News

Every year, the PSC partners with our statewide affiliate, NYSUT, and with student organizations like, NYPIRG and CUNY USS, to organize opportunities for PSC members to meet face-to-face with lawmakers in Albany and City Hall about the need to increase funding for CUNY, expand financial aid and pass legislation that supports the university community. Union leaders are often in contact with lawmakers, and the union produces a new batch of budget advocacy materials annually, but its rank-and-file members who make the difference. Elected officials need to hear from you about the challenges you face teaching and working at CUNY. Click here to download a save-the-date flier about grassroots lobbying opportunities both in Albany and here in NYC during February, March and April.

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A draft of the University Budget Request for FY 2015-2016 is posted here. In it CUNY requests a $135.7 million increase in total funding for senior colleges and a $68.5 million increase for community colleges. More than half of the new funding would come from tuition hikes; 29% would come in the form of new State Aid and 7% would be new City Support. Investments in new full-time faculty, online education, academic advising, and the Advanced Science Research Center are proposed in the budget request, along with extra funding for programs that promote student success.  

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Come show support for union members and officers who plan to testify about the CUNY Budget and its relation to PSC contract demands at a public hearing of the CUNY Board of Trustees on Monday, November 24 at 5:00 PM in Room 14-220 of the Baruch Vertical Campus (55 Lexington Ave.). At the hearing, the Trustees will receive testimony related to the University Budget Request for FY 2015-2016 and other items to be considered at the next Trustees Meeting. (Rules and preregistration requirements for the hearing are in the hearing and meeting notice.) Email PSC Organizing Director Deirdre Brill at dbrill@pscmail.org to let us know you’ll be there to show solidarity—or if you want to testify at the hearing.

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CUNY’s phased retirement pilot program is a negotiated benefit that allows Optional Retirement Program participants who meet eligibility requirements to elect a reduced workload and reduced salary for up to three years immediately preceding retirement. If you are considering retiring and are a member of the Optional Retirement Program, the deadline to file for phased retirement for academic year of 2015-16 has changed from October 1, 2014 to November 15, 2014. Details about the plan are available in the letter of agreement about the program. Click here for the faculty application and here for the staff application.

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Minimize Any Lapse in Coverage; Sign Up for Health Insurance Immediately!

Beginning Oct. 1, 2014, health insurance for all eligible CUNY adjuncts will be provided through the NYC Employee Health Benefits Program. As is the case with full-timers, the University Benefits Office is now responsible for enrolling eligible adjuncts in health insurance.

The deadline for eligible adjuncts now receiving health insurance through the PSC/CUNY Welfare Fund to enroll in CUNY’s new adjunct health insurance program without a lapse in coverage has passed. But eligible adjuncts can still sign up! And the sooner you sign up, the shorter the lapse will be. To enroll, visit your College Benefits Officer A.S.A.P.

Here is a link to the University Benefits Office website where forms and further information are posted. Select “Benefits at a Glance,” then select “Adjunct Staff (Teaching and Non-Teaching)”. Under Adjunct Staff, the enrollment packet is the third link.

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The PSC turned out in force on Sept 21 for the People’s Climate March. Hundreds of us joined the estimated 310,000 marchers to demand action from world leaders two days before a U.N. climate summit. In the comments, tell us who you marched for and/or why you marched.

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PSC members were some of the thousands of workers who marched this past Saturday in NYC’s 131st annual Labor Day parade. Here are photos of the PSC marchers. Click here for a larger photo gallery from the NYC Central Labor Council.

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This year’s Labor Goes to the Movies film series presents a group of films—documentary and fiction—that take the threat of apocalypse as their premise.

The Island President

The Island President (2011, US, Jon Shenk) documents the efforts of President Mohammed Nasheem of the Maldives, the lowest-lying country on the planet, to slow sea level rise by pushing for the implementation of global CO2 emissions limits. Shot mostly in 2009 and released in 2012, the film highlights the events in Copenhagen during the U.N. climate summit, with footage shot both inside the negotiations and outside in the streets. The film offers an important look at a largely unknown island nation experiencing the mortal threat of inundation consequent to global warming.

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Please join your PSC sisters and brothers and their families at the Labor Day Parade on Saturday, September 6. PSC will gather on West 47th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues at 12:30pm.

This year’s Labor Day theme is “One City, Five Boroughs, All Workers”. Across the country and in New York City, as we negotiate our contract with CUNY, workers face wage cuts, furloughs, and reduced benefits and pensions. Public employees continue to be demonized, and the very right of unions to organize is repeatedly challenged. For these reasons, join other union members from around the region as we march to demonstrate solidarity and strength.

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For the Fall 2014 semester, teaching adjuncts are scheduled to be paid on eight successive pay dates. At the senior colleges, the first pay date will be Sept. 18 and the last pay date will be Dec. 24. At most community colleges, the first pay date will be Sept. 12 and the last pay date will be Dec. 19. Kingsborough CC, LaGuardia CC and Guttman CC operate on a different academic calendar. Click "read more" for all the dates.

Failure to pay adjunct faculty on time at the start of a semester has often been a problem at CUNY. Last year more than a third of the Queens College's 1,000 adjuncts got no paycheck in the first Fall pay period.

CUNY has circulated a list of “best practices” to ensure timely adjunct paychecks. The list includes a measure that had been urged by the PSC: designating a specific staff member to track adjunct appointments “before and during the beginning of a semester.” Read more in this May 2014 Clarion article.

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