Day of Rage Against the Cuts: Tax the Rich, Not Working Families. Rally at City Hall Park at 5:00 p.m. March to Wall Street at 6:00 p.m.
Student / Labor / Community Rally Against Budget Cuts
Last night the union’s elected delegates overwhelmingly approved a new bargaining agenda. I will now send a formal request to CUNY management to begin the next round of collective bargaining. The PSC is ready to begin immediately, and we will call on CUNY to start before the end of our current contract on November 30.
The single most important thing you can do right now to build the power we will need for this round of bargaining is to sign the PSC’s new membership card, if you haven’t signed already. The Trump Supreme Court is about to decide a case that is designed to destroy the strength of public-sector unions like the PSC. The case aims to crush American unions and strip us of the power to win higher salaries and better working conditions.
The current PSC-CUNY contract expires on November 30. The union’s bargaining team is listening to members and preparing demands.
CUNY’s Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank is a pool of voluntarily donated sick leave and annual leave available for potential use as sick leave by all full-time employees at CUNY (instructional and classified) who are also donors to the bank. The Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank, which arose out of a PSC contract campaign, exemplifies worker solidarity and mutual support. It gives CUNY workers a way to offer aid to colleagues dealing with a catastrophic illness and provides a place to turn for help if they face a similar need. The open enrollment period for the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank will be held from October 1 to October 31. Workers must donate leave in a program year to be eligible to receive leave in that year (up to 90 days). Click here for program requirements and to learn how to donate and receive leave from the bank.
The phased retirement benefit negotiated by the PSC and management allows full-time instructional staff members to ease into retirement. Full-time faculty who are 65 and older, have at least 15 years of pensionable service and are members of the Optional Retirement Program (largely TIAA) are eligible to apply to “phase” for up to three years, work 50% of their workload and receive 50% of their salary and full health insurance. HEOs and CLTs are eligible to phase for up to one year with a 20% workload reduction (one day per week) for 80% pay, if they are at least 65 and Members of the ORP. Faculty and staff must irrevocably commit to retiring at the end of the phasing period. To begin phased retirement in Fall 2018, applicants must develop a plan with their chair/supervisor and submit an application to their college human resources office by November 15, 2017. The application form is available in the Retirement Benefits section of the CUNY website and on college websites. Read more.
Nationwide, academics are concerned about the rise of “fake” academic journals targeting professors. PSC members are taking note.
"Right-to-work" laws, bolstered by anti-Semitic ideas of a Jewish conspiracy, originated in the South as a way to maintain Jim Crow labor relations.
The Professional Staff Congress/CUNY rejects the statement by Michael Isaacson about imagining his students dead. Isaacson’s statement is anathema to the teaching profession. It in no way represents the position of the PSC as a union or the tens of thousands of CUNY faculty—both full-time faculty and adjuncts—who choose to work at CUNY because of a profound commitment to the diverse and largely working-class students we are privileged to teach. But the right of free speech protects even repugnant speech, and every worker should be entitled to due process. The PSC will vigorously defend the due-process rights of every CUNY employee - both full time and part-time - we represent.
NYC Primary Results
Mayor de Blasio and Public Advocate Letitia James won their primary races by definitive margins.
Four of the six PSC-endorsed candidates in open City Council races won. They are Carlina Rivera (CD2), Diana Ayala (CD 8), Alicka Ampry-Samuel (CD 41) and Justin Brannan (CD 43). Two lost. Marjorie Velazquez, PSC’s candidate for Council District 13, lost a close race to Mark Gjonaj. Marti Speranza, PSC’s candidate for Council District 4, lost to Keith Powers.
For results of all the NYC primary elections, see the New York Times coverage.
Turn-out for this election was a near record low with only 14% of voters eligible participating. But PSC members turned out. Many thanks to the Legislative Committee members who volunteered to help turn their colleagues out to the polls. Our phone banking worked!