News

Student and faculty leaders gathered at sites throughout the state on Wednesday, July 22 to stress the importance of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s signing “Maintenance of Effort” (M.O.E.) legislation that would improve the quality of public higher education in New York. At Baruch College, CUNY students were joined by their professors, labor leaders, and Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, the Assembly sponsor of the bill, which passed with bipartisan, near-unanimous support.

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HappyBirthdayMedicare.JPGHappy birthday Medicare and Medicaid!

On Wednesday, July 30th, hundreds of events across the United States celebrated the 50th birthday of Medicare and Medicaid. In New York, a diverse crowd cutting across generations, communities, labor organizations, race and gender, packed the PSC Union Hall to salute the historic legislation passed in July 1965 as the Title XVIII (Medicare) and Title XIX (Medicaid) Amendments to the original 1935 Social Security Act.

Speaker after speaker, not only talked about the urgency of defending these programs, both under attack, but expanding them until all Americans are guaranteed affordable, public healthcare. Medicare and Medicaid already cover 125 million Americans and a recent poll found that an extraordinary rate of satisfaction, 95%, among Medicare users.

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For the Fall 2015 semester, teaching adjuncts are scheduled to be paid on eight successive pay dates. At the senior colleges, the first pay date will be Sept. 17 and the last pay date will be Dec. 24. At most community colleges, the first pay date will be Sept. 11 and the last pay date will be Dec. 18. Kingsborough CC, LaGuardia CC and Guttman CC have different pay dates because they operate on a different academic calendar. The dates are posted here on the PSC website.

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The RF Board voted to approve the contract extension on Monday, July 13 following your ratification vote. The members had previously voted to ratify the agreement by 102 in favor, 3 opposed and 1 blank vote. This means that you will continue to receive a minimum 2% raise in each of the next three years, and you will see the increase in your August 5 paycheck (retroactive to June 1, 2015).

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Governor Andrew Cuomo has convened a three-person Wage Board to decide on a pay raise for hundreds of thousands of fast-food workers across New York State. Fast-food workers and supporters will rally to urge the Board to raise the wage all the way to $15. Governor Cuomo plans to be there. PSC members do, too. Join us. Here is a flier.

This move by the governor, who has proposed a minimum wage of $11.50 in NYC ($10.50 elsewhere), is happening because fast-food workers and unions throughout the state have organized and struck and campaigned relentlessly for $15 an hour and the right to form a union. Governor Cuomo has not yet called for a $15 per hour wage, the wage fast-food workers need to support themselves and their families, but the Wage Board has the power to make it so. What happens next is up to all of us.

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Teaching adjuncts: know your rights about reappointment and Unemployment Insurance during the summer.

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Help Strengthen NYC’s Rent Laws

Two decades of weak rent laws have led to the loss of 250,000 rent-regulated apartments in NYC, and New Yorkers are facing an affordable housing crisis that is pushing too many of us out of our neighborhoods. CUNY faculty and staff who have gone five years without at a contractual raise are struggling to stay in their homes. Labor unions, community organizations, and NYC Democrats in the Legislature are pushing to extend and strengthen New York’s rent laws still covering more than one million homes before they expire on June 15. Together, we’re taking the fight to Albany for the #TenantTakeOver lobby day on Tuesday, June 9. PSC members will be there; to get a seat on the bus, fill out this web form. Saving these homes and keeping them affordable is a real way to help mitigate New York’s rising cost of living and protect the value of CUNY salaries. It’s time for our legislators to stand with tenants, not greedy landlords. Take the bus to Albany, and send our politicians a strong message. Click here to RSVP for a bus.

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On Tuesday, May 12, the PSC Elections Committee met to certify the results of the union’s spring 2015 elections for the PSC’s principal officer positions of President, First Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer; for Vice Presidents for Senior Colleges, Community Colleges, Part-Time Personnel and Cross-Campus Units; and for the other 19 positions on the PSC Executive Council. PSC members also elected delegates to the AFT, NYSUT and AAUP this spring. The term of office for the elected union leaders begins on Wednesday, May 27. The election was uncontested. All the elected candidates ran on the New Caucus slate.

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In lieu of the PSC annual theater party sponsored by the Retirees Chapter and the Women’s Committees, the PSC has secured a 10% discount for tickets to Working Theater productions. For online tickets to individual performances, use the discount code "PSC." The Working Theater is also hosting a festival, 5 Boroughs/One City, May 6-10 with performances of different works in every borough. All access passes for the 5 Boroughs/One City performances are also eligible for the PSC discount, but they must be purchased at the box office.

Visit The Working Theater website to learn more.

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PSC Resolutions Passed by the 2015 NYSUT Representative Assembly
Michael Fabricant, treasurer of the PSC, introduced a special order of business at the NYSUT Representative Assembly, calling for peace and justice across the nation, and answers in the death of Freddie Gray. The NYSUT delegates unanimously passed the order calling for systemic solutions to the fundamental issues of poverty, racism and a lack of investment in education. It was one of six resolutions sponsored by the PSC, which were passed by the Representative Assembly. The following resolutions are now also the endorsed positions of the 600-thousand-member statewide union, NYSUT:

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