• News

    Arrests made at rally to defend CUNY

    Forty-one people were arrested March 24 in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York City office during a protest over proposed cuts to CUNY. Those arrested included students, faculty, staff and Councilmembers Inez Barron and I. Daneek Miller. They participated in a die-in, a tactic used by protesters in which they lie down on the ground and act dead. New York Police Department officers warned the protesters to not block the sidewalk before arresting them. The protest, organized by the Professional Staff Congress, the union representing more than 25,000 professors and staff, happened just before the April 1 deadline for a new budget from lawmakers in Albany. Governor Cuomo, in…

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    Economist talks labor and capitalism at QC

    In the 1950s, Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta, a Catholic priest living in Mondragon, Spain, felt frustrated traditional businesses did not come to provide jobs for workers. In response, he recruited five workers to create a worker cooperative, or a business run only by workers. Sixty years later, the business, now called the Mondragon Corporation, employs over 70,000 employers and includes over 250 companies. It makes millions of dollars each year—and is still led by workers. This story was shared by Richard Wolff, an economist, who spoke about capitalism and alternatives to it at Kiely Hall 264 on March 21. “The problem in this society is that we don’t have an economic…

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    Voting for a strike isn’t easy

    Since late last year, thousands of professors and staff at CUNY needed to make a major decision that affects their jobs. The decision? Saying yes to a strike authorization vote. “The PSC has used every legal means at its disposal to achieve a fair contract, and we will do everything we can to reach a contract settlement without the need to strike. But six years without a raise, six years of erosion of competitiveness and conditions at CUNY, is intolerable—especially in one of the richest cities in the world,” Barbara Bowen, president of Professional Staff Congress, said. Union members in the PSC, which represents more than 25,000 faculty and staff, will…

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    Rally calls for investment in CUNY

    Students, professors, activists, religious organizations and labor groups rallied in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York City office March 10 to demand funding for CUNY. The rally featured the CUNY Rising Alliance that included over 20 organizations, including the Professional Staff Congress, which represents all professors and staff, and New York Public Interest Research Group, the largest student-activist group in the state. “We’re in a state of emergency,” Zakiyah Ansari, advocacy director of the Alliance for Quality Education, said. Earlier this year, Cuomo announced his Executive Budget that cut $485 million in funding for CUNY and passed it to the city. Many—including CUNY administrators—are concerned about these cuts affecting…

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    Adjuncts struggle without guarantees

    Jesse Rappaport is an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College and Baruch College. He teaches philosophy, a subject also he studies. “I didn’t have the passion for teaching, but it was something I pursued,” he said. However, Rappaport faced a major problem last year—going broke. Rappaport is one of many adjuncts in CUNY who are unable to make a living teaching because of low pay, excessive work and lack of support. In 1975, 11,300 full-time professors taught CUNY students. Now, less than 8,000 are employed, according to the CUNY Adjunct Project. The roles are now filled by adjuncts. An adjunct often works part-time. At CUNY, they cannot teach more than three…