Professional Staff Congress | 61 Broadway, 15th Floor, NYC 10006 | 212-354-1252 |212-PSC-CUNY | firstname.lastname@example.org | AFT Local #2334
Campaign for a New CUNY Contract
A Message from Barbara Bowen, PSC President
We need you tomorrow at the union’s emergency protest against CUNY management’s failure to move on our contract demands. Can I count on you? The demonstration is tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31, from 5:30 – 7:00 PM, starting at Hunter College, 68th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. Send a message here to let us know you will be there.
The details of the budget deal reached late last night in Albany are not yet available, and it is not clear what funding has been allocated to CUNY. We may have to continue to press the State to use some of the surplus funds from bank settlements to support our contract. But what is clear is that the CUNY administration has refused to make significant movement even on the union’s non-economic demands.
CUNY Chancellor Milliken frequently asserts that our contract is his top priority—if that is true, then why not show it by making real progress toward an agreement?
We are demonstrating tomorrow to demand a raise and tell the CUNY administration to start moving on the PSC demands that are in its power to accept right now. These are demands that have little or no economic impact, such as protection of faculty rights in the use of educational technology, tuition waivers for our children who attend CUNY, a route to advancement for HEOs, job security for adjuncts, and equity in research time for library faculty. Without an economic package, there has also been no progress on the urgent issue of relief in the teaching load for full-time faculty.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31, we will deliver the message that we need a raise and we need action! The CUNY faculty and staff need better salaries and are not prepared to accept a contract that fails to resolve any of the major problems in our working conditions—especially after waiting so long.
We will gather at Hunter College on 68th and Lexington Avenue; then we will march through the Upper East Side neighborhood that is home to many of the proponents of austerity for workers and privatization of public colleges.
The PSC is a fighting union, and we will not succumb to the premise that all we can expect from CUNY is further austerity. I know that this has been a long fight, and that it is both insulting and exhausting to be asked by CUNY management to continue working without the improvements we need. But the difficulty of the fight is a measure of the forces against us. The force we can move best is the one closest to home—that’s why we need you on Tuesday, March 31 at Hunter College to demand that CUNY management stop stalling at the bargaining table!
RSVP here to let us know you will be there.
Urgent Contract Action
Funding for our contract may depend on budget negotiations taking place right now in Albany. We all need to send letters! Click here to send yours.
Legislators count the letters they receive when they determine how important any budget request is. If a contract with retroactive pay matters to you, you need to send your letter—it’s as simple as that.
The letter calls on your local Assembly representative to urge Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to prioritize funding for retroactive pay for the PSC contract as part of this year's State budget negotiation. When you send your letter, a letter will also go to the Speaker informing him that you have contacted your representative.
Feel free to personalize the letters and explain what it means to you and your family and your students to have been without a contract for five years. But don’t worry if you don’t have time to add your own message; the important thing is that you send the message.
11,000 PSC Members Call for Action on the Contract
PSC officers were in Albany again Thursday, March 19 urging legislators to fund retroactive pay increases for PSC members. While there, they delivered petitions signed by more than 11,000 PSC members calling on Governor Cuomo to make the PSC-CUNY contract a priority.
PSC’s Contract-Focused Radio Ad Says:
"It's Time for Albany to Believe in CUNY"
CUNY is a national leader in community college education—but the professors and advisors of CUNY are being denied a fair union contract. That's the message of the latest PSC radio ad, which is airing this week in the Capital District and New York City. Read more.
Contract Demands Voiced at Brooklyn Hearing
Dozens of CUNY faculty and staff turned out to leaflet and testify about the PSC’s contract demands at a CUNY Board of Trustees hearing held at Brooklyn Borough Hall last night (Feb. 17). PSC members and officers delivered testimony about the urgent need for a contract with raises and read quotes from emails sent by members to the CUNY Board of Trustees during the union’s Virtual Mass Contract Action earlier this month. Follow @PSC_CUNY to see tweets about this and other contract actions.
PSC & CUNY to Albany: Fund A Contract with Raises!
