News & Events

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This is a list of the PSC members who have died during the coronavirus pandemic. The PSC officers, members and staff offer our deepest condolences to their family, colleagues and students.

Good afternoon, PSC Members,

I hope you are staying well and have had time to take care of yourselves and those you love.

Earlier today (Thurs., April 2), President Bowen sent the message below to CUNY’s head of Labor Relations demanding immediate suspension of college-issued “guidelines” related to remote work. The PSC has the legal right to negotiate any changes in terms and conditions for work, hours, supervision and related issues. Also, two weeks ago the union made an explicit demand for reimbursement of expenses employees incurred at home doing required work that would not normally be conducted at home.

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Dear Colleagues:

First, I hope you are in good health. My thoughts go out to any PSC members who are sick or caring for others, especially to our members in the healthcare fields.

Good afternoon, Members and Colleagues,

I hope you are well. The PSC continues to work to ensure that you are safe on the job, and we have begun to make progress on negotiating some temporary contractual changes to protect our rights during this crisis. I will report on that shortly.

Earlier today I sent the letter below to the chancellor, seeking clear information about any of our colleagues who may still be designated "essential employees." I'll let you know as soon as we have a response.

Meanwhile, please stay as safe and connected as you can.

Barbara Bowen
President, PSC/CUNY

The PSC Delegate Assembly, representing all CUNY campuses and units, met online last night (March 19). Our primary focus, of course, was on the union’s intense and ongoing campaign to protect the safety of our members, our students and our city during the pandemic.

The PSC had also made a commitment, however, to consider an endorsement in the New York State presidential primary. The world has changed since the union leadership initially made the proposal and since many of you sent us comments through the website. But the pandemic reveals anew how consequential political decisions are. The PSC is a large and diverse union, and our members hold many different political positions. The union leadership respects our members’ right to make their own choice of how to vote.

PSC delegates listened to your views, and in a well-attended meeting, voted overwhelmingly to approve the following motion on presidential endorsement:

In the New York State Democratic primary for president of the United States, currently scheduled to be held on April 28, the PSC endorses Senator Bernie Sanders for his progressive agenda on higher education, in particular, and on broader issues that represent the interests of our members, CUNY students, and working people, such as climate change, economic inequality, union protections, health care, and immigration. While we endorse Senator Sanders in the Democratic primary, we recognize the imperative of defeating President Trump, and therefore pledge to support the Democratic nominee in the general election, and to urge the nominee to embrace the progressive agenda that Bernie Sanders promotes.

If you have been told to report to work on campus or at another CUNY location tomorrow, the PSC offers the following guidance. We are here to support you and protect your legal rights.

First, find out if there have been any changes in the status of your college or workplace by checking online. Under intense and public pressure by PSC members, several colleges have taken action late this afternoon and closed some libraries and other services. Others have closed because of confirmed cases of the virus. Make sure your information is up to date. Just tonight, for example, the Queens College president announced that the campus would be closed for the next two days because of two suspected cases. If your college has not yet done the right thing to protect public health, send a message to your college president demanding that it does.

This afternoon the PSC leadership met with Chancellor Matos Rodríguez and his senior staff to present the union’s formal demands in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

While we reached agreement on some issues and made progress on others, CUNY management refused our first and most important demand: that all PSC-represented employees begin immediately to work remotely.

 Lehman, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center have essentially closed operations on site in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, in some cases maintaining only a food pantry. Every CUNY college must now do the same. If the college where you work is still refusing to protect its employees, please send a message to the college president right now. Email them and tweet at them. 

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