News & Events

PSC and the CUNY Rising Alliance joined with Assemblymember Phara Souffrant Forrest to lead a masked, in-person rally and march in Brooklyn Saturday, March 6 to demand a New Deal for CUNY. The New Deal for CUNY is a bill rapidly gaining co-sponsors in the NYS Senate and Assembly that would establish minimum staff-to-student ratios for mental health counselors, academic advisors and full-time faculty at CUNY while raising pay for adjunct faculty and enacting free tuition.

Dear PSC Members,

Two weeks ago, we wrote to you about the CUNY chancellor’s decision to ignore the contract and refuse to pay equity increases to 2,500 colleagues in lower-paid full-time positions—Assistant to HEO and Lecturer titles. “Honor the contract!” hundreds of PSC members demanded in letters, petitions, phone calls and protests.

Late Friday night, hours before a planned demonstration in front of Chancellor Matos Rodríguez’s house, the chancellor reversed his decision. He signed an agreement with the union for payment of the increases. Assistants to HEO and faculty in full-time Lecturer titles (which include CLIP and CUNY Start Instructors) will receive this year’s full equity increase as a lump-sum payment and will have the increase applied on each salary step next year. In addition, CUNY management agreed to expedite their request for payment of the increases by the City and State so that members receive the money as soon as possible.

Congratulations, PSC members! This is a victory for all of us.

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Today, the 30,000-member Professional Staff Congress announced its endorsement of Brad Lander for New York City Comptroller. The CUNY faculty and staff union pointed to Lander’s long-time support for educational equity and his progressive vision for a just recovery from COVID.

“In the city’s current economic crisis, the role of New York City Comptroller has become more vital than ever. Brad Lander is the right person for this tough moment. He will simultaneously safeguard the city’s fiscal health and fight for an economic recovery that repudiates austerity. He understands that an economic crisis that has been devastating to the city’s working class, its poor and its communities of color cannot be solved without visionary investment. He knows that investment in CUNY--a New Deal for CUNY--will be essential to any just and inclusive recovery,” said Barbara Bowen, President of the Professional Staff Congress. “The members of the PSC know Brad and respect him for his consistent progressive work in the City Council, and we are proud to give him our endorsement.”

Lander has been a vocal supporter of fully funding CUNY and restoring tuition-free public higher education for New York City students. He has supported the state legislation for a New Deal for CUNY proposal and has been a vocal supporter of the PSC’s call for rich private universities in the city to pay their fair share to the City for educational needs.

Dear Chancellor Matos Rodríguez and President Lemons,

As members of the Lehman College community, we write to request that you immediately reverse your decision not to implement the $1,000 equity raise for Assistants to HEO (aHEOs) that was due to begin on February 1. Denying the negotiated raise is an attack on essential Lehman College colleagues—and on all of us. The decision can, and must, be reversed.

Dear Chancellor Matos Rodríguez,

As members of the Graduate Center community, we write to request that you immediately reverse your decision not to implement the $1,000 equity raise for Assistants to HEO (aHEOs) that was due to begin on February 1. Denying the negotiated raise is an attack on essential Graduate Center colleagues—and on all of us. The decision can, and must, be reversed.

A message from Barbara Bowen and Andrea Vásquez, PSC President and First Vice President:

At the end of the day yesterday (February 10), we received a call from CUNY’s Offices of Labor Relations and Human Resources informing the union that the Chancellor had made the decision not to implement the equity raises agreed to in the contract for Assistants to HEO and Lecturers this spring. They conveyed the Chancellor’s and their own apologies for failing to inform us sooner.

The CUNY officials indicated that the raise would be paid eventually, but they gave no date. The union leadership has consistently bargained for increases for the lowest-paid titles in addition to the across-the-board raises, in order to narrow gaps in the salary scale and address inequities of race and gender.

CUNY’s decision to withhold the raises is a betrayal of the 1,295 Assistants to HEO, the 1,262 Lecturers, and every member of the PSC. It is also a blatant breach of our contract. Every member of the PSC is betrayed when management believes they can disregard the most basic part of our contract: our pay. The PSC leadership is speaking to the Chancellor today, and we will demand that the decision be reversed.

Dr. Jennifer Rosen from the Bureau of Immunization, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and her colleague Dr. Julian Watkins answered PSC members’ questions about the availability and the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines at two webinars this week. Members of the PSC Health and Safety Watchdogs committee also presented at the events organized by the PSC.

Rejecting Cuts Proposed by the Governor, Legislators Call for $1.47 Billion Investment in CUNY over Next Five Years

New York—Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblymember Karines Reyes joined the CUNY Rising Alliance and the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) today to announce the introduction of the New Deal for CUNY (ND4C) legislation. They were joined in their support by more than two dozen legislative supporters of the measure.

Gounardes and Reyes are the prime sponsors of the New Deal for CUNY bill, which restores free tuition and, over five years, establishes minimum staff-to-student ratios for mental health counselors, academic advisors and full-time faculty at CUNY while professionalizing compensation for adjunct faculty.

Demands Moratorium on Bursar’s Holds for Student Debt

New York—Faculty, students and union leaders were joined today by NYC Council Higher Education Chair Inez Barron at a press conference to demand that CUNY use the $455 million in new federal relief funds allocated to CUNY colleges to keep class sections open and allow students to enroll. CUNY colleges will receive more than $455 million under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), up to $337 million of which can be spent on institutional needs arising from the pandemic. These funds are on top of the $251 million CUNY received from the CARES Act earlier in 2020.

p>PSC members are invited to attend one of two town halls about COVID-19 vaccines scheduled for next Tuesday, February 9.

In-person higher education workers have access to the vaccine now, thanks to the work of our union and our partners at UUP and NYSUT. Even though the category is described officially as “instructors and faculty,” the PSC takes the position that all instructional staff working in person—that is, professional staff as well as faculty—are included. If you are working on campus for any period this semester, you are encouraged to seek an appointment for vaccination.

The PSC has negotiated two hours of paid leave time for all full-time CUNY employees who have a vaccination appointment, for a total of four hours per person, covering two doses of the vaccine. We are now pressing to expand that provision to include part-time faculty and staff. Read more.

All PSC-represented workers must have access to vaccination if they are required to work in person in the fall. The union is fighting to make that possible, and working to get you the information you need about the vaccine and how to get it.

To that end, we have invited Dr. Jennifer Rosen from the Bureau of Immunization, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to speak to members next Tuesday. Dr. Rosen will discuss the crisis facing the city and the mayor's plans for fighting the COVID-19 virus. She will answer your questions about the effectiveness and the availability of the vaccine. There are two scheduled sessions. These are Zoom webinars and preregistration is required.

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