PSC-CUNY Negotiations Rally to Demand a Contract from CUNY Admins and Fight Against the Budget Cuts.
November 4th, 4 p.m.
CUNY HEADQUATERS 205 East 42nd St., between 2nd and 3rd Aves.
The Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee stands in solidarity with the Professional Staff Congress, the union of CUNY faculty and staff, the only union of public employees in New York State without a contract and without a raise since 2009. On October 1st, the PSC, CUNY students and other city unions turned out in solidarity to delivered a 8 AM wake-up call at Chancellor James B. Milliken’s Upper East Side apartment. The protesters held signs and chanted “No contract, no peace,” “Education is a right! Fight! Fight! Fight!” and “Student, faculty, staff unite! Same Struggle, same fight!”
With this action the PSC put forward their campaign for a new CUNY contract to the Board of Trustee, the CUNY Chancellor and state officials up in Albany. These individuals and groups represent the interests of the capitalist ruling class that seeks to cut back on our education and lock out our community from the schools .
New York State government has continuously underfunded CUNY and back in 2011 the CUNY Board of Trustees implemented rational tuition increases that have annually raised the tuition in order to make up for NY State not providing adequate operational funds for the university. Among the services and programs most affected by these cuts are things such as the daycare in City College of New York (CCNY), as well as ethnic, women, queer studies departments.
The economic austerity agenda should be linked to national oppression suffered by Black and Latino students under the NY state government and CUNY Board of Trustees. Their actions have given rise to privatization and militarization of CUNY in order raise the prestige of the institution, which benefits the chancellor position while locking out oppressed nationalities and working class communities, despite more than half of CUNY undergraduates having family incomes of less than $30,000 a year. There has been reintroduction of ROTC and NYPD recruitment on CUNY campus. The Board of Trustees continue to invest in the private prison system, private detention centers, and checkpoint technology used abroad against oppressed nationalities such as the Palestinian under Israeli occupation. These changes in CUNY are an extension of the oppression in society faced by working and immigrant communities who are being displaced as result of gentrification and locked up as result of mass incarceration.
RSCC’s platform has been to liberate CUNY for the people of NYC. This can only be achieved through a revolutionary CUNY mass movement. This will take students, faculty, staff, and communities of NYC to be fully involved in the fight in order to achieve a liberated CUNY. Once CUNY is liberated it can be a base area for oppressed nationalities and working class communities to gain revolutionary consciousness and begin to organize in other sectors of society.
The PSC’s Campaigns for New CUNY Contract subtitle reads “A New Level of Resistance Starts Now.” This new level of resistance means fighting to fundamentally change the content of education and for community control of our schools. This is the way teacher and students can fulfill their roles within the class struggle. RSCC stands in solidarity with the PSC in their demand for a fair contract. We call all progressive and revolutionary students, youth, professors, staff and faculty members to come out to the PSC-CUNY Negotiations Rally on November 4th, 4 p.m., to demand a contract from CUNY admins and fight against the budget cuts.
The RSCC and the PSC have had political difference in the past on the question of Pathways and leveling the two-tier system that currently is in place in CUNY. However, we believe it is important that the faculty, students and the community of NYC stand together against the will of the CUNY administration and the NY State in order to achieve our collective objectives. We reach out to the PSC to not just fight for the contract that would include pay raises, among other things, but to fight for pay parity for adjuncts. The pay-raise rhetoric is also questionable, as is the starvation adjective: Full-Time faculty make a lot of money, including many in the $80K-to-$100K+ range; adjuncts, however, are lucky to make $20-$25K a year. Further, because the union refuses to bargain for a bottom-line salary for adjuncts ($7K per class), pay raises will actually exacerbate the pay inequality between adjuncts and full-time falculty.
Dare to Struggle, dare to win!
Liberate CUNY for the People!