• News

    PSC and Local organizations fight for Free Tuition at CUNY

    Members of CUNY’s union, the Professional Staff Congress and local officials are attempting to make CUNY tuition-free again. When CUNY was established in 1847, tuition did not exist. Matriculated students were able to attend the university for free and non-matriculated students paid a small fee to attend night classes. This changed in 1976 after a financial crisis and a shift in the funding of the university. PSC communications coordinator Fran Clark believes that the current progression of tuition hikes is what launched one of the biggest talking points of this year’s presidential election. “In the last 10-15 years or so, the dramatic increase in the cost of education and the…

  • News

    Strike authorization vote to begin

    While CUNY students prepare for their finals, professors and staff have an assignment of their own—a vote to authorize use of a strike. The Professional Staff Congress, the union representing more than 25,000 professors and staff at CUNY, notified their members that a vote for a strike authorization will begin from May 2 to 11. The union’s vote is a response to the lack of a contract for employees since 2010. In a message to members, PSC President Barbara Bowen noted the vote does not mean the union will go on strike. But, she explained it would show CUNY it is prepared to get a contract. “Think about what just…

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    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…

  • News

    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…

  • News

    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…