Campaign for a New CUNY Contract

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Above: BMCC graduates showed their support for CUNY faculty and staff outside their convocation at Madison Square Garden.

Delegate Assembly Recommends Contract Agreement for Ratification

After a spirited debate, the Delegate Assembly voted Thursday, June 23 to submit the tentative contract agreement to the PSC membership for a ratification vote. The vote to recommend ratification of the new contract passed by an overwhelming majority of 111 in favor to 11 opposed. The CUNY Board of Trustees approved the agreement at their Monday, June 27 meeting. PSC members will then have the final word on the contract during a ratification vote to be held in July 11- August 3.

A summary of the main features of the contract is posted below. Here is a link to the full memorandum of agreement and a link to the related agreements on adjunct health insurance and paid parental leave. Here is a summary of the CLIP and Start title agreement.

Contract Summary


1% across-the-board effective 4/20/12
1% across-the-board effective 4/20/13, compounded
2.5% across-the-board effective 4/20/14, compounded
2% across-the-board effective 4/20/15, compounded
2% across-the-board effective 4/20/16, compounded
1.5% across-the board effective 4/20/17, compounded
TOTAL: 10.41% (with compounding)

Retroactive Payment:

  • The increases are fully retroactive, and will be applied, as in previous PSC contracts, to all employees under the contract who were on payroll at the time the raises were effective.
  • The retroactive cash payment will be made in two checks. We expect both payments to be made in the 2016 calendar year, but the date depends on when the City and State process the payroll. CUNY has agreed to use its best efforts to ensure timely retroactive payment.


The proposed contract covers a period of just over seven years: 85 months + 14 days. It will be in effect from October 20, 2010 to November 30, 2017.

Signing Bonus:

  • A lump-sum payment of $1,000 for full-time employees, pro-rated for part-time employees, will be made to all those who are on payroll as of September 1, 2016 and who were also on payroll on May 1, 2016.
  • The PSC was able to negotiate the full $1,000 signing bonus for adjuncts who taught 9 or more contact hours in both semesters of the 2015-16 academic year and who are on payroll on September 1, 2016.
  • We were also able to negotiate a signing bonus of $750 for Graduate Assistants A, B, and C, and a $500 signing bonus for Graduate Assistants D, on payroll on the dates above.

Increased Welfare Fund Contribution to Allow Improved Dental Benefit:

  • Additional funding achieved through the contract and directed to the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund will allow the Welfare Fund to improve the dental benefit. Welfare Fund staff and Board of Directors are determining how to use the additional funding most effectively to improve the dental benefit; details will be announced later this summer.

Teaching Load:

  • As part of the contract, CUNY management agrees that it is "committed to a shared goal of reducing the annual undergraduate teaching contact hour workload for full-time classroom teaching members of the instructional staff by 3 teaching contact hours."
  • A labor/management committee, in place by October 1, 2016, will develop a plan and identify resources to reduce the contractual teaching load by 3 hours.
  • The plan will be implemented no later than the conclusion of the next round of bargaining.
  • The reduction in the contractual teaching load is designed to allow faculty more time for mentoring, academic research, and individual attention to students.

Improved Advancement Opportunities for HEOs:

  • Assistants to HEO, HEO Assistants and HEO Associates who have completed one or more years of service at the top salary step for their title will be eligible to nominate themselves or be nominated by their supervisor for a $2,500 increase to their base pay in recognition of "excellence in performance or increased responsibilities within the title."
  • The HEO Reclassification Guidelines will be changed to allow HEOs to nominate themselves directly for reclassification. The Guidelines will also recognize that a significant increase in volume of work can transform the nature of the position and be a factor in reclassification to a higher title. Reclassification to the highest HEO title will be possible even if there is another HEO in the highest title in the same office or department.

Multi-Year Appointments for Teaching Adjuncts:

  • The contract creates a five-year pilot program to restructure adjunct appointments for those who regularly teach at least 6 contact teaching hours a semester in the same department of a college.
  • Full information about the program will be provided on the PSC website in the coming week; it is presented only in outline here.
  • Starting in Fall 2017, an adjunct who has taught at least 6 contact teaching hours per semester in the same department of the college for the 10 most recent semesters will be considered for a three-year appointment.
  • To receive a three-year appointment, an adjunct must receive a positive recommendation by the department P&B committee following a comprehensive review. As with all appointments, approval by the college president is required.
  • Subsequent appointments will be for three years, and will involve a review.
  • Adjuncts on three-year appointments will be assigned at least 6 contact teaching hours a semester.
  • If, for some reason, the department is unable to offer 6 contact teaching hours in any semester during the three-year appointment, the department chair will offer the adjunct either a non-teaching adjunct assignment or a course (or courses) to make up the hours at some time during the next year.
  • As a one-time transition to the new program, adjuncts who have taught at least 6 contact teaching hours in the same department of the college for 14 of the 18 semesters preceding the 2016-17 academic year-including the four most recent semesters-will receive a two-year appointment without a performance review. The two-year appointments will cover the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years.
  • Adjuncts on two-year and three-year appointments will accrue sick days, up to a cap of three weeks.

