • Kingsborough – Chair – Rita Yarmish
  • Lehman – Chair – Robert Farrell
  • Manhattan CC – Chair – Geoffrey Kurtz
  • Medgar Evers – Chair – Clinton Crawford
  • New York City Tech – Chair – Benjamin Shepard
  • Queensborough CC – Chair – Edmond Clingan
  • Retiree Chapter – Chair – Bill Friedheim

The effective date of office for the spring chapter elections is May 27, 2016 – 3 year term.

All of the elections were uncontested but two. The official count for the two contested election (CSI and BMCC) is available here.

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On Tentative Contract Agreement:

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Media Coverage (June 2016)

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The PSC’s film series explores the theme “Surveillance” with a screening of M (Germany, 1931) at 6:30 PM Friday, May 13 in the PSC Union Hall (61 Broadway, 16th Floor). Before leaving Germany the same evening that Joseph Goebbels offered him the top job in the Nazi film industry, the already famous Fritz Lang directed Peter Lorre in Lang’s innovative first sound film, M (Germany, 1931). A serial child murderer sows panic in the city as the public demands his capture. The police mobilize a massive manhunt, trampling on civil liberties in their efforts to locate the criminal. At the same time, the police squeeze the criminal underworld, disrupting its activities, prodding the underworld to organize its own surveillance operation to identify the murderer. Lang brilliantly shows how an internal threat to society provokes a frenzy of institutional surveillance as the twin forces of order and disorder apply their respective professional protocols to identify the culprit, tried in a riveting underworld “court.”

Refreshments provided. $2 suggested donation. Doors open at 6 PM.

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After a break-through victory in New York, the Fight for $15 is celebrating, but they aren’t letting up on their demand for a $15-per-hour minimum wage and union rights for every low-wage worker in every state. Nearly 64 million American workers are still earning poverty wages less than $15 per hour. Thursday, April 14 is Fight for $15’s next global day of action. After successfully pushing lawmakers in Albany to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour in NYC by 2018 and at least $12.50 an hour upstate by 2021, the New York campaign is mobilizing a day long series of events to continue the fight to improve wages and strengthen worker protections. Download a flier. RSVP with PSC Organizing Director Deirdre Brill (dbrill@pscmail.org) for any of these actions:

  • Morning: 6 AM rally at 1560 Broadway (SW Corner 47th St.) with worker testimonials, including one from a CUNY adjunct, followed by a march to the TV cameras outside of the Good Morning America Studio (44th and Broadway).
  • Midday: 9:30 AM rally w/Justice For Akai Gurley, 320 Jay St
  • Evening: 4 PM rally at the corner of 42nd St. and 7th Ave.), followed by a 5:30 PM March Against Hate targeting Donald Trump and a GOP Gala
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Members will elect leadership for eleven PSC chapters this month. To see which chapters are up for election, click here for the official election notice for the April 2016 elections.

Ballots together with pre-paid return envelopes were mailed to members’ home addresses on April 1. In uncontested elections, ballots must be received by 5 pm at the PSC office on April 28. In contested elections, they are due at the office of the designated ballot-counting organization by 5 pm on April 28. All ballots will be counted at 10 am on April 29.

If you are a PSC member at one of the chapters up for election and have not received a ballot mailed to your home address by Friday, April 8, please call the PSC office at 212-354-1252 for a replacement ballot.

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