Clarion Op-Ed, “From Ferguson to Detroit” Reaches a National Audience

“From Ferguson to Detroit,” a piece written for Clarion by Professor Bridget Davis (Baruch College) has been picked up by Salon.com, an online news website with a monthly audience of 16 million unique visitors. Retitled “America’s summer of white supremacy: A postmortem” for Salon.com, it argues that the unjust and wholly avoidable deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the shut off of water service in poor black communities in Detroit are products of our nation’s deep-rooted structural inequities. Read the article online and share it with interested colleagues and social networks.

HEO and CLT Chapters Build Membership

This summer, members of the PSC’s Higher Education Officer (HEO) Chapter and College Lab Technician (CLT) Chapter reached out to colleagues who had not yet signed union cards, and invited them to become PSC members.

Most CUNY faculty and staff signed cards soon after they were hired and are thus PSC members – but others did not, often because they didn’t know that signing a card is required. [Note: to request a membership card, or to check whether you are a member, click here for more information.]

Teach, Learn and Revise on OpenLab

Faculty and staff at City Tech were dissatisfied with existing software for higher education – so they built their own. The result is OpenLab, a collaborative tool for teaching and learning that’s now widely used at the college.

City Tech Coordinator of Library Instruction Maura Smale, one of the first directors of the initiative, says they set out to create a site that would help students feel more connected at the commuter campus. Everything from the back-end development to the airy site design to the OpenLab logo was created by City Tech faculty, staff and students.

Eligible Adjuncts Who Missed the Sept 19 Deadline

Minimize Any Lapse in Coverage; Sign Up for Health Insurance Immediately!

Beginning Oct. 1, 2014, health insurance for all eligible CUNY adjuncts will be provided through the NYC Employee Health Benefits Program. As is the case with full-timers, the University Benefits Office is now responsible for enrolling eligible adjuncts in health insurance.

The deadline for eligible adjuncts now receiving health insurance through the PSC/CUNY Welfare Fund to enroll in CUNY’s new adjunct health insurance program without a lapse in coverage has passed. But eligible adjuncts can still sign up! And the sooner you sign up, the shorter the lapse will be. To enroll, visit your College Benefits Officer A.S.A.P.

Here is a link to the University Benefits Office website where forms and further information are posted. Select “Benefits at a Glance,” then select “Adjunct Staff (Teaching and Non-Teaching)”. Under Adjunct Staff, the enrollment packet is the third link.

Labor Goes to the Movies 2014: Apocalypse

October 17

GODZILLA/GOJIRAN

(1954, Japan, Ishirô Honda)
Born from the general atmosphere of dread and anxiety with which 1950s Japan viewed atomic weapons, Toho Studios’ Godzilla spawned an entire genre of daikaiju (“giant strange beast”) films, as well as endless sequels, spinoffs and remakes. But no subsequent films have approached the incredible staying power of the original; this incarnation of Godzilla may be just a man in a rubber suit, but his relevancy and impact on pop culture are undiminished even today. An ancient beast stirred from its underwater lair by atom bomb tests, Godzilla embodies the double threat of humanity’s nuclear aggression and the resultant rage of the natural world. For J. Hoberman, “As crass as it is visionary, Godzilla belongs with – and might well trump – the art films Hiroshima Mon Amour and Dr. Strangelove as a daring attempt to fashion a terrible poetry from the mind-melting horror of atomic warfare.”Doors open at 6 PM in the PSC Union Hall on Friday. A discussion will follow the film. Light refreshments provided.

Academia's Low-Wage, Exploited Workers Map International Strategy Toward Equity

COCAL XI, a conference of adjunct and other contingent faculty activists from Canada, Mexico and the U.S., kicked off Monday, August 4 at CUNY’s John Jay College with a welcome from labor leaders representing academic workers from throughout North America and a poem from a work entitled Ivory Tower Anthology.

“Twenty adjuncts and I share an office…Four times we’ve been evicted from similar digs…When I had no office I kept my papers in my car,” read Vicki Moss, poet and adjunct professor of English at Fashion Institute of Technology.

Health Insurance for Adjuncts

The Professional Staff Congress and The City University of New York have reached a landmark agreement with the City of New York on inclusion of eligible CUNY adjuncts in the New York City Health Benefits Program. The agreement provides regularized health insurance for an important part of the CUNY teaching workforce and contributes to stabilizing the finances of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund.

Against the Institutionalization of ROTC at CUNY

The PSC Delegate Assembly has passed a resolution, Against the Institutionalization of ROTC at CUNY. The resolution, passed overwhelmingly at the May Delegate Assembly, is in response to the establishment of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs at City College, Medgar Evers College and York College, and to the attempt to start an ROTC program at the College of Staten Island. CUNY students have been a target for recruitment into ROTC since the Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank, published a report in 2011 naming CUNY as a “huge potential recruiting pool.” The resolution concludes that ROTC is not in the best interest of CUNY students or the University community. It calls on the CUNY administration to close its existing ROTC programs and prohibit the establishment of future programs.

City Budget Campaign 2014

City Increases CUNY Funding

Clarion article by Peter Hogness and Shomial Ahmad

In a sign of the sea change in New York City politics since the end of the Bloomberg era, this year’s discussion on City funding for CUNY was not about whether to cut – it was about how much to add...the spending plan includes an additional $19 million proposed by the mayor for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs at CUNY community colleges, an expansion that will add about 60 full-time lines. Also included was a council initiative adding around $11 million to fund merit-based CUNY scholarships, similar to the former Vallone Scholarships that were axed by Bloomberg. An additional $1 million to support CUNY’s Citizenship NOW! hotline was also added.

Read the full Clarion article.

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