Graduate Assistants:

  • Graduate Assistants who are covered for health insurance through NYSHIP and who then immediately become adjuncts will no longer have to work for a year as an adjunct before being eligible for health insurance through the NYC Health Benefits Program. They may move immediately to adjunct health insurance, providing they meet other eligibility requirements.
  • Graduate Assistants will be eligible to apply for grants to support their research from the Adjunct Professional Development Fund, with priority given to applications from those with lower fellowship support.

Library Faculty:

  • Annual leave for faculty employed full time as librarians, regardless of years of service, will be increased to 40 work days.

Adjunct Professional Development Fund:

  • For the first time, funding for this program will be made permanent, with $160,000 added each year to the total.

CLIP and CUNY Start Instructors:

  • CUNY will create two new full-time titles: CLIP Instructor and CUNY Start Instructor. The new titles will have annualized salaries equivalent to the Lecturer salary schedule.
  • The new titles will also have annualized health insurance and PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund benefits.
  • Details on other contract provisions that apply will be available soon.

Educational Opportunity Centers

  • EOC employees will receive the same salary increases, retroactive pay and signing bonus as other CUNY employees.
  • EOC adjuncts who meet the eligibility requirements will be eligible to receive health insurance through the NYC Health Benefits Program and supplemental benefits from the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund.

Educational Technology and Distance Learning:

  • New contract language will be developed by a joint labor/management committee to govern contractual observations of online classroom teaching.

Bereavement Leave:

  • For the first time, full-time faculty and staff will have a contractual entitlement to paid bereavement leave for a death in the family. The leave will be for up to four days.
  • Adjuncts will be allowed to use their existing personal emergency leave for bereavement. Adjuncts using the leave will be expected to give advance notice, but will not be required, as they are now, to request such leave in advance.

Grievance and Discipline:

  • On a pilot-program basis, several changes have been made to speed up the Grievance and Discipline processes. Full details will be available on the PSC website.

CUNY's Demands:

  • CUNY's demands prioritized increasing management's discretion to pay higher salaries to selected faculty and staff for the purpose of recruitment and retention. The union agreed to increase by 15 percentage points the limit of such salaries.
  • The union also agreed to a five-year pilot program that would allow up to 10 appointments annually, CUNY-wide, with no salary cap, governed by the existing contractual procedures.
  • The union agreed to participate in a labor/management committee to examine and make recommendations on salaries in the business schools at CUNY colleges. Discussion of whether a new salary scale should be introduced will include salaries of part-time as well as full-time faculty.
  • CUNY management pressed hard to allow an unlimited number of annual appointments for full-time faculty on one-year contracts, without access to tenure. The union refused.
  • CUNY also wanted an unlimited number of such full-time positions; the union agreed to allow up to 250, CUNY-wide.

Please keep in mind that the summary above does not include every detail of every provision-and that many provisions reflect struggle and compromise. More information will be available in the coming week.

Thank you for the passion, organizing and tenacity that made the agreement possible.

In solidarity,
Barbara Bowen
President, PSC


CLIP & Start Title Agreement Summary2 6-22-16.pdf208.83 KB
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PSC Reaches Contract Deal with CUNY

A message from President Bowen

I am happy to report that the PSC reached a tentative contract agreement with CUNY management early this morning. At last!

The bargaining teams worked straight through the night in order to finish today, and the union’s Executive Council voted this afternoon to recommend the tentative settlement.

Details of the proposed agreement will be available tomorrow; the union’s press release is below.

Thank you for the work you did to make the agreement possible. There would have been no agreement and no restored funding for CUNY without the campaign thousands of PSC members waged this year. Congratulations to all.

In solidarity,
Barbara Bowen
President, PSC

PSC Reaches Contract Deal with CUNY

New York—A tentative collective bargaining agreement has been reached between the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), the union representing CUNY faculty and professional staff, and the City University of New York (CUNY). The deal was announced today by PSC President Barbara Bowen and CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken.

The proposed contract provides 10.41% in compounded salary increases over a period of slightly more than seven years, from October 20, 2010 through November 30, 2017. CUNY faculty and professional staff, who have worked for more than six years without a raise, will receive retroactive payments and a signing bonus.

Equally important, the contract enacts significant structural changes that will fortify working and learning conditions at CUNY.

