News & Events
We hope your summer is off to a terrific start. The PSC has been working on a number of fronts, and we’re writing to update you on safety in reopening the campuses and on our delayed 2% raise.
On Wednesday, July 14, the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) voted to sign a contract with the NYC Office of Labor Relations (OLR) to move city retirees, including CUNY retirees, from traditional Medicare with supplemental city insurance to administration by a for-profit Medicare Advantage group plan. Click here for more information.
New York, NY – Only days after announcing the proposed contract, the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) is poised to vote on a measure announced in conjunction with the NYC Office of Labor Relations (OLR) to move more than 250,000 municipal retirees from a traditional Medicare plan administered by the Federal government to a Medicare Advantage plan managed by private companies. The Professional Staff Congress - representing 30,000 faculty and staff at CUNY - urged the MLC to delay the vote scheduled for July 14 and issued the following statement from James Davis, President:
“Our members are deeply troubled by the MLC’s rush to vote on this proposal. Five days is not enough time to consult on such a consequential decision. Although the MLC agreed to work with the City on healthcare savings measures in 2015 and 2018, this vote to seek savings through the retiree medical plan comes at a time when the City can well afford to pursue alternatives. This austerity measure opens the door to further cost-cutting and diminished benefits in future contracts.
We've concluded another year of fighting for a fair and equitable city budget. Thank you to all those who played an important role in advocating on behalf of our union and our students. The City budget for CUNY for Fiscal Year 2022 includes critically needed improvements over the Executive Budget: the Mayor’s $10 million cut to ASAP was eliminated, $6.5 million was allocated for a job training and placement program that will benefit 1,000 CUNY students, and $4 million was set aside for scholarships for Black and low-income CUNY students. Additionally, the Council restored cuts from Fiscal Year 2021 by allocating $1.7 million for remediation programs, $875,000 for food insecurity programs and $600,000 for childcare (an increase from $510,000). The Council also funded other important initiatives, including $4.5 million for CUNY research institutes and $1.5 million for the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. We thank the City Council for funding these programs and congratulate the student and community allies, candidates for City office, and council members who campaigned with the PSC for them. But these programmatic victories are only part of the story.
Unfortunately, the city budget also reduces CUNY's general operating allocation by $67 million, leaving the university to backfill the cut with federal stimulus money. However, the Financial Plan indicates that this cut will not become permanent, and that the city will recommit the $67 million in Fiscal Year 2023.
The enacted City budget for CUNY for Fiscal Year 2022 includes critically needed improvements over the Executive Budget: the Mayor’s $10 million cut to ASAP was eliminated, $6.5 million was allocated for a job training and placement program that will benefit 1,000 CUNY students, and $4 million was set aside for scholarships for Black and low-income CUNY students. Additionally, the Council restored cuts from Fiscal Year 2021 by allocating $1.7 million for remediation programs, $875,000 for food insecurity programs and $600,000 for childcare (an increase from $510,000). The Council also funded other important initiatives, including $4.5 million for CUNY research institutes and $1.5 million for the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. We thank the City Council for funding these programs and congratulate the student and community allies, candidates for City office and council members who campaigned with the PSC for them. But these programmatic victories are only part of the story.
The budget reduces CUNY’s allocation by $67 million, leaving the University to backfill the cut with Federal stimulus money in FY 2022. Advocacy by the PSC, our coalition partners and allies in City government helped secure a provision in the budget that prevents this cut from becoming permanent. But it still represents a one-year loss of sorely needed revenue.
$67M Cuts To Tutoring, Child Care, Food Insecurity and Advisement Services
New York - Today, the CUNY Rising Alliance — composed of groups representing tens of thousands of City University of New York faculty and staff, students, and community members — rallied against $67 million in cuts to City funding for CUNY. Attendees at the rally including City Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Assemblymember Kenny Burgos, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams voiced their opposition saying the Mayor’s cuts would cut funding for remediation services and child care to students, for tutoring and service corps, and for food insecurity programs.
I hope you are doing well and able to stay cool during this severe heat wave. I’m writing to let you know where we stand right now regarding the Remote Work Agreement.
I’m glad to report that in most cases members are successfully making agreements with their supervisors to work remotely for a portion of their work time. It’s terrific that in these cases the form has allowed us to make these agreements while also protecting our rights and benefits. Additionally, members are successfully requesting ADA, medical and “general” accommodations when they need them. It is important to understand that these are separate and unrelated requests. The ADA, medical and “general” accommodation is for any remote work made necessary by a disability or health/family-related issue. The Remote Work Agreement is for any remote work that is unrelated to a medical or general accommodation or a disability.
This summer, PSC leaders and members are organizing to ensure a safe, gradual reopening of campus facilities. It is CUNY’s job to provide a safe workplace and it is the union’s job to hold CUNY accountable. Over the past several months, we have developed our capacity to do just that, negotiating pre-occupancy walkthroughs and a remote work agreement, training our colleagues, and formulating safety standards in consultation with experts among our members. This is a key moment for all of us to engage with the union’s safe reopening campaign at your college. Only when we feel secure about our working conditions can we get back to meeting the needs of our amazing students in person.
June 14, 2021
At its June 10 meeting, the PSC-CUNY Delegate Assembly approved a “Resolution in Support of the Palestinian People.”
CUNY faculty and staff have deeply felt convictions on all sides of this issue. The PSC has a long history of socially engaged unionism, staking out positions and struggling over issues from civil rights, to open admissions, to U.S. militarism, to universal healthcare, to over-policing in New York. We are engaged in the communities CUNY serves, and we seek to elevate progressive movements nationally and internationally. The Delegate Assembly resolution is a statement of solidarity with Palestinians. Specifically, it is a commitment to engage in conversations this Fall, member to member, about what kind of actions to take as a union, including whether to support the international call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Israel. The process of considering does not presuppose a particular outcome. But the premise is to engage colleagues about how best to exert the PSC’s influence within the labor movement on U.S. military support for Israel. The PSC will continue to challenge racism in all forms, including anti-Semitism, which we do not equate with criticism of Israeli state policy.
June 7, 2021
In the last week of May, Chancellor Matos reminded CUNY college presidents about a “flexible goal” that he was “encouraging” them to attain: that 60% of Fall 2021 course offerings at each college be listed as either in person or hybrid, and 40% listed as remote. “I think this goal is even more important now,” he continued, “given the recent announcement by the DOE that all NYC K-12 classes will be in-person next semester, the Governor’s announcement of mandatory vaccination for in-person classes at SUNY and CUNY, and the daily news about more institutions, businesses and agencies returning to ‘normal.’” The Chancellor also indicated that he had received “hundreds of emails from students” requesting more in-person classes.