PSC President Barbara Bowen and CUNY Chancellor J.B. Milliken both testified about the need for Albany to fund a PSC-CUNY Contract with retroactive raises at a State budget hearing held yesterday in Albany. The union and management also urged the Legislature to fund “mandatory costs” for CUNY, which were not funded in the Governor’s Executive Budget plan for 2015-16. The unfunded mandatory costs from CUNY’s budget request include projected cost increases for energy, rent, fringe benefits and contractual salary step increases. CUNY’s need to hire new full-time faculty and support for the NYS Dream Act were also points of agreement between the two testimonies. The PSC also testified against the governor's ill-conceived plan for performance budgeting and unwarranted intrusions in faculty governance and teacher preparation programs. Read the union’s testimony and CUNY’s testimony. Download a factsheet about CUNY’s unfunded mandatory costs called Keep Albany’s Promise.
Hundreds Call and Email Trustees during PSC’s Virtual Mass Action
Hundreds of CUNY faculty and staff took part yesterday in the PSC’s Virtual Mass Action to press Chancellor Milliken and the Board of Trustees for a fair economic offer. They placed calls to the trustees, sent emails to Chancellor Milliken and to Board Chair Benno Schmidt and tweeted at the Chancellor. (Use the hashtag #CUNYNeedsARaise to join the campaign on Twitter.) Some who took part spoke directly to trustees and demanded action on the contract. If you spoke with a trustee, email Ida Cheng at Icheng@pscmail.org to tell us about it. You can add your voice to the union’s urgent call for a fair contract offer by emailing the Chancellor and calling members of the Board of Trustees. Contact information and campaign targets are listed in the call to action emailed to CUNY faculty and staff by President Bowen the morning of Monday, February 3.
9,000+ Have Signed the Contract Petition
Add Your Name by the Feb. 17 Deadline
Last fall thousands of CUNY faculty and staff signed the contract petition to demand action on our contract by the City and State. The petition will remain open for signatures until February 17 so that everyone will have a chance to sign before it is presented publicly. Nearly 10,000 faculty and staff have already signed—if you need a raise, your name should be there! Sign here to show that you are serious about a new contract. And be ready to take part when union members present the petition at a public event.
PSC Voices Rise at CUNY Board Hearing
The University Budget Must Fund a Fair Contract
Chancellor Milliken and the CUNY Board of Trustees heard from 30 rank-and-file union members and officers at the Board’s annual budget hearing at Baruch College on November 24, 2014. The members testified about the CUNY Budget Request for 2014-2015 and its connection to a fair PSC-CUNY contract. Together, they made the case for increased salaries at every level and offered unforgettable images of the damage unmanageable workloads can inflict on CUNY students, faculty and staff. Read the testimony.
Mass Rally and March, Tues., Oct 21.
CUNY contracts are negotiated at the bargaining table, but won on the ground. And we need to keep up the pressure on CUNY and the State and City officials who approve our contracts. That's why hundreds of CUNY faculty and professional staff rallied and marched on Tuesday, October 21st. After a spirited early evening rally at the Community Church of New York on East 35th Street, attendees took to the streets, marching, chanting and singing as they went past the governor's NYC office and then to new CUNY headquarters on East 42nd Street. The message: CUNY NEEDS A RAISE. To view a photo slideshow from October 21 click here.
Contract Demonstration at Board of Trustees, Sept. 29
Sights and sounds from the demonstration are collected in the above slideshow from the PSC and a video from The Chief Leader. Check them out.
President Bowen's Sept. 29 Letter to the Board of Trustees
President Bowen delivered this letter to the Trustees during the PSC demonstration at the Sept. 29 CUNY Board meeting. In it, she says negotiations “cannot advance without money on the table.” She demands “an economic offer that recognizes the quality and importance of the work we do.” Read the full letter.
Why Our Budget and Contract Campaigns are so Intertwined.
Contracts are negotiated at the bargaining table, but won on the ground. That means mobilizing our colleagues on every campus, in our departments and in our everyday interactions. But in an era of budget shortfalls and attacks on public workers, that ground operation, while beginning on our campuses, must extend its power to Albany and City Hall. As we come to the bargaining table to negotiate a new contract with the University, the political and economic conditions that we face will no doubt influence our demands and the demands of management. That is why PSC’s budget and contract campaigns are so intertwined.
Q and A: What’s Going On in Contract Talks?
The PSC and CUNY management have made some progress in contract talks. But CUNY has not yet put forward an economic offer, and union negotiators are pressing management to do so. President Bowen answers some frequently asked questions about the contract negotiations in this article from the Sept. Clarion.
Demands for the new contract were approved at a November 4, 2010 Delegate Assembly meeting. The full text of the demands, and coverage of the DA, are available here as a special supplement of the December 2010 Clarion.