DC37 reaches tentative agreement with CUNY<

A message from President Bowen

District Council 37 reached a tentative contract settlement with CUNY late Friday afternoon. Click here for their announcement. We congratulate them and now press even harder for a fair contract for the PSC.

The DC 37 agreement covers approximately 10,000 of our co-workers at CUNY. It includes a compounded salary increase of 10.41% over seven years, with an extension of three months, which will be used to generate additional funding for their welfare fund. It also includes a signing bonus upon ratification. Details of the increases have not yet been released.

CUNY Rising Urges Contract, MOE

A letter sent from the CUNY Rising Alliance to Governor Cuomo, Leader Flanagan and Speaker Heastie last week called for funding for CUNY contracts and passage of a true Maintenance of Effort for CUNY during this legislative session. It was delivered the first work day after the front-page Times story, "Dreams Stall as CUNY, New York City’s Engine of Mobility, Sputters" and a few days before the First Lady's visit to City College. Read the letter here and coverage of the letter on Capital Tonight’s State of Politics blog here.

92% Yes Vote!

A message from Barbara Bowen

Thank you, PSC! 92% of voters on strike authorization voted YES. Together we have sent an unequivocal message to the CUNY Chancellor and to Albany that PSC members are determined to fight for what we need-and what our students need.

The 92% vote is a demand that CUNY act with urgency to put a decent economic offer on the table and do what it takes to get this contract settled. The union remains absolutely committed to achieving an acceptable contract through the negotiating process, but we are prepared to take action if there is no alternative.

Why we're voting YES for strike authorization

Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor, Social Psychology, Graduate Center

While no one wants to go on strike, I believe we must vote by a strike authorization, to stand in strength and solidarity as faculty, students and staff, to defend the legacy and assure the future of the City University of New York against austerity and privatization. In a nation in which public education has become a political football, and in a state enjoying a surplus, we must advocate boldly for the CUNY as the academic soul of the city.

Strike Authorization Vote May 2-11

A message from President Bowen:

Dear PSC Member,
Here is the union’s plan for reaching an acceptable contract settlement:

  • During the next six weeks, the PSC expects to be in intensive contract negotiations with CUNY management, with the assistance of the mediator assigned as a result of the impasse declaration. Our aim is to reach an agreement that can be presented to Governor Cuomo and the Legislature before the end of the legislative session in mid-June, with the expectation that it will be fully funded. On March 31 Governor Cuomo’s budget director said publicly that funding for the PSC would be addressed when a contract agreement is reached.
  • At the same time, the union will continue to build the leverage we need—and become prepared for further action if necessary—by holding the strike authorization vote. The vote will be held from May 2 through May 11, with results announced on May 12.

State Budget Agreement

April 1 -- Until early evening yesterday, the PSC was receiving word from legislators in Albany that the final State budget would include at least some funding for retroactive pay for our contract. That the Legislature was prepared to move toward fairness for us and for CUNY was the result of the extraordinary campaign the PSC waged this year. When the final agreement with Governor Cuomo was reached, however, all funding for our back-pay was eliminated.

Why declare impasse? Why now?

Barbara Bowen, January 29

Earlier this week, with no advance discussion with the PSC, CUNY management declared that contract negotiations are at an impasse. Their temerity is breathtaking.

This is the same CUNY management that refused for five years to make an economic offer to the union, and then proposed a salary cut when the offer finally came.
This is the same CUNY management that has made one and only one economic offer, refused to make an economic response to the PSC's 14% counterproposal, and then promptly declared impasse.

This is the same CUNY management that has failed spectacularly to win contract funding from New York State, and then refused the union's offer to make a joint public statement about the need for more support.

This is the same CUNY management that consistently rejected the union's requests for round-the-clock bargaining, and then complains about how many issues are unresolved.

I am tempted to say that CUNY management has redefined chutzpah.

If there is an impasse in contract negotiations, it has been created by management.

President Barbara Bowen's Statement on CUNY’s Declaration of Impasse in the PSC-CUNY Contract Negotiations

January 26, 2016

“Having failed to make an economic offer to the union for five years, and having finally offered what amounts to a salary cut, The City University of New York has now claimed that contract negotiations are at an impasse. A declaration of impasse - if supported by the State Public Employment Relations Board - would result in the appointment of a mediator to resolve contract negotiations with the Professional Staff Congress.

“CUNY management failed to give the union any advance notice of their declaration of impasse, and we are studying the legal filing now. We will review CUNY's claim that contract negotiations have reached an impasse and will respond to the State Public Employment Relations Board when appropriate. Meanwhile, the union will continue to fight to reverse the State’s disinvestment in CUNY and its impact on the education of CUNY students. Governor Cuomo has included $240 million for resolving CUNY contracts in his proposed budget. CUNY should join the union in fighting to ensure that those funds are part of an overall increase in public investment in CUNY.

