President Barbara Bowen's Statement on the State Budget Testimony of Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Stringer
January 26, 2016
“The PSC is heartened by Mayor de Blasio’s call for a fair resolution of the PSC-CUNY contract today and by his reiteration that the NYC will pay its proportionate share of the cost of raises in a final labor agreement. And we are grateful for the aggressive defense of CUNY mounted by several members of the Legislature during today’s budget hearing.
“In his budget testimony today, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer offered further evidence of the state’s failure to invest adequately in quality education for CUNY’s students, who are predominately people of color. The comptroller’s analysis shows that investment in CUNY has lagged far behind growth of the overall state operating budget. CUNY, Comptroller Stringer said, would have $637 million more in state funding on hand today for senior and community colleges if the CUNY budget had grown at pace with the state budget over the past seven years.
“The City University of New York needs increased public investment, not cuts from the state, to ensure that CUNY’s half-million mostly low income students get a quality education and that CUNY’s faculty and staff—who have not had a raise in six years—are paid fairly for the important work they do. The Governor’s Executive Budget provides $240 million “to ensure fair and affordable agreements with CUNY labor unions.” It is critical that those funds be part of an overall increase in public investment in CUNY.
“In addition to collaborating to find efficiencies at CUNY, the governor and the mayor must ensure that CUNY is fully funded and end the pattern of public disinvestment that has left CUNY starved of resources and unable to compete for the faculty and staff that CUNY students deserve.”