When PSC members mobilize we have a real impact, even in an era of historic budget shortfalls. That’s true whether we are talking about City and State budget process or our contract negotiations. Last year at the state level, PSC members partnered with students, labor unions and other allies to hold the line against those calling for privatizing the university. Together, we stopped PHEEIA—the so called Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act—right in its tracks. This fall, PSC member advocacy convinced the City Council to restore $4 million of an $11.8 million mid-year reduction to CUNY community college funding.
Despite our important victories, CUNY remains underfunded and its faculty and staff are under siege. Even before the austerity-minded cuts of the last few years, public funding for CUNY was falling and unable to keep pace with enrollment. Now, a new governor is signaling a new round of state cuts and draconian public-employee layoffs, the Mayor is warning of funding reductions. The political and economic conditions that we face will no doubt also color the demands of the University when we come to the bargaining table.
PSC members make the CUNY budget campaign a priority every year because CUNY is crucial to the economic and social wellbeing of our city, our students and our families. Our compensation, benefits and working conditions depend on it. Our voices are heard in the halls of our campuses and the halls of political power.
For more information on the sources of CUNY's funding, click here.