“If the CUNY administration had advocated more aggressively for public funding for CUNY rather than accommodating to scarcity, they would not be trying to create an impasse now. Instead, we waited five years for an economic offer. CUNY’s half-million students deserve a high-quality education. To ensure that, the University must complete a collective bargaining agreement that pays faculty and staff fairly for the important work we do and that makes CUNY competitive for the faculty and staff that CUNY students deserve.”

Tell Governor Cuomo to Invest in College Education for 500,000 CUNY Students

Sign the Petition. And Share It!

The City University of New York has seen a dramatic growth in enrollment over the last decade, as more low- and moderate-income New Yorkers rely on CUNY for a top-quality education they can afford. CUNY is a lifeline for working-class New Yorkers and people of color; three-quarters of CUNY undergraduates are Latino, Black or Asian. But Governor Cuomo has refused to restore the 14% of State funding that CUNY has lost since the 2008 recession. Instead, he has kept per-student funding essentially flat and failed to invest in support for the faculty and staff. Cuomo promised that higher tuition would allow CUNY to “add faculty, reduce class size, expand program offerings, and improve academic performance,” but instead it has gone to fill the state funding gap. Tell Governor Cuomo that austerity for CUNY hurts all of New York. Now is the time to invest in CUNY and its faculty and staff.

Here's what comes next

A Message from President Bowen
December 16, 2015

Today I am announcing two new steps in our campaign to reverse New York State's policy of deliberate underfunding of CUNY and our contract. Both steps expand our power, and both involve you.

Step 1 is an opportunity-offered for the first time today-to sign a public statement of commitment to vote "yes" on the upcoming strike authorization vote. Step 2 is a social media ad campaign linked to an online petition designed to show Governor Cuomo how strongly New Yorkers disapprove of his decision to deny the necessary State funding for CUNY.

Bernie Sanders Tells Governor Cuomo: CUNY Needs A Raise

Senator Bernie Sanders, presidential candidate and Brooklyn native, is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to invest in the City University of New York and fund a fair union contract for CUNY faculty and staff. The message from Senator Sanders came in a letter delivered to Governor Cuomo last Friday, the same day he vetoed legislation to fund CUNY and SUNY.

Senator Sanders tells Cuomo in the letter that “CUNY represents hope for economic and social justice.” Sanders calls the recent cuts that CUNY senior colleges have been forced to make due to underfunding from the state “unfair to New York’s students and unfair to our country’s future.”

Read about the letter and the veto in the New York Times.

Governor Cuomo vetoed the MOE bill

A Message from President Barbara Bowen

Dear Members,

We got the news at midnight Friday that Governor Cuomo vetoed the Maintenance of Effort bill. We had been receiving signals for more than a month that there would be a veto, but we continued to press till the final night.

Governor Cuomo's veto represents a decision not to invest in sustaining top-quality college education for the working people, the poor and the people of color in New York. His position is now absolutely clear.

Tell Cuomo Not to Veto CUNY Funding!

It’s not too late to send your letter to Governor Cuomo urging him not to veto a bill that would provide more funding for CUNY, including for our contract period. The bill that would stabilize State funding for CUNY and SUNY is on Governor Cuomo’s desk right now. The signals we have received from Albany are that he will NOT sign it.

The Governor has until December 11 to act, but he could act on the bill any day before that date. Please send him a message right now—with just a couple of clicks—letting him know how important it is that he sign the bill. Click here to send a letter; and if you have a Facebook page, post the action there.

PSC members have sent more than 2,600 emails to the Governor since December 3. But we need more!

Leaders of Teachers’ Unions Send PSC Messages of Solidarity

PSC members at the mass meeting on Nov. 19 received messages of support from unionists from around the nation who have also held strike authorization votes. Click "read more" to see a video featuring teachers’ union leaders from Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago and a special message from Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis. Participants in the meeting also saw a clip from an upcoming documentary about the student-worker alliance in South African universities. Nationally and internationally, there is evidence that faculty, staff and students can win when they link their struggles and organize together.

Support for the CUNY/SUNY Maintenance of Effort Bill Continues to Grow

Before landing on Governor Cuomo's desk, the “Maintenance of Effort” (M.O.E.) bill passed by near-unanimous votes in the state Senate and Assembly. The following groups and elected officials also sent letters of support:
Hispanic Taskforce
Assemblymember Deborah Glick, et al.
Assemblyspeaker Carl Heastie, et al.
CUNY Caucus (organized by Assemblymember Walter Mosley)
Brooklyn BP Eric Adams
Bronx BP Ruben Diaz
Queens BP Melinda Katz
NYC Council
Ad Hoc Alliance to Maintain Quality at CUNY

Commitment Form

massmtg42.jpg At the packed PSC Mass Meeting held Thursday, November 19, President Bowen announced that polling on the strike authorization will begin when the spring semester has started on all campuses, after the first week of March.

