It is still difficult to believe CUNY professors and staff still work without a contract. It is harder to believe negotiations are still ongoing after nearly six years.
Since 2010, CUNY faculty have been without a contract. The union, specifically the Professional Staff Congress, assumed, even last year, a contract would happen, especially with the appointment of James Milliken as CUNY’s new chancellor. On the contrary, union members are frustrated at the lack of progress in talks and increasing the pressure for a contract.
Some of the blame falls to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is more obsessed with providing General Electric subsidies to move them to New York from Connecticut.
Journalist Sarah Jaffe said politicians are not our friends when describing Cuomo. It is appropriate to say Cuomo is no friend of the PSC.
Queens College President Felix Matos Rodriguez believed a contract would be reached soon in a recent email to all QC students and faculty.
“We are also optimistic about CUNY securing new contracts for our faculty and staff. Chancellor Milliken is giving high priority to this process, which is complicated by CUNY’s need to bring together state and city budgeting in order to secure the financial resources required for a new contract. I’m confident that in my September 2016 ‘Saludos’ both the contract and the fiscal tightness will be behind us,” Rodriguez wrote.
We wish we could share President Rodriguez’s optimism. Although, after five years of no contract, let alone a proposal from CUNY, it is hard to believe a deal with be reached.
Although, Rodriguez is right to point out budgeting is a major issue in obtaining a contract. Funding for CUNY is on the decline, no doubt influencing CUNY to be hesitant on a new deal.
The fact remains that our education is at risk without a contract for professors and staff. They are overworked and underfunded. They cannot fully focus on providing an education for us and a contract must be reached.
Governor Cuomo, Chancellor Milliken, the ball is in your court.