News & Events

On May Day, hundreds of PSC members joined a nationwide university moratorium in resistance to assaults on knowledge and research by integrating into their classes an examination of the impact of President Trump's policies as relevant to the subjects of their classes. The NY Post published an article about the action with false headline: “CUNY professors will skip school to protest Trump.” President Bowen demanded a retraction in this letter to the editor and noted that the PSC explicitly called on professors not to skip class on May 1.

To the Editor:

The New York Post should publish a retraction of its headline, “CUNY professors will skip school to protest Trump” (April 30, 2017). The statement is a lie. It is contradicted by the Post’s own article. The leadership of the faculty union at CUNY, the Professional Staff Congress, explicitly called on professors not to skip class on May 1. Instead, we urged faculty to support the moratorium by including discussion of the impact of President Trump’s policies as they are relevant to the subject of their classes.

In doing so, we adhered to the national standard on academic freedom, to which CUNY explicitly subscribes. Adjunct instructor Joe Borelli should look at his own union contract before calling for his fellow adjuncts to be fired. The contract’s opening page pledges a shared commitment to “full freedom of inquiry” and academic freedom. I stand by my statement that college faculty have a responsibility to challenge “alternative facts” and to equip our students to do the same. Fulfilling that responsibility is a pretty good definition of what college education means.

Dr. Barbara Bowen

PSC Members Meet at Broadway and Worth St, S.E. Corner, 4:30 PM

In New York City and cities across the country people of conscience will take the streets on May 1st, May Day, and send a clear signal to the Trump Administration at the end of its first 100 days: We will stand together and resist together. PSC members will join with New Yorkers from across the city for a rally at 5 PM in Foley Square. PSC members will meet at the southeast corner of Broadway and Worth St. at 4:30 PM. Join us as we hear from people impacted by Trump’s bigoted and anti-worker policies. Join us as we celebrate workers and recommit to our shared struggle for workers’ rights and immigrants’ rights. Come recharge for the fight ahead with fellowship, solidarity and live music. Hashtags for the day are #MayDay2017, #HereToStay and #OurNY.

PSC members will testify at the CUNY Board of Trustees Hearing on Wednesday, April 19, at 5:00 p.m. The hearing, which will take place at the Borough Hall in Queens, is an opportunity to support the PSC campaigns to raise adjunct salaries to $7,000 per course and reduce the faculty teaching load. Reply here by Monday, April 17, to let us know you plan to testify, and we will make sure you are signed up and have directions to get there.

The PSC has taken the lead in fighting for the funds CUNY needs to provide a meaningful education for our students. A manageable teaching load is part of that need. Fair salaries and support for adjuncts, who now teach more than half of CUNY courses, are also a critical part of the need.

Do your part by speaking as part of the union campaign on Wednesday, April 19. Let us know you plan to testify in person or would like to submit written testimony.

Fourteen PSC chapters will be electing officers this spring, along with delegates and alternates to the PSC Delegate Assembly and members of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Advisory Council. Ballots will be mailed to members’ home addresses on April 3, 2017. Ballots in uncontested elections must be received at the PSC office by 5:00 pm on April 27, 2017. Ballots in contested elections must be received at the office of the American Arbitration Association by 5:00 pm on April 27, 2017. They will be counted at 10:00 AM on April 28, 2017. Click here for PSC election rules and more details.

PSC members joined a revenue-focused day of action at the New York State Capitol on Tuesday, February 7, the day legislators held a hearing on taxes in the State budget. They were there in coalition activists from the NYS Council of Churches, Citizen Action and many other groups to demand expansion of the State Millionaires’ Tax, an end to the Billionaires’ Tax Loophole (Wall Street’s Carried Interest Tax loophole) and claw-backs of corrupt corporate welfare programs. The tax plan, if implemented, would raise an additional $8 billion that could drive new investments for the public good, including full funding of public universities and k-12 schools.

Council Member Dan Garodnick will host an informational session on the StuyTown Lottery Monday, February 27, 6:30-8:30pm at Simon Baruch Middle School, 104 Auditorium, 330 E. 21st St.

A small number of 1 and 2-bedroom apartments are expected to become available at below-market rents at Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village. Located on the east side of Manhattan, below 23rd Street, this housing complex of over 11,000 apartments was recently taken over by a division of Blackstone Group. Download a flier.

In an arrangement negotiated with the deBlasio administration as part of the takeover, 40% of the apartments are to be offered at below-market rents as they become vacant. The management company expects the rent-stabilized rents for apartments that become vacant this year to be about $2800/month for a one-bedroom unit and $3400/month for a 2-bedroom unit.

The management company is running a lottery to create lists of interested potential tenants. There are minimum and maximum household income requirements for eligibility.

PSC members are invited to register for the lottery by clicking on the lottery webpage here and submitting the requested information between Monday February 6 and Friday March 10. Those who register are assigned random numbers. After March 10th, a certain number of random numbers will be drawn and will be placed on a list for income verification and for eligibility to be offered a lease as apartments of the desired size become available. The lottery will not be held until the end of the registration period; there is no advantage to registering early. You must be in a position to sign a lease within 90 days of the offer. You will be notified if your number is not drawn and you are not placed on a list.

PSC member Saira Rafiee granted re-entry to U.S.

Saira Rafiee, the PSC member and CUNY doctoral student who was denied entry into the U.S. as a result of President Trump's atrocious executive order banning legal immigrants from seven countries, has been granted re-entry to the United States. Ms. Rafiee landed Saturday in Boston.

CUNY student activists, lawyers from CUNY's Citizenship Now! program, family members and others were at Logan Airport to greet her. That Saira was able to return is thanks to a huge collective effort-together with her own political courage and vision. Even while the outcome of her own case was uncertain, Saira insisted that she be seen as one among many; she called on us to elevate the cases of people without unions and with less access to public voice.

Union support matters. Hundreds of PSC members responded to the union's call for messages urging action on Saira's case, helping to focus public attention on her case. (Click here for a sample of media coverage on PSC and student actions last week.) PSC officers sought advice from the extraordinary immigration lawyers who work at CUNY, and enlisted the support of Senator Schumer, the American Federation of Teachers, Mayor de Blasio, and several other Congressional and local representatives. All deserve our thanks.