Time to organize.

Will you make a commitment to help?


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Members Organize for a Strike Authorization Vote

Governor Cuomo is Failing CUNY Students

CUNY Union Questions Cuomo's Progressive Credentials.” That was the PoliticoNY headline the day after nearly 1,000 faculty and staff packed the Great Hall at Cooper Union for a mass meeting Thurs., Nov. 19. At the meeting, President Bowen laid the failure to resolve the PSC-CUNY contract at Governor Cuomo’s feet, saying: “Governor Cuomo cannot call himself a progressive if he is not progressive on CUNY, if he is not willing to make a real investment in the education of the low-income working people, people of color, and immigrants whom CUNY serves… Failure to invest in CUNY faculty and staff represents a political decision not to invest in the people we teach.”

Bowen also laid out a five-point strategy for winning a fair contract and announced the union’s counter offer. The strategy includes: 1) naming Governor Cuomo’s responsibility for not funding our contract and demanding that he change his position; 2) enlarging our fight by involving more allies; 3) amplifying our message through increasingly aggressive media and social media campaigns; 4) making a counter-proposal to CUNY’s below-inflation offer; 5) getting organized to use our full power, if necessary, by building for a strike authorization vote. The PSC counter-offer calls for increases of a total of 14% over 6 years and includes other proposals to enhance the quality of students’ education, including allowing faculty more time with individual students and establishing employment continuity for adjunct instructors.

40,000 Students to Governor: Invest in CUNY and SUNY

More than 40,000 students are urging Governor Cuomo to sign the bi-partisan Maintenance of Effort bill, legislation to protect educational quality at CUNY and SUNY. Postcards signed by the students were delivered to the governor’s office on Friday, November 20 by a coalition of groups, including the PSC, CUNY University Student Senate (USS) and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). Students and faculty leaders also held a press conference.

CUNY's unacceptable offer

It took five years, multiple protests, the announcement of a strike authorization vote, and a sit-in to get the CUNY Administration to move, but they finally put an offer on the table at Wednesday's bargaining session-as PSC members assembled for a demonstration on the street below and prepared to risk arrest. Collective action works.

But we must keep the pressure on. The proposal CUNY management made on Wednesday falls far short of what is needed to pay us decently for the important work we do. It also fails to provide the investment needed to protect high-quality education at CUNY. Our last raise was in October 2009, and our contract expired in 2010. Here is Chancellor Milliken's economic proposal:

Graduate Center Faculty Urge Chancellor to Stand for Excellence

Faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center are reinforcing the union-wide campaign for a fair contract with some impressive local organizing. Click here to read a letter to Chancellor Milliken signed by 111 central line faculty at the Graduate Center. The letter says all of CUNY is at a crossroads because of the lack of state funding and an equitable contract. It urges the chancellor to “stand for excellence at CUNY by fighting for adequate state funding for the University and by offering its employees a fair and equitable contract.”

Faculty and Staff Blockade Doors to CUNY Central, Demand Fair Contract to Protect Quality Education

Faculty and Staff Blockade Doors to CUNY Central, Demand Fair Contract to Protect Quality Education

Fifty three CUNY faculty and professional staff were arrested on Wednesday, November 4 demanding a contract that will help CUNY retain excellent professors, ensuring a quality education for the 500,000 CUNY students across the city. They blocked the doors to the midtown office building housing CUNY’s central administration and refused to move until the university management made a fair offer to resolve their long-expired union contract. 800 faculty, staff, students and supporters rallied to support them.

November 4 Rally and Action Announcement

A Message from President Bowen, October 28

The union promised to escalate our campaign until we win a fair contract-we cannot stop now.

There is still no offer on the table, despite the increased attention our contract has received in Albany, City Hall and CUNY's corporate offices as a result of our October 1st demonstration and the announcement of a strike authorization vote. We need to turn up the heat again.

Union rally at College of Staten Island


CUNY students, faculty and staff demanded a tuition freeze and a new union contract at a rally October 22, 2015 at the College of Staten Island (CSI). Tuition at CUNY has increased by $1,500 in the past five years. Over the same period, 2,300 CSI employees have been working without a union contract or a pay raise.

