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SUNDAY, JULY 24, 2016


PSC marching 500-strong in Peoples Climate March, September 21, 2014.

The CUNY Board of Trustees amended its calendar for the Board meeting on Monday, June 27, adding a note indicating that the proposed Freedom of Expression and Expressive Conduct policy will be considered at a later time. The note on the calendar read:

“It was clear from testimony at the public hearing on June 20, 2016, and other communications that there are questions and concerns about the proposed policy. The Chairperson and the Chancellor have determined that there should be additional consultation and discussion. Accordingly, this item is included on the calendar solely for informational purposes. A proposed policy will be considered by the Board of Trustees at a later time, following additional consultation and discussion.”

PSC President Barbara Bowen was one of many CUNY professors and students who testified against the proposed policy at a public hearing this past Monday. (Audio of the hearing is posted here.) President Bowen reaffirmed the PSC’s position against policies that limit speech, saying:

“Such a policy seems especially dangerous in a university whose students are already often silenced and marginalized by poverty and racism. And it is a poor response to a faculty and staff that was forced to organize for a strike authorization vote.”

President Bowen closed her testimony by demanding that CUNY bargain over this policy, as it directly affects a term and condition of employment in that it refers to the contractual procedures on discipline.

Governor Cuomo recently signed into law a bill that allows honorably discharged military service personnel the opportunity to purchase up to three years of credit toward their New York City or New York State public pensions. Previously, New York state law only allowed former military members the chance to buy back pension credit if they fought in certain major military conflicts such as WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Read about it in the Daily News. NYC Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) members wanting to take advantage of this opportunity should contact TRS at 888-869-2877.

Barbara Bowen, President, Professional Staff Congress/CUNY

The Professional Staff Congress congratulates William C. Thompson on the approval of his nomination by The New York State Senate Higher Education Committee as Chair of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York. We also congratulate the other five CUNY trustees whose appointments were also approved: Fernando Ferrer, Mayra Linares-Garcia, Robert Mujica, Ken Sunshine, and Sandra Wilkin.

We commend Governor Cuomo on the decision to appoint a chairperson with a distinguished record of service in the public sector and a deep knowledge of New York’s working-class communities. The governor has put forward a group of trustees who have pledged to advocate vigorously for CUNY and are poised to make important contributions. We look forward to their efforts in defense of CUNY’s beautiful founding mission: to educate ‘the children of the people, the children of the whole people.’

PSC leaders were in Albany Wednesday, June 8 standing alongside Senate Higher Education Chair Kenneth LaValle and Assembly Higher Education Chair Deborah Glick to call for passage of a true Maintenance of Effort (MOE) for CUNY and SUNY before the end of the legislative session on June 16. The 2016-17 Enacted State Budget held CUNY tuition flat for one year but it failed to fund the tuition freeze or address the MOE provision that PSC members fought hard for. Even the inadequate MOE provisions of SUNY 2020, which led to a decline in per-student funding because they didn’t cover increasing operating costs, are set to expire at the end of June. Without any MOE language, our four-year SUNY and CUNY campuses face further state funding reductions in next year's state budget. A strong MOE is needed to ensure that state funding is provided to cover operating costs such as rent, energy, fringe benefits and salary step increases. The news conference is being sponsored by PSC, UUP, NYSUT and NYPIRG.
The event was covered by the Times Union's Capitol Confidential blog and by Capitol Tonight's State of Politics.

Do your part to help pass the MOE by sending this letter to your legislators in Albany.

The 84th convention of the American Federation of Teachers will be held July 18-21, 2016 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN. PSC is sending a delegation to the biennial AFT convention, which is the most important policymaking body of the federation. Important resolutions, constitution and bylaws amendments, as well as the election of the AFT president, secretary-treasurer, executive vice president and 43 vice presidents, will be in the hands of the delegates.

Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations will host the 41st UALE Northeast Summer School for Women in Unions and Worker Organizations in the summer of 2016. The summer school will be held at the Labor Education Center. One of the most valuable aspects of the summer schools is the opportunity to meet and network with other union women from around the region and beyond.