Using Ranked Choice Voting, Union Ranks Dianne Morales #2 for Mayor Last night (April 15), the 30,000-member Professional Staff Congress (PSC) announced that Scott Stringer is its top choice for New York City Mayor after a ranked-choice endorsement vote by the union’s Delegate Assembly. The faculty and staff union pointed to Stringer’s advocacy for a free and fully funded CUNY education and his record of support for workers’ rights and progressive causes. Coming days after the current Comptroller was endorsed by the Working Families Party, the PSC endorsement shows growing momentum for Stringer’s campaign and a further consolidation of support for progressive mayoral candidates PSC delegates voted to support public education leader and non-profit administrator Dianne Morales as their second-ranked candidate. Read more.
News & Events
When the priority categories for access to COVID vaccines were expanded last month to include “educators,” the PSC took the lead in pushing for inclusion of higher education faculty and staff working on campus in “phase 1B.” Together with the union’s statewide affiliate, NYSUT, and counterpart union at SUNY, we succeeded in getting explicit inclusion of higher ed employees working in person. 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.
The PSC has also won agreement by CUNY management to provide 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.
Governor Cuomo released his Executive Budget proposal last week along with two plans to close the State’s $15 billion deficit. (Video of his presentation and news release.) The first plan assumes a $6 billion infusion of stimulus funding from Washington and closes the remaining gap with a combination of 5% across-the-board budget cuts and revenue raisers, notably a temporary, refundable tax rate increase for extremely high earners, mobile sports gambling and marijuana legalization. The second plan would close the entire deficit with federal stimulus money.
But even with the full $15 billion from the federal government, Cuomo’s budget would simply return CUNY funding to the disastrous level of previous years, complete with the TAP Gap, tuition increases and a shortage of full-time lines.
The PSC Delegate Assembly has voted to make Jumaane Williams the PSC's first endorsement of the 2021 NYC elections.
Join the party to make one on one phone calls to fellow union members to discuss work issues and assess readiness to take action (including strike readiness). We will have music and games and prizes for the team that makes the most phone calls
Midwinter Phone Bank Party January 27, 5-7 p.m.
PSC today demanded that the CUNY Administration 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) passed on December 21, 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.
The PSC is demanding that the University provide complete transparency about its spending of federal funds; that it use federal funds to maintain classes for students; that it temporarily relax course enrollment minimums, and that it immediately institute a moratorium on Bursar’s holds, temporary holds on re-enrollment caused by debt of as little as $100.
The PSC’s statewide affiliate, NYSUT, has asked members from across the state to indicate their legislative priorities for 2021 on this page of the Member Action Center (MAC). Registering your personal priorities is a way to highlight them for the statewide union, which represents 600,000 workers. (Access and affordability at CUNY and SUNY is second on the list of options. Restoring cuts to CUNY and SUNY is also one of the options.) While you’re at it, consider signing up for text message alerts or download the MAC app to receive action alerts about NYSUT’s latest legislative campaigns. PSC priorities are often prominent among the actions available on the MAC.
Friday, January 15, 2021
NY’s 1B Classification Includes ‘In-person College Instructors,’ but Fails to Name Explicitly In-Person Staff Who Are At Risk of COVID Exposure
Dear PSC Members,
I have a few short updates on availability of COVID vaccines, and I will keep sharing information as we receive it.
Thank you for the many kind responses the union has received to my previous messages about the vaccine. We are trying to answer individual questions as well as we can, but the information from Albany changes every day.
- Professional Staff: The PSC leadership, together with our statewide affiliate, continues to press the governor’s office for a clear, official statement that “in-person college instructors” includes professional staff. The presentation given by the Governor’s Office last night listed “In-Person College Faculty and Instructors” as included in Phase 1B. The Governor’s Office reports that they are working on a clarification.
- Professional staff who are required to work in person who want to receive the vaccine may want to sign up now to request an appointment so that your appointment is in place by the time your eligibility is confirmed. Several college Human Resources Offices have also informed faculty and staff that they are working on providing further information to employees requesting proof of on-campus work, should such proof be requested.
- Eligibility Expanded Today: New Yorkers 65 and Over + Immunocompromised: Governor Cuomo announced this morning that New Yorkers age 65 and over are now eligible to receive the vaccine, as a result of new federal guidance. New guidance from the federal government also indicates that immunocompromised New Yorkers should also be eligible now, though as of this morning the State was still working to define “immunocompromised” for these purposes and to develop a plan for distribution to these New Yorkers. The state is still receiving only 300,000 doses of vaccine per week. Several PSC members eligible because of age have successfully scheduled appointments, but it may take some time to find an appointment; start by signing up here.