CUNY union holds ‘Shout Out’ for a strong contract

New York City, Dec. 2. credit: Paul Frangipane

New York City

The Professional Staff Congress (American Federation of Teachers Local 2334) represents 30,000 full and part-time faculty and staff at the City University of New York and its Research Foundation. Its contract with CUNY expired 10 months ago, but a wrinkle in New York’s Taylor Law keeps the provisions of the expired contract in force.

The Taylor Law also prohibits strikes and job actions.

Since CUNY is jointly funded by New York state and New York City — an unusual arrangement in the United States — the PSC’s protests target both. On Dec. 2, over 1,000 PSC members, plus CUNY students and members of other unions representing CUNY workers, including mechanics and plumbers, showed up at Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office in midtown Manhattan.

It was not just a picket line. The workers held a “Sing Out, Shout Out!” action to advocate “For real raises! For better benefits! For Job Security! For pay equity! For remote work opportunities! For promotional opportunities!”

The Sing Out had the old union standards like “Solidarity Forever” and “Which Side Are You On?” but also “Union Made For CUNY” — a lyrical adaptation of a Woody Guthrie tune — and other topical songs. In addition to the above demands, the union pushed for free tuition, better counseling, more full-time faculty and staff, and fixing CUNY’s crumbling buildings.

Performers included: New York City Labor Chorus, Radical Evolution, PSC First Vice President Andrea Vásquez, Local 802 American Federation of Musicians House Band and the Rude Mechanical Orchestra.

The PSC has defended faculty members who publicly supported the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and Palestine, but unfortunately, other than a few handmade signs, the issue wasn’t visible at the contract protest.

During the week of Dec. 5, the PSC is projecting tabling and leafleting throughout the city to build popular support for CUNY and its unions.


G. Dunkel

Published by
G. Dunkel

Recent Posts

Palestinian resistance pays tribute to martyr, Aaron Bushnell

The following statements appeared on Resistance News Network on Feb. 26, 2024. Hamas We, in…

February 26, 2024

Politicians attack harm reduction programs

It’s 2024 and people are still buying into anti-addict, anti-houseless politics in the age of…

February 26, 2024

Philadelphia: High school students walk out for Palestine

Philadelphia Over 150 youth from Philadelphia high schools walked out of classes on Feb. 23…

February 26, 2024

Texas plans another legal lynching: Save the life of Ivan Cantu!

Houston When speaking about prisons and the death penalty, many activists and leaders have said,…

February 26, 2024

Buffalo police kill a Black man – yet again

On Saturday morning, on Buffalo's East Side, police shot and killed a Black man –…

February 26, 2024

No slam dunk for 76ers arena

Philadelphia When the billionaires who own the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team made their announcement on…

February 24, 2024