Daniel Pinello is no stranger to the union. He has been a trustee of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund since 2009, a longtime activist and now the new John Jay College chapter chair. He joins dozens of other new delegates and chapter leaders elected in union elections this spring and who now represent their chapters at the union’s delegate assembly.
Their leadership comes at an especially crucial time for the union as it faces a potential – and, according to some legal observers, an inevitable – Supreme Court decision designed to cripple public-sector unions. The case that may be heard by the high court is Janus v. AFSCME.
Part of the reason that Pinello, a professor of political science who is a scholar of LGBT rights, decided to step up his involvement was the “bombshell of [the presidential] election.” Following recent political events, he got more involved in political organizing in Nassau County, Long Island, where he lives.
“This is one way that I can move from the backbench to a position of greater leadership,” Pinello told Clarion. “As a political scientist and someone who has been active in the union, I felt like it was my turn, in a sense, to be more responsible.”
Pinello’s plan for his chapter is to increase the union’s presence on John Jay’s campus starting with a listening tour, where union members can share their concerns and become acquainted with union leadership. He also hopes to establish a campus newsletter, inspired by the Gadfly, the newsletter of the Borough of Manhattan Community College PSC chapter.
The other new chapter chair elected this spring is Carol Huang, an assistant professor in City College of New York’s (CCNY) department of leadership and special education. Huang, who has worked on feminist labor issues in Taiwan and documented the lives of Mexican-American migrant workers in the Midwest, was energized by the organizing around the strike authorization vote last spring. She decided to step up her involvement at this crucial time in the labor movement.
“Going forward, we have to prepare,” said Huang, referring to the court case Janus v. AFSCME, which the Supreme Court may agree to hear this coming fall. The expected decision by the conservative majority high court would prohibit public-sector unions, including the PSC, from collecting fair share payments from nonmembers to whom they are still legally obligated to offer services. The result would be a devastating loss of members, funds and power. “If we’re not prepared, we’re doomed,” added Huang.
Huang and other City College chapter leadership members plan on engaging in an aggressive effort for the recommitment campaign, recruiting members to attend union-led trainings and establishing liaisons in different departments to do outreach.
The new chapter chairs replace former CCNY Chair Alan Feigenberg and former John Jay Chair John Pittman, both of whom remain active delegates in their respective chapters.
“The stakes are so very high. If Janus comes through, we stand to lose lots of money in one day,” said Pamela Stemberg, the new vice chair for the PSC chapter at City College. Stemberg, as a part-time liaison, plans systematic outreach to adjuncts on campus.
The new leaders assumed office on May 22. Half of PSC’s chapters held elections this April in mostly uncontested elections. Many current chapters chairs and delegates were reelected, most in uncontested elections.
Contested elections took place at Hunter College and the Graduate Center. At Hunter College, several independent candidates challenged the New Caucus-affiliated slate, Organize Hunter/New Caucus, for seats and alternate seats on the delegate assembly. The only independent to win was Andrew Battle, who is now an alternate delegate. Candidates on the CUNY Struggle slate at the Graduate Center ran for several races in the chapter’s election, but ultimately lost. In several races, CUNY Struggle candidates garnered close to 100 votes, but ultimately that fell short for victory because New Caucus and Fusion Independents candidates secured at least 180 votes.
The newly elected leaders will serve three-year terms. Half of the chapters held elections for local leaders this year; the other half will vote in Spring of 2019. Union-wide elections for officers and the Executive Council will be held next year in the Spring of 2018.
Names of those elected are listed below. Those who were reelected are listed in regular type; names of those newly elected are in italics.
