May 12, 2016 -- A message from Barbara Bowen
Thank you, PSC! 92% of voters on strike authorization voted YES. Together we have sent an unequivocal message to the CUNY Chancellor and to Albany that PSC members are determined to fight for what we need-and what our students need.
The 92% vote is a demand that CUNY act with urgency to put a decent economic offer on the table and do what it takes to get this contract settled. The union remains absolutely committed to achieving an acceptable contract through the negotiating process, but we are prepared to take action if there is no alternative.
Truthout: CUNY Professors and Staff Consider Future Strike to Defend Public Education Funding NY Daily News: Time for a CUNY contract: Professors must ditch their strike threat, and Gov. Cuomo must step up Amsterdam News: PSC-CUNY votes to authorize strike Labor Press: The Real Reason CUNY Hasn't Settled a Contract Capital Tonight: CUNY Union Approves Possibility of a Strike Times Ledger: CUNY faculty vote to authorize strike NY Times: CUNY Union Votes to Allow Strike if Contract Deal Is Not Reached NY Daily News: CUNY staffers vote to authorize strike if school can’t agree on contract The Chronicle of Higher Ed: CUNY’s Faculty Union Votes to Authorize Strike Staten Island Advance: CSI unions rally for a new contract; CUNY strike authorization passes Academe Blog: CUNY FACULTY UNION VOTES TO AUTHORIZE STRIKE NY Daily News: Rotting rungs on the ladder of opportunity: Albany's failure to fund raises for CUNY professors is hurting low-income New Yorkers
92% of those who cast ballots voted "yes," and the number of ballots was well over 10,000, giving us an absolute majority of "yes" votes. That is a landmark result. It would be a powerful result in any context, but it is especially powerful for a union whose members have worked six years without a raise and who understand that a strike would come with financial and legal penalties.
Our message is clear: we are prepared to fight to defend our working conditions and our students' learning conditions. Our own lives and the life-chances of our students are at stake.
The union bargaining team will walk into our next negotiating session with the power of a 92% "yes" vote at our backs. Contract talks with CUNY are ongoing, and the union is doing its utmost to reach an acceptable agreement within the next few weeks. Your vote is the best support we could have. The union leadership is also working with lawmakers in Albany to build on the support many have expressed for funding our contract. (The Daily News published my op-ed on Albany's unfinished economic justice agenda today.)
PSC members, you rose beautifully to the occasion of the vote. The other officers and I thank all the voters, supporters, union chapter chairs, members who staffed "voting booths" in campus buildings, and the 1,000 union activists who engaged in systematic conversations with other members to prepare for the vote. The organizing alone strengthens us as a union.
I also want to thank the PSC staff, who poured their hearts into this work, as well as the student organizations, community groups in The CUNY Rising Alliance, and the hundreds of other union workers who have given their support. Our contract is a justice issue for all of New York.
Now we will redouble our efforts to win a contract worthy of your commitment.