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Anne Friedman of BMCC is NYSUT’s higher education member of the year. The PSC vice president for community colleges, Anne is a member of the PSC negotiating committee and its faculty workload committee. Her drive to make CUNY a better place to learn and work dates back to before she joined the BMCC faculty in 1978. As an undergraduate at City College, she participated in the successful fight for an open admissions policy at CUNY. Anne received the award at NYSUT’s Representative Assembly. Watch the video they played to honor her.

AstroCom NYC was featured this week on WNYC. It’s an apprenticeship program at CUNY that provides scholarships and one-on-one mentoring to underrepresented students studying astronomy. Tim Paglione, a professor of astronomy at York College who heads up AstroCom NYC, is heard in the segment. So is BMCC student Ariel Diaz and astronomy professor and PSC union activist Saavik Ford. Listen here.

The PSC is proud to have supported Mayor de Blasio’s hard-fought UPK campaign, which won $300 million in State funding for all-day universal pre-K in New York City. It’s an investment that will set the next generation of NYC children on a path toward success, and a huge relief for the thousands of CUNY faculty and staff who are parents of young children. Like the PSC’s successful campaign to negotiate a permanent paid parental leave benefit for CUNY faculty and staff, UPK will give the union’s members the support they need to thrive at CUNY. But you have to register immediately!

If you live in New York City and your child is turning 4 years old in 2014, it’s time to think about applying to pre-kindergarten! The application deadline is Wednesday, April 23. Here’s a link to the enrollment page, and here’s the announcement from the Mayor’s office.

AdrienneWork.jpgAdrienne DeRoss, receptionist at the PSC since 1998, is retiring April 2nd. For the last sixteen years, it has been her welcoming voice and face that members hear and see when calling the PSC or first entering the union's offices.

As Adrienne put it:

I enjoyed this from day one. I like helping people. That's basically what you do at the front desk.

To hear more in Adrienne's own words, click the arrow below.

Getting action to fix decaying campuses

  • Is your office unbearably hot/cold? Can you tell it's raining without looking out the window (because you ceiling leaks)? Do you dread using the dirty bathrooms in your building?leaks)? Do you dread using the dirty bathrooms in your building?
  • If you're tired of working in buildings that are suffering from chronic neglect, this meeting is for you! Hear what other campuses are doing and most important--what works!
  • Bonus topic: Using Questionnaires/surveys to ACTIVATE Health and Safety Concerns

Time: 5:30-6 pm light supper; 6-8 meeting/brainstorming

Pleases rsvp to hswatchdogs@pscmail.org to ensure you get a sandwich!

New York—The Professional Staff Congress, the professors’ union at CUNY, praised the State Assembly Majority for supporting New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s universal pre-kindergarten initiative and his plan to pay for it. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced Monday that the Assembly’s budget resolution would allow New York City to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund universal pre-K and after-school programs.

Barbara Bowen, president of the union representing 25,000 faculty and staff at CUNY, said:

Friday, March 28th, 12 - 5:30 PM
PSC Union Hall, 61 Broadway, 16th Floor

The challenges junior faculty face can be both daunting and alienating. You do not have to face them alone. March 28 is an opportunity for junior
and senior faculty to come together and share ideas and experiences to help all faculty thrive at CUNY.

Workshops featuring department chairs and recently tenured faculty from a variety of disciplines will offer guidance on navigating the tenure process
and using the resources available at CUNY to support scholarship. Members of the PSC leadership and contract administration staff will be on
hand to answer questions on how the work of the union can shape and improve these experiences.

To sign up, or for more information, email Deirdre Brill at dbrill@pscmail.org.

The terrain is shifting on Pathways. The union’s sustained fight has begun to produce results. Two months ago, an arbitrator concluded that the union contract does cover faculty rights on curriculum, and ruled that the PSC’s grievance on Pathways must be heard. Two weeks ago, CUNY central administration announced the first significant changes to Pathways: the cap on course hours in the Common Core has been lifted, and some role is now being given to elected faculty bodies.

Now the New York City Council has convened a public hearing to gather testimony on Pathways: the hearing is next Tuesday, February 25, between 10:00 and 2:30. Don’t miss the chance to speak out about how Pathways has affected CUNY students; contact Sue DelGiorno (sdelgiorno@pscmail.org) at the PSC office for assistance in signing up to speak or send in testimony.

Legislators Reintroduce Albany’s Anti-academic Freedom Bill

Call Your Legislators!

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has introduced an amended version of a controversial bill that would outlaw the use of State funds to support any employee participation in groups conducting a boycott "in certain countries." The version of the bill that was pulled from consideration last week after a groundswell of pressure from faculty unions and civil libertarians would have denied all public funding to New York colleges and universities for even reimbursing part of a faculty members’ travel to a conference hosted by an organization that endorses such a boycott. The new bill (Assembly Bill 8392a) )does not threaten to eliminate State funding for colleges and universities, but it does prohibit the use of State funds to support employee participation in groups conducting such a boycott.

The Center for Constitutional Rights has promised to litigate if the bill was reintroduced, and faculty groups are again mobilizing to oppose it.

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