Postcard Campaign Supporting the Maintenance of Effort Bill

Help Get 100,000 Students to Urge the Governor to Sign the MOE Bill

The PSC is working closely with the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and United University Professions (UUP) to collect 100,000 postcards signed by CUNY and SUNY students in support of the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) bill (S281a/A5370a). The MOE bill was passed by the Legislature last June and is awaiting the governor’s signature. Our goal is to get 40,000 cards signed by CUNY students. Contact your chapter chair to get involved in the campaign, and make sure any signed cards that you collect get returned to your chapter leaders. The coalition will deliver the postcards to the governor's office at a public event in late November, so we need to keep track of every one of them.

Faculty and Staff Deliver Wake Up Call to Chancellor

PSC members came out by the hundreds on the morning of Thursday, October 1 to demand that Chancellor Milliken take action now to settle the contract. Including students and members of other city unions who turned out in solidarity, close to 1,000 people joined the protest.

Planned Strike Authorization Vote

A message from President Barbara Bowen

Dear PSC Members,

At the union’s Delegate Assembly on October 15, I announced on behalf of the Executive Council that the PSC plans to hold a strike authorization vote. A strike authorization vote—even though it is not a vote to strike—is a significant escalation of our campaign, and we want to ensure that you have ample time to prepare for it. There will be several months of preparation before the vote is taken. The union’s mass meeting on November 19 will offer an opportunity to discuss and plan for the vote. If you want to be part of preparing for the vote, let us know here.

Teach-In Teach-Out Materials

#TeachCUNY and Other Local Actions

Over 100 faculty and students turned out to connect the dots between CUNY funding, student tuition and the PSC contract at the BMCC chapter’s #TeachCUNY event last week. Another 100 faculty and students rallied for a fair contract and a tuition freeze at the College of Staten Island. The LaGuardia Community College PSC chapter is holding #TeachCUNY sessions throughout the day on Tuesday, October 27, with panels from 10:30 AM-3:15 PM. Chapters at Bronx Community College and Hostos Community College also have teach ins this week. More actions are scheduled at Guttman Community College and John Jay College next week. Faculty members throughout CUNY are also finding pedagogically appropriate ways to make CUNY funding and the contract part of classroom learning. Click "read more" for a sample curriculum, a Power Point presentation and other resources. Contact your chapter chair and visit the PSC calendar to learn about events being planned for your campus.

What are your #5words?

In #5words, #TellJB Why #CUNYNeedsARaise

News of the Wake Up Call reached more than 38,000 readers through the PSC’s Facebook page and thousands more through Twitter. If you use social media, be sure to follow the PSC on Twitter and Facebook. Join the campaign by sending a five-word message to Chancellor Milliken (@jbmilliken, about how his failure to resolve the PSC/CUNY contract hurts you and/or your students. Some messages shared by PSC members: “Support us to support students,” HEOs & CLTs deserve professional respect,” “Brooklyn College is Broklyn College.” What are your #5words?

Not On Social Media?

Go to and type these hashtags into the search bar to see what the fuss is about: #CUNYneedsaraise and #CUNYcontractnow.

Six Things Milliken Could Do to Settle the Contract

A Message From PSC President Barbara Bowen
September 28

This Thursday, October 1, the PSC and allies from across the city will be delivering a wake-up call to Chancellor Milliken. Why? Because Milliken needs to wake up to the urgency we are experiencing after six years without a raise. We are taking the message to where he lives in order to make the need for a new contract as real to Milliken as it is to us. Will you be with us? Click here to say yes.

Milliken accepted the position of chancellor and the big salary and apartment that go with it. He is ultimately responsible for putting money on the table for our contract. It’s true that he has spoken up in Albany and made efforts to resolve the issue of State funding. Making an effort is good, but it is not enough. We need results.

As chancellor, Milliken has not offered the vision or strategy needed to resolve the difficult political situation in Albany he inherited. He has not effectively challenged the economic austerity agenda for CUNY.

The Plan for Fall 2015

No Contract for Five Years. No Raises for Six Years. No More Excuses, Chancellor Milliken!


September: PSC union meeting on your campus: check overleaf for time and place. Come to be part of shaping the campaign on your campus.

October 1: Wake-up Call for Chancellor Milliken—
demonstration at Milliken’s expensive Manhattan apartment on the morning of the first CUNY Board meeting of the year.

A Letter From Barbara Bowen: A New Level of Resistance Starts Now

August 27, 2015

Dear PSC Members,

Today is the first day of the new academic year at most CUNY colleges, and I'm sure you are eager to hear whether there has been progress on the contract. The news is not good: after more than a year in office, Chancellor Milliken has failed to offer a single dollar for raises or back-pay. He appears to be content to allow the CUNY faculty and staff to go six years without a raise—while collecting a $670,000 salary himself. We have all been patient long enough. Starting on this first day of the new academic year, the union will accept no more excuses.

