January 29, 2016
By PSC President Barbara Bowen
New York, NY – “Having failed to make an economic offer to the union for five years, and having finally offered what amounts to a salary cut, The City University of New York has now claimed that contract negotiations are at an impasse. A declaration of impasse – if supported by the State Public Employment Relations Board – would result in the appointment of a mediator to resolve contract negotiations with the Professional Staff Congress.
“CUNY management failed to give the union any advance notice of their declaration of impasse, and we are studying the legal filing now. We will review CUNY's claim that contract negotiations have reached an impasse and will respond to the State Public Employment Relations Board when appropriate. Meanwhile, the union will continue to fight to reverse the State’s disinvestment in CUNY and its impact on the education of CUNY students. Governor Cuomo has included $240 million for resolving CUNY contracts in his proposed budget. CUNY should join the union in fighting to ensure that those funds are part of an overall increase in public investment in CUNY.
“If the CUNY administration had advocated more aggressively for public funding for CUNY rather than accommodating to scarcity, they would not be trying to create an impasse now. Instead, we waited five years for an economic offer. CUNY’s half-million students deserve a high-quality education. To ensure that, the University must complete a collective bargaining agreement that pays faculty and staff fairly for the important work we do and that makes CUNY competitive for the faculty and staff that CUNY students deserve.”