In a new ad titled “Model,” CUNY’s teacher union takes aim at the governor once again regarding their contract situation.
Officials at Professional Staff Congress, the union that represents City University of New York’s faculty and staff, said that they are being denied a fair contract in radio ads airing 260 times in New York City and in the capital district. In the “Model” ad, praise of a CUNY program from President Barack Obama is contrasted with the knowledge of CUNY faculty and staff still not having a new agreement.
“After President Obama announced plans to make higher education accessible for all, he described one program—in the entire country—to show how successful community college could be,” states the ad’s narrator. “That program was at CUNY, the City University of New York. Yet the professors and advisers who make CUNY great are being denied a fair contract. They’ve worked five years without a raise and are paid significantly less than faculty members at comparable universities.”
The narrator continued, “Many may have to consider leaving CUNY just to support their families.”
When Obama announced his America’s College Promise initiative to provide free community college education to Americans, he referenced CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs and called it one of the best examples of a community college success story.
“I’m sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college … to zero,” Obama says in the ad.
Barbara Bowen, president of the PSC-CUNY, said a new, fair contract would ensure that the positive stories from ASAP would continue.
“CUNY’s remarkable success with the ASAP program is worthy of the recognition it has received from the president and many others,” said Bowen in a statement. “ASAP works because it involves more public investment per student and better working conditions for faculty and advisers.
“New Yorkers need to know, however, that CUNY’s success can’t be sustained without a fair contract. We need a contract that allows us to serve our students, continue our research and support our own families.”
The 27,000-member union says that the low, uncompetitive salaries have undermined their own recruitment of new faculty.
“Like President Obama, we believe in CUNY,” Bowen says in the ad. “It’s time for Albany to believe too.”