The union's executive council has spent the summer building alliances and developing a plan to create enough pressure to force a resolution on our contract. At the same time, the PSC has been pressing the Cuomo Administration to provide the necessary funding. We have planned an escalating series of actions that begins with emergency campus meetings, includes a demonstration at Milliken's apartment, and builds toward a mass public disruption later in the fall. If the contract is still not resolved, we are prepared to escalate further.... Read the full letter

A New Level of Resistance Starts Now

No contract for five years. No raises for six.

No more excuses!

A new level of resistance starts now.

The faculty and staff at CUNY are tired of excuses. Yes, Chancellor Milliken was new last year. And yes, until this summer contracts for other public employees in New York City were still being settled.

But now the PSC, the union of CUNY faculty and staff, is practically the only union of public employees in New York State without a contract and without a raise since 2009.

Our Bill Passed!

Thank you, PSC members! The bill on future funding for CUNY passed in the NYS Senate the evening of June 18. There is no doubt that the reason it moved out of committee and onto the Senate floor for a full vote was that the PSC, together with our allies, gave it a strong final push. You sent 6,407 messages to the Senate just in the past six days.

Elected Officials Call for PSC-CUNY Contract Funding

Lawmakers are speaking out in support of CUNY faculty and staff because they understand that five years without a raise hurts CUNY students.

More CUNY Alumni Featured in Contract Campaign Radio Ads

The PSC’s new series of radio ads supporting the contract campaign expands this week to networks in New York City and Albany. Two new alumni are featured as well. A teacher, an IT expert, a medical student, a PhD student and a veterinary technician, speak in the ads about the professors who mentored them. “CUNY professors help New Yorkers reinvent their lives,” the ads say. “The next generation deserves the same opportunity. It won’t be there unless Albany invests in the City University of New York.” Listen below.

PSC Makes Salary Proposal

A message from President Barbara Bowen
May 20, 2015

At the contract negotiating session last week, the union presented an economic proposal for annual salary increases.

Contract Fight Broadens to Build Student Support

Five years without a contractual raise and four without a contract is absurd, insulting and destructive. CUNY management’s failure to deliver on a contract hurts CUNY students, too, by damaging the University’s competitiveness and stalling progress on changes that would protect the quality of education. We may need the whole community in this fight; it’s time to take our message directly to students.

Hundreds March to Demand Contract Progress

Hundreds of PSC members turned out Tuesday, March 31 for a rainy but spirited protest outside Hunter College to demand that CUNY management must stop stalling at the bargaining table.

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.

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.

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.

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 & 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Contract Demonstration at Board of Trustees, Sept. 29

Sights and sounds from the demonstration are collected in the above slideshow from the PSC and

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.

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.

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.

Calling On the Governor To Sign the Bill To Strengthen CUNY

Student and faculty leaders gathered at sites throughout the state on Wednesday, July 22 to stress the importance of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s signing “Maintenance of Effort” (M.O.E.) legislation that would improve the quality of public higher education in New York. At Baruch College, CUNY students were joined by their professors, labor leaders, and Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, the Assembly sponsor of the bill, which passed with bipartisan, near-unanimous support.

Members testify about the need for a fair contract -- Nov. 24, 2014

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.

Mass Rally and March -- Oct. 21, 2014

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...

Thank you, PSC!

A message from President Barbara Bowen--Sept. 30

Close to 1,000 members came out for yesterday’s contract demonstration at the Board of Trustees. Thank you for your beautiful response to the union's call. It was a spirited, inspiring event. The huge turnout speaks for itself: our numbers are the best testimony to the intensity of our demand that the CUNY administration act now to resolve the contract.

President Bowen's Letter to the Board of Trustees -- Sept. 29, 2014

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.”

Contract Demonstration at Board of Trustees -- Sept.29, 2014

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.

Close to 1,000 members came out for a contract demonstration at the Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, September 29. In a message sent to PSC members Tuesday, September 30, PSC President Barbara Bowen called the turnout a “beautiful response to the union's call.” “Our numbers,” she said, “are the best testimony to the intensity of our demand that the CUNY administration act now to resolve the contract.” A letter that Bowen delivered to the trustees at the meeting is posted here. In it, President Bowen 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.”

Contract Bargaining Update--August 29, 2014

Message from President Barbara Bowen

Dear Colleague:

This week marks the start of the new academic year, and I want to take the occasion both to wish you well for the year and to bring you up to date on contract negotiations.

Serious negotiations for a new PSC contract began on June 20, when PSC and CUNY bargaining teams met to exchange demands.