Chair, Vincent DiGirolamo; Vice Chair, Carly Smith; Secretary, Stanley Wine; Officers-at-large, Lisa Ellis, William Ferns, Peter Pepper, Glenn Petersen; Delegates to the DA, Vincent DiGirolamo, Frank Cioffi, Lisa Ellis, Glenn Petersen, Carly Smith, Gregory Snyder, Stanley Wine; Alternates to the DA, Andrew Sloin, Elizabeth Wollman; PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Advisory Council, Jennifer Harrington, Karl Kronebusch
Bronx Community College:
Chair, Sharon Utakis; Vice Chair, Peter Kolozi; Secretary, Kerry Ojakian; Officers-at-large, Jose Acevedo, Leonard Dick, Kenya Harris, Alex Wolf; Delegates to the DA, Sharon Utakis, Diane Price Banks, Yasmin Edwards, Hisseine Faradj, Monique Guishard, Peter Kolozi; Alternates to the DA, Sophia Cantave, Allison Gorr, Nichole McDaniel, Maria Treglia; PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Advisory Council, Laroi Lawton, M. Jawied Nawabi
Chair, James Davis; Vice Chair, Carolina Bank Muñoz; Secretary, Karl Steel; Officers-at-large, Alan Aja, David Arnow, Joseph Entin, Alex Vitale; Delegates to the DA, James Davis, Scott Dexter, Darryl Kenneth Estey, Mobina Hashmi, Veronica Manlow, Timothy Shortell, Jocelyn Wills; Alternates to the DA, Heidi Diehl, Christopher Ebert, Madeline Fox, Greg Smithsimon; PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Advisory Council, William Gargan, Diana Irene Sosa
Chair, Carol Huang; Vice Chair, Pamela Stemberg; Secretary, Kathlene McDonald; Officers-at-large, William Crain, Harold Forsythe, Michael Green, Richard Steinberg; Delegates to the DA, Carol Huang, Philip Barnett, Susan DiRaimo, Alan Feigenberg, Kathryn Gelsone, Kathlene McDonald, Alexander Punnoose, Gerardo Renique, Pamela Stemberg; Alternates to the DA, Joseph Davis, John Krinsky, Jack Levinson, Iris Lopez
College Lab Technicians:
Chair, Albert Sherman; Secretary, Amy Jeu; Officers-at-large, Syed Amir Abdali, Jacqueline Elliott, Lourdes Rosario, Jocelyn Samuel; Delegates to the DA, Albert Sherman, Syed Amir Abdali, Tracy Campbell, Ernts Gracia, John Graham, Amy Jeu, Fitz Richardson; Alternates to the DA, Sonia Acevedo, David Barthold, Ed Coppola, Sharif Elhakem, Pedro Irigoyen
CUNY Central Office:
Chair, Julio Caragiulo; Delegate to the DA, Julio Caragiulo
Chair, Luke Elliott-Negri; Vice Chair, Anh Tran; Secretary, David Chapin; Officers-at-large, Jean Grassman, Susan Saegert; Delegates to the DA, Luke Elliott-Negri, Stephen Brier, Tahir Butt, Susan Fountain, Maya Harakawa, Marc Kagan, Penny Lewis, Franklin Mirer, Rosa Squillacote, Travis Sweatte, Anh Tran; Alternates to the DA, Chloe Asselin, Nina Connelly, Isaac Jabola-Carolus, James Jasper, Stephanie Luce, Ruth Milkman; PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Advisory Council, Jennifer Lee, Zee Dempster
Guttman Community College:
Chair, Alia Tyner-Mullings; Vice Chair, Andrea Morrell; Delegate to the DA, Alia Tyner-Mullings; Alternate to the DA, Kristina Baines
Hostos Community College:
Chair, Lizette Colón; Delegates to the DA, Lizette Colón, Marcella Bencivenni, Felipe Pimentel, Olga Steinberg Neifach; Alternates to the DA, Joan Beckerman, Jo-Ann Rover, Lauren Wolf; PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Advisory Council, Iber Poma
Chair, Jeremy Glick; Vice Chair, Tanya Agathocleous; Delegates to the DA, Jeremy Glick, Tanya Agathocleous, Thomas DeGloma, Peter Dudek, Jennifer Gaboury, Marlene Hennessy, Michael Lewis, Janet Neary, Christopher Stone, Blanca Vázquez; Alternates to the DA, Tami Gold, Michael Fabricant, Andrew Battle
John Jay College:
Chair, Daniel Pinello; Vice Chair, J. Paul Narkunas; Secretary, Elizabeth Hovey; Officer-at-large, Jonathan Epstein; Delegates to the DA, Daniel Pinello, Ellen Belcher, Holly Clarke, Elizabeth Hovey, Susan Kang, Peter Mameli, J. Paul Narkunas, John Pittman, Ellen Sexton; Alternates to the DA, Robert DeLucia, Gerald Markowitz; PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Advisory Council, Daniel Pinello, Barbara Young
LaGuardia Community College:
Chair, Sigmund Shen; Vice Chair, Karen Miller; Secretary, Lara Beaty; Officers-at-large, Nancy Berke, Milena Cuellar, Colleen Eren, Laura Tanenbaum; Delegates to the DA, Sigmund Shen, Carrie Conners, Francine Egger-Sider, Youngmin Seo, Nichole Shippen, Phyllis van Slyck, Rachel Youens; Alternates to the DA, Hara Bastas, Timothy Coogan, Sarah Durand, James Giordano, Christopher McHale; PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Advisory Council, Soloman Kone, Terry Parker
Chair, Karen Berry; Vice Chair, Samuel Paul; Secretary, Caughey Gwynette Kearse; Officers-at-large, Jacqueline Andrews, Catherine Clark-Nelson; Delegate to the DA, Karen Berry; Alternate to the DA, Lawrence Williams
Chair, David Gerwin; Secretary, Edmund Leites; Officers-at-large, Carol Giardina, Roopali Mukherjee, José Martínez-Torrejón; Delegates to the DA, David Gerwin, Edmund Leites, Jack Zevin; Alternate to the DA, Kevin Birth; PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Advisory Council, Benjamin Chitty
Chair, Scott Sheidlower; Vice Chair, Steven Weisblatt; Secretary, Margarett Alexandre; Officers-at-large, Margarett Alexandre, Tania Levey, Galila Werber-Zion; Delegates to the DA, Scott Sheidlower, Shirley Frank, Olajide Oladipo, Tonya Shearin-Patterson; Alternates to the DA, Ian Hansen, Rishi Nath, Kay Neale, Steven Weisblatt