CUNY

DC 37, CUNY Reach a Tentative Contract Agreement (Updated)

June 10, 2016 // 4 Comments

City University of New York Chancellor James B. Milliken and Henry Garrido, the Executive Director of District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, and its affiliated locals, today announced that a tentative contract settlement has been reached on a collective bargaining agreement covering more than seven years. The proposed contract covers the period from November 1, 2009 through January 31, 2017 and provides 10.41% in compounded wage increases.  A $1,000 bonus upon ratification of the contract is also part of the terms of the agreement.  The agreement also includes an annual $200 increase to the welfare fund for all active and retired employees. The deal covers 12,000 members of Locals 2054, 384, 2627, 983, 1597, 1407, 375 and 1797 who work at the university’s 24 campuses citywide. The agreement, which is subject to approval by the CUNY Board of Trustees and ratification by the CUNY [More...]

Homeless

May 10, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Employed and homeless. This is not supposed to occur in the United States, the self-described richest country in the world. But put together a little bad luck, a low-wage job and years of frozen pay, and you have a recipe for falling down. Welcome to Deborah Mars’ world. She lives in a Bronx homeless shelter with her 15-year-old son, Kobie. They became homeless after a friend of Mars’ moved out of the apartment they shared to live on her own. A Custodian Assistant at City College of New York, Mars scratches by on her modest pay, which is less than $15 an hour. What’s more, she earns $150 less than she used to earn until 2011, when she started working during the day and lost her nighttime pay differential. Most of her pay is eaten up by transportation costs, daytime meals and the occasional dinner outside the shelter and school expenses, along with a storage [More...]

DC 37 Delivers Thousands of Signatures to Gov. Cuomo Calling for Full CUNY Funding

March 24, 2016 // 0 Comments

As state budget negotiations continue in Albany, District Council 37 leaders and activists today delivered to Gov. Cuomo’s New York City office the names of more than 5,000 City University supporters who have signed a petition urging state lawmakers to fully fund CUNY. The Governor’s January budget proposal called for shifting $485 million from the state to the city in funding obligations. “These signatures demonstrate the strong sentiment among New Yorkers to fully fund CUNY,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “For thousands of New Yorkers, CUNY’s quality, affordable higher education provides a path to upward mobility. Union officials also applauded a New York City Council resolution passed Tuesday, March 22nd which “calls upon the Governor and the State Legislature to increase State funding to the City University of New York and to reach a fair labor [More...]

Assembly and Senate at Odds over a Proposed $485 Million Cut at CUNY

March 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Albany legislators are divided over the state budget plan to cut $485 million in funding for the City University of New York and pass along that responsibility to New York City. On March 14, Senate Republicans approved a resolution that backs Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to shift one third of the state’s CUNY costs to the city. The change would end the state’s decades-long commitment to fully fund senior colleges. The Democratic-controlled state Assembly approved a resolution to restore the nearly half- billion dollar cut to the city’s university system. The Assembly resolution also demands a two-year freeze on tuition. The proposed executive budget increases tuition by $1,500 over the next five years—on top of annual tuition increases in the preceding five years. In a statement, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “The Assembly [More...]

Hundreds protest CUNY budget cuts and stalled contract talks

March 11, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Hundreds of CUNY workers, students and community activists turned out Thursday evening for a boisterous rally in front of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan office, where they demanded ample funding for the City of University of New York and new contracts for its employees. The protesters directed their ire at Cuomo, who seeks in his executive budget proposal to slash nearly $500 million from the state’s contribution to CUNY and impose that funding obligation on the city. Clad in green union T-shirts, DC 37 members expressed their frustration and anger at the failure of Cuomo and CUNY administration to agree to a new contract. The latest economic agreement expired in 2008, and the workers have gone seven years without a raise. CUNY has offered DC 37 workers a 6 percent pay increase over six years. In its counter-proposal, DC 37 called for a 14 percent wage increase [More...]

Rally for a new contract and decent funding at CUNY on March 10

March 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 will join community activists at a rally on March 10 to call for full funding and a fair contract for union members at the City University of New York. Please sign up TODAY for this important event. Protesters will gather at 5 p.m. outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan Office at 633 Third Ave. between 40th and 41st streets. Demonstrators will march from the governor’s office to the nearby Community Church of New York (40 East 35th St.), where the CUNY crisis and future action will be discussed. The rally is sponsored by the CUNY Rising Alliance, a coalition of community groups, civil rights organizations and non-profits. Currently, DC 37 is pressing the New York State Legislature to reject a $485 million cut in CUNY funding under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed executive budget. If approved, the plan would shift the responsibility for $485 [More...]

CUNY under attack

February 10, 2016 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a state budget that would essentially starve the City University of New York. He proposes to have the state slash nearly $500 million in state funding for CUNY. Even before the governor spelled out his proposal in early January, CUNY was struggling with reduced state funding and had been forced to drop courses, cut laboratory supplies, take money out of student services, raise tuition and slash spending on adjunct professors. The governor’s proposal comes on top of his December veto of a bill that would have provided millions of dollars from Albany to help CUNY recover from the deep cuts of the Great Recession that began in 2008. That bipartisan bill would have also covered retroactive pay for our 10,000 members at CUNY and the faculty. DC 37 members and members of the [More...]

DC 37 urges Albany legislators to restore CUNY budget cuts and fund new contracts

February 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE At a news conference at the state capitol in Albany on Feb. 8, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, along with other union leaders and state legislators, called on the state Legislature to increase funding for the City University of New York. “If you believe that higher education is a priority then you are going to have to fund it in the proper way,” said Garrido at the news conference. “We believe that is a priority for not only who we represent, but also for the people in our communities who otherwise have no other opportunities to advance themselves.” In his proposed budget, Gov. Andrew Cuomo shifts nearly $500 million in CUNY funding from the state to the city. DC 37 wants those funds restored in the budget in part because the cost shifting would impose in a new financial burden of the city. The union and other CUNY supporters also want to stop a $300 tuition [More...]

DC 37 demands full funding for CUNY

February 8, 2016 // 1 Comment

DC 37 members and leaders traveled to Albany today to call upon state legislators to provide full funding for the City University of New York. The union has also launched a petition drive asking signers to Tell Gov. Cuomo to Properly Fund CUNY. In January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his budget for 2016-17, which calls for shifting $485 million in funding for CUNY from the state to New York City, a change opposed by the union. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido is scheduled to testify in the late afternoon about CUNY funding before the Assembly and Senate higher education committees, the Assembly Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. The following is Garrido’s prepared testimony: Good afternoon.  My name is Henry Garrido.  I’m the Executive Director of District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO.  I represent 122,000 dedicated public employees including [More...]