Friday, March 15, 2019

PSC Contract Rally, Wake Up Call rally and/or the 11 AM City Hall Press Conference #7KContract, #CUNYContractNow, #FairPay4All, #7KCUNY and #FundOurFuture

Barbara Bowen rallying the troops!

photo and caption by © Erik McGregor 

Its been  a year that we’ve been  without a contract.
The PSC’s contract expired more than a year ago.

Mike Fabricant wrote members  of  the PSC last week:

You’ve canvassed and phone banked to help elect PSC candidates. You’ve lobbied, emailed and called legislators and council members about funding for CUNY and our contract. You’ve done your part—can you make time to do it again this week?
The state Senate and Assembly are in the final hours of formulating their one-house budget resolutions, the bills that set the table for the final state budget negotiations. The City’s preliminary budget is out and the Council has heard testimony from the University and the PSC. It is make-or-break time.”

The bargaining  team wrote noting:
We're telling Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio to fund competitive salaries for full-time faculty and staff and $7k per course for adjuncts, and We need you there!”
On Thursday, I’d spent all day at it.
All day all week, Occupy Wall  Street,
We used to chant.
It felt like that yesterday with actions literally all day, into  the night.


I rode of the Manhattan Bridge up to the governor’s office at 40th and Third Ave to show “management and the funders of CUNY that our union is united in its rejection of their zero-sum-game approach to our contract. Every CUNY worker must have raises and respect in this contract! Every worker deserves better teaching and working conditions. Near-poverty wages for adjuncts—for any member of our union—are unacceptable!”
Arriving at 633 Third Avenue, at 41st Street, members of the Rude Mechanical Orchestra were playing whose side are you on; organizers were carrying alarm clocks, and other noise makers, for the Wake Up Call from 8 to 9 AM.

These are moments to celebrate, greeting friends, screaming, laughing, taking pictures.

Scott and I talked about Stonewall and how much joy there out here fighting together.

“Education is a right, fight, fight, fight!”

“What do we want?
A contract!
When do we want it?

“Tax the rich,
Not the poor
Stop the War on CUNY!!!”

“Full time, part time, all unite,
Same struggle, same fight!”

Education is a public asset.
We need to support it.

Finishing the really, Nora and I rode back, the sun shining, through the city, downtown, back over the Manhattan Bridge, to City Tech.

Others gathered for coffee and pastries at the PSC union hall (61 Broadway, 16th floor).

11 AM

Back to Lower Manhattan I rode at 1045 for the press conference at City Hall, where

we delivered our message to the Mayor on the steps of City Hall.  

 Several other unions were there in solidarity,  pointing out
We’ve been there for them.
They are there for us.

Back at City Tech,
We held a T-Shirt Making Action
@ Faculty Lounge 6 FL (Namm).

·         Oppose austerity!
·         Action for a more fully funded CUNY!
·         Press Albany
·         Press NYC
·         Press CUNY
Bring a T-shirt to silkscreen.

Nora brought silk screens and designs from the Just Seeds Cooperative.
Founded by Josh MacPhee, this is a “worker-owned cooperative of thirty artists throughout North America. Justseeds members primarily produce handmade prints and publications which are distributed through their website and at conferences and events related to social and environmental movements.

Making t shirts, we chatted and talked about working conditions at the college.

No University as Factory, 
Our shirts declared.

All power to the imagination.

Don’t fetishize one tactic or another.

Be realistic, dream the impossible.

But be smart about it.

In between rallies, several of us talked about the topic of the “$7000of Strike” signs that several members carried at the rally.

My wife adjucts at  the school.
so we know the problems.

I was part of the Cal Faculty Association where we threatened to strike and got a huge raise.
so i love the power of the threat.

But given the Taylor Law, we are also in a position
where  striking is not manageable  without 100 percent solidarity.
and that is something we do not have.

How can we avoid what happened  to TWU if we strike?

I’m not sure we  could go more than a few  days.

Our full timers are not going to vote to lose two days pay for every
one day on strike.

Ain't going to happen.

But full time faculty don’t understand how hard it is, noted Nora.

Yet, we have to bridge the gap between full timers and part timers.

We have to sign up more part timers.

The conversation went on all  day.

We finished making T shirts at 2.
Several of us went back to teach or  to more meetings.

And reconvened for our 630 delegate assembly.

Another bike ride across the bridge. 
More conversation.

Everyone was feeling good about the action together.

Quorum came and went.

We debated.
Talked contract  negotiations.

Don’t raise the  dues for retirees.

A man took off his shirt in support $7000 of strike.
And a few of us met at the Blarney Stone to keep the conversation going well into the evening.

All day, all week,
Occupy Wall Street.

And I rode home, back  over the bridge to holy Brooklyn. 

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