• News

    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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    A union-led and union-read event

    Fifty people, including professors from different CUNY colleges, came together March 20 to read poetry and fiction at CUNY Writers Against Austerity at Cooper Union. The event, organized by Kimiko Hahn and Barbara Bowen, two Queens College professors, was made in response to proposed budget cuts by the state over the past few decades. Moreover, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed cutting state’s contributions to CUNY by $485 million. This led many in CUNY to pressure the state government to reverse its decision, which it did in late March. “One important aspect of this event is that it includes art and politics, which I think are inseparable in my mind.” Hahn said.…

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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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    Labor board to review CUNY contract talks

    CUNY submitted a petition to the state’s Public Employment Relations Board calling for a mediator after it could not reach a contract with the Professional Staff Congress. The PSC, the union representing more than 25,000 staff and professors, are in their sixth year of negotiations with administration for a new contract. The last contract expired Oct. 19, 2010. Since then, there were 27 meetings between CUNY and the PSC. Rita Rodin, a spokesperson for CUNY, said the PSC rejected the first offer made on Nov. 4. The union rejected it because of the low salary increase. “CUNY is offering a six-year contract with raises totaling six percent and other non-economic benefits,” she said. CUNY’s petition…

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    Union urge CUNY for new contract

    The Professional Staff Congress increased pressure on CUNY in past month for a new contract and intended to continue with its strategy. On Nov. 4, the PSC, the union representing more than 25,000 faculty and staff in CUNY, demonstrated in front of CUNY’s central office. Fifty-three members sat in front of the building’s door and, consequently, were arrested. However, CUNY gave its first offer to the union on the same day. The proposed contract, from 2010 to 2016, would increase total wages by six percent. PSC President Barbara Bowen rejected it and sent an email to members saying, if accepted, CUNY staff would earn the lowest salary increases among all…