PSC Member Denied Entry to U.S.

PSC member Saira Rafiee granted re-entry to U.S.

Saira Rafiee, the PSC member and CUNY doctoral student who was denied entry into the U.S. as a result of President Trump's atrocious executive order banning legal immigrants from seven countries, has been granted re-entry to the United States. Ms. Rafiee landed Saturday in Boston.

CUNY student activists, lawyers from CUNY's Citizenship Now! program, family members and others were at Logan Airport to greet her. That Saira was able to return is thanks to a huge collective effort-together with her own political courage and vision. Even while the outcome of her own case was uncertain, Saira insisted that she be seen as one among many; she called on us to elevate the cases of people without unions and with less access to public voice.

Union support matters. Hundreds of PSC members responded to the union's call for messages urging action on Saira's case, helping to focus public attention on her case. (Click here for a sample of media coverage on PSC and student actions last week.) PSC officers sought advice from the extraordinary immigration lawyers who work at CUNY, and enlisted the support of Senator Schumer, the American Federation of Teachers, Mayor de Blasio, and several other Congressional and local representatives. All deserve our thanks.

PSC Endorses Bill de Blasio for Re-election

Praises Strong Support of Public Higher Education and Universal Pre-K

The Professional Staff Congress (PSC) announced today its endorsement Mayor Bill de Blasio for re-election. The union is backing de Blasio because of his progressive track record over the last four years, particularly his strong support of public higher education.

PSC President Barbara Bowen said: “Mayor de Blasio came into office promising to fight for universal pre-K, expand the paid sick leave law to cover thousands more workers, and raise the minimum wage for all City employees and contractors. He did that. He has also, with less public attention, increased funding for the City University of New York. And in the weeks since the election of Donald Trump, he has reaffirmed New York’s status as a sanctuary city. As CUNY faculty and staff, we understand the vital role public higher education plays in combating income inequality, and we know that increased City funding for CUNY is making a difference. We also understand the urgency of asserting a progressive agenda at this political moment. There is still more to be done, and we will work with Mayor de Blasio to advance a progressive agenda for New York.”

Mayoral Endorsement on DA Agenda for January 26

With the Presidential campaign barely over we must now turn our attention to the City elections in the fall of 2017. The outcome of the national elections makes local races even more important today than in the past. On January 26, the PSC Delegate Assembly will debate and vote on a proposed endorsement of the incumbent Mayor of NYC, Bill de Blasio. The legislative committee of the PSC voted overwhelmingly to endorse him, and the Executive Committee recommended endorsement by a significant margin. This democratic process will conclude with a DA debate and vote on January 26.

Confirmed January Dates for Retroactive Pay

A Message from PSC Treasurer Sharon Persinger

Dear PSC members,

We have confirmed dates! In our meetings and phone calls with CUNY's Office of Human Resources Management, we continued to stress PSC members' anger at the length of time it has taken for the hard-won pay increases to actually show up in their paychecks. We insisted that the timetable announced in the first update must be made firm, and now it has been. We are assured by CUNY, New York State, and New York City that our retroactive pay back to 4/20/2012 will be paid in the second paycheck of January 2017, on January 19, 2017 at the senior colleges and on January 27, 2017 at the community colleges. In addition, faculty and professional staff who are on biweekly payroll on those dates will receive the biweekly pay reflecting salary increases through 4/20/2016.

For more details on the salary increases, back pay, tax-deferred retirement savings plans and reappointment letters, read the rest of this message. For even more information, you can follow this link to CUNY's "Frequently Asked Questions" on salary increases and retroactive pay, posted at the website of CUNY's Office of Human Resources Management.

Welfare Fund Expands Benefits

CUNY faculty, professional staff and retirees will soon receive a letter from the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund announcing a significant enhancement of benefits. This became possible with an infusion of new money from the contract and the movement of adjunct healthcare out of the fund to the city plan

There are three areas of expanded benefits:

--Dental: Guardian DentalGuard Preferred Network
--Vision: PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Davis Vision Premier Collection
--Hearing: HearUSA Network

A summary of benefit enhancements is available on the website of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund -- or you can click "read more" below

Spring 2017 PSC Chapter Elections

Only Union Members Can Vote.

You must be a member of the union before December 5, 2016 to vote in the PSC chapter elections to be held in the spring of 2017.

Fourteen of the PSC’s chapters will elect officers this spring. They will also elect delegates and alternates to the PSC Delegate Assembly and members of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Advisory Council. To be eligible for a PSC vote, you must have been a member of the union four months prior to the date of ballot mailing. There is no extra cost to becoming a member, but you must submit a membership application. When you submit an application, the deduction on your paycheck will simply change from “agency fee” to “dues.” (Here’s how to check your paystub to confirm you are a union member and not an agency fee payer.) Current CUNY employees may submit an online membership application by clicking on the appropriate membership form at this link. Please share this information and these links with your colleagues.

You must be a member of the union before December 5, 2016 to vote in the PSC chapter elections to be held in the spring of 2017. Adjuncts who work at more than one CUNY campus and are unsure of which chapter they are a part of may call the PSC membership department at 212-354-1252.

Reappointment Notification Deadlines for Adjuncts and Full-Time Faculty—Dec. 1

For many members of the instructional staff, the time when colleges send out notices of reappointment and non-reappointment is approaching. For full-time faculty in their second and subsequent years of service, notice of decision must be received by on or before December 1, except for lectures who in both their first and second year of service must be notified on or before April 1. For lecturers in their third and subsequent years of service, notice of decision must be received on or before December 1. Notice of the decision for full-time faculty in their first full year of service must be received by April 1. Adjuncts must receive written notice of reappointment or non-reappointment on or before December 1 in the fall semester and May 1 in the spring semester for appointment by semester. Adjuncts who are entitled to a yearly appointment or a three year appointment must receive notice by May 15.

If you are due notice of reappointment/non-reappointment by the December 1 deadline and do not receive it or if you are notified that you have been denied reappointment, please notify the your chapter grievance counselor immediately. Here is a list of PSC’s contract enforcers. Grievance counselors can also be contacted at the PSC central office (212-354-1252) Under the terms of the PSC contract, grievances relating to non- reappointment must be filed within 30 days, excluding Saturday, Sundays and legal holidays of the scheduled dates of notification of either December 1 or April 1. Union grievance counselors can guide you through your college’s academic appeals process and file a grievance. The deadline for filing grievances for notices of non-reappointment due on or before December 1 is January 17, 2017 and for April 1, 2017 the deadline for filing is May, 12, 2017.

Freedom of Speech and Assembly for All Faculty, Staff and Students at CUNY

The PSC Delegate Assembly (DA) passed a resolution on October 13 calling on the CUNY administration, the City and State to treat all accusations of discrimination seriously and equally, and to affirm its support for freedom of speech and assembly for all faculty, staff, and students at CUNY. The resolution reaffirms the union’s unequivocal condemnation of all forms of systemic discrimination. It also states that the PSC opposes any attempt to deny public funding to CUNY based on the constitutionally protected speech or actions of its students, faculty and staff.

Recent events at Brooklyn College have made the call in the resolution newly urgent. On November 1, President Bowen sent the resolution and this letter to Chancellor Milliken:

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