• 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

    QC’s budget shortfall reflects larger funding issues

    Queens College President Felix Matos Rodriguez, in his March Saludos address over email, said the college faced a budget shortfall of nearly $1 million. “As we did at the start of the Fall 2015 semester, we have made cuts in operating budgets, slowed the pace of hiring, left some vacancies open, stepped up our efforts to increase other revenue and used soft funds to cover budget gaps,” Rodriguez wrote in the email. The shortfall was because the college did not meet its revenue goals for spring and retroactive pay for skilled trade employees at CUNY after 2008. At the same time, enrollment is increasing at QC. Moreover, Governor Andrew Cuomo…

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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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    CUNY takes a backseat to city and state power struggle

    Earlier this year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed executive budget included shifting nearly $500 million for CUNY from the state to the city. While the lawmakers in Albany must decide on a new budget later this year, New York City did not account for the change in the proposed budget. In fact, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was informed about the change the night before Governor Cuomo unveiled his budget. Cuomo and de Blasio are often seen as rivals despite being Democrats. The two disagree about issues like housing, funding for city programs and other policies. CUNY is now a major issue between the city and state…

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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…