Contract Bargaining Update--August 11, 2014

Momentum is growing in negotiations for a new contract, with two formal bargaining sessions and several subcommittee meetings held during the last month. Both PSC and CUNY management representatives have expressed a commitment to reaching a settlement as expeditiously as possible, given that several other public-employee unions in the city have already completed bargaining.

Clarion Masthead

PSC and CUNY Reach Other Agreements

By Peter Hogness

While progress on an overall PSC-CUNY contract was stalled by the Bloomberg-era freeze in municipal labor relations, PSC and CUNY management negotiators were not idle. The union made significant gains in benefits and working conditions.

Contract Bargaining Update--June 2014

Collective bargaining for a new PSC contract began in earnest last Friday, June 20th. The negotiating teams for the union and CUNY management met for about three hours, and made a good start on what promise to be intense negotiations during the summer. The sides exchanged demands and discussed ground rules for further sessions. One thing established immediately was that the union has the right to bring observers and faculty/staff experts to future bargaining sessions. Read the full update.

Clarion Masthead

Getting a New Contract: A Letter to PSC Members

By Barbara Bowen

PSC is fighting for a 'fair and a progressive contract' that may be negotiated in the coming months. PSC President Barbara Bowen says now is the time to build a united and collective voice for the best possible contract.

PSC and CUNY Finalize Agreement on Enhanced PSC-CUNY Awards--Feb. 2014

February 27, 2014

Dr. Barbara Bowen
Professional Staff Congress/CUNY
61 Broadway, Suite 1500
New York, NY 10006

Dear Dr. Bowen:

This letter will confirm the parties' agreement regarding modification of Articles 25.1 and 25.2 of the 2007-

No More 24: Agreement on Teaching Load--Sept. 2013

Joint Announcement of City Tech Agreement

We are pleased to announce that the City University of New York and the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY have reached agreement on aligning the teaching load at New York City College of Technology with that of other comprehensive and four-year CUNY colleges. Starting with the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year, Professors, Associate Professors and Assistant Professors at “City Tech,” as the college is universally known, will be responsible for the same contractual teaching load as their counterparts at CUNY's other four-year colleges.

Images from the No Austerity Contract! No Austerity Education! Rally--Sept. 2013

Two hundred PSC members joined a union rally at the CUNY Board of Trustees meeting at Baruch College Monday, September 30. Faculty and staff demonstrated inside the Board meeting and in the street outside Baruch to reiterate the union’s refusal to accept an austerity contract for its members or an austerity education for CUNY students. A fair contract, quality education for CUNY students and action in response to the 92% No Confidence in Pathways vote were the union’s demands of the CUNY Board.

Fair Contracts for All Rally--June 2013

The contracts for all of New York City’s municipal unions have expired for the first time since the fiscal crisis of the mid-1970s. On Wednesday, June 12, PSC members joined thousands of city workers in rallying outside City Hall to demand that the next mayor negotiate fair contracts with them. See a slide show of photos from the rally.

Phased Retirement Pilot Program Announced--June 2013

Next Deadline is June 7

PSC has reached agreement with CUNY on a three-year pilot program of Phased Retirement for full-time instructional staff who participate in the Optional Retirement Plan and are at least 65 years old. Instructional staff members interested in participating in the program starting Fall 2013 must express interest in doing so by submitting a notice of intent to their department chair/supervisor by May 15. Interested instructional staff must work with their department chair/supervisor to decide on a mutually agreeable “phased” workload configuration. A formal application must be submitted by June 7.

Paid Parental Leave Made Permanent--Dec. 2011

An agreement between the PSC and CUNY means that funding for this benefit will continue past December 31. Across CUNY, parents-to-be welcomed the news.

Parents and children who took advantage of the leave benefit at a celebration at the PSC Union Hall.

Bargaining Begins on New Contract--Jan. 2011

On Wednesday, January 26th the PSC bargaining team met with CUNY management to begin negotiating a new successor agreement to the contract that expired on October 19, 2010.

PSC DA Sets Bargaining Agenda--Nov. 2010

In a packed meeting attended by more than 200 people 0n 11/4/10, the PSC Delegate Assembly voted on Nov. 4 to adopt a bargaining agenda for negotiations on a new contract.

Committee of 1000

Imagine a committee with only one goal – to improve your life at work – with an agenda developed by the faculty and staff (not the college president or the chancellor’s office), with only one meeting per semester and hundreds of members to share the work, and with a serious chance of wielding power within the University and beyond – wouldn’t you want to be part of it? That’s what we are asking you to do: join the Committee of 1000.

Dedicated Sick Leave Agreement--April 2010

The PSC and CUNY have negotiated a Dedicated Sick Leave program allowing eligible participants to donate and receive sick days in cases of serious injury or illness.