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In memoriam: Ezra Seltzer

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Ezra Seltzer, a longtime PSC activist and leader of CUNY’s college laboratory technicians, died on February 28, 2016.

A major spokesman for improving the status and promotional opportunities of CLTs, Seltzer consistently asserted their professionalism. He often said that the PSC was a successful union because it represented all faculty and academic staff at CUNY in equal measure. He expected all members and leaders of PSC to support the rights and needs of CLTs, and, reciprocally, CLTs were to be strong advocates of the agenda of other faculty and staff.

Starting in the 1960s and continuing until his death, Seltzer was involved with the leadership of faculty and staff in CUNY, relentlessly arguing for a union built on the unity of all its members. His influence within the PSC was based not only on advocacy, but on action year after year in support of this principle. He was part of the Legislative Conference, one of the predecessor organizations of the PSC.

A CLT Leader

After the merger of the Legislative Conference and the United Federation of College Teachers in 1972 to create the PSC, Seltzer worked closely with Harold Wilson, the leader of the CLT Chapter. In the 1980s, when Wilson retired, Seltzer was elected chair of the CLT Chapter, and he led the chapter for over a decade. On retiring, Seltzer became active in the leadership of the Retirees Chapter, continuing an unbroken period of service and leadership that spanned more than 50 years.