January 2011 Chapter Update

1. Social Safety Net Working Group. The Retiree Chapter of the PSC has established a “Social Safety Net Working Group” whose purpose is to develop a campaign of education and mobilization in defense of current benefits and agitation for their enhancement. While our first target is the membership of the chapter, we see the safety net—pensions, social security and health insurance—as family protection rather than a retiree perq. We expect, therefore, to expand the campaign to campus chapters as part of the union-wide struggle over the contract and the budget. At the same time, we are reaching out to other organizations—sister unions, cbos, and advocacy groups--that share our concerns on the assumption that the broadest united front offers the best chance of success.

2. Amplifying the Chapter's Voice and Authority. In collaboration with the PSC’s elected leadership, the Retiree Chapter has succeeded in significantly expanding the voice and authority of retirees in the councils of the union and the Welfare Fund.

3. The Link between Retirees and Actives. The salient characteristic of the work of the chapter has long been its rejection of any hard separation between the concerns of active and retired union members. All PSCer should see themselves as retirees in training, and every retiree should remain an engaged member of the education and labor communities.

4 Solidarity. In solidarity, representatives of the retiree chapter regularly join the PSC contingent lobbying in Albany for a better budget for CUNY and join actives and students on the picket line for the contract and other concerns of working people of NY.