At a moment when the university system could face drastic cuts, PSC members, CUNY students and allies called on Chancellor James B. Milliken and the Board of Trustees to wage a public campaign to adequately fund CUNY.
Nearly 9,000 PSC members responded to the union's first electronic membership survey. Questions on bargaining priorities, satisfaction with the most recent PSC-CUNY contract and the importance of paying union dues were some of the issues that the PSC members who took the survey answered.
The union is embarking on a grassroots, rank-and-file "recommitment" campaign to keep the union strong if a potential Supreme Court case deals a shattering blow to unions, including the PSC. Members are energized and talking to each other about why this is such a critical moment for the PSC.
PSC Vice President for Part-Time Personnel Susan DiRaimo was one of many CUNY adjuncts from across the city who testified before CUNY’s Board of Trustees about the hardships adjunct instructors face with what the union called an unacceptable wage for part-time faculty. The union is demanding the city and state invest funds that would raise adjunct pay to $7,000 per course, bringing CUNY adjuncts in line with their peers at other institutions. DiRaimo, like many adjuncts, made it clear that she was not a part-time worker, but a full-time worker with part-time pay.
For the past several weeks, the PSC has joined with other CUNY advocates, including the University Student Senate, in an intense lobbying effort for a state budget that fully funds CUNY and will enable it to hire 1,000 new full-time faculty members, raise adjunct pay to $7,000 per course and provide real affordability to students. The campaign has taken many forms, including multiple trips to Albany, demonstrations, media outreach and grassroots organizing.
President Donald Trump's nomination of conservative judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court raises the near certainty that after his confirmation the Court could quickly overturn a decades-long precedent enabling unions like the PSC to collect agency shop fees. The aim of the so-called "right-to-work" cases is to destroy the political power of public-sector unions and roll back the economic gains they have made.
Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled an ambitious plan to give students at CUNY and SUNY free tuition. But some advocates say it doesn't add up.
The election of Donald Trump and the Republican control of Congress will change the political landscape and possibly reverse hard-won gains around labor organizing, immigrant rights, climate change, racial justice and other critical issues. PSC members share what policies they think could come from a Trump administration and how to organize in the years ahead.
There's a lot at stake in the November 8 election. Defeating Donald Trump at the polls is only the first step toward progress. There's a lot more electoral work to be done.
PSCers turned out to a CUNY Board of Trustees hearing at Baruch College to protest the six-month delay in getting their contract-mandated salary increases and back pay. Many members spoke emotionally about the unnecessary financial bind CUNY and the state are putting them through.