Vol. 22, No. 1 April 1, 2004
IT'S TIME FOR
A REGIME CHANGE IN THE PSC LEADERSHIP
Elected by only 26% of the membership in a recently uncontested election where almost 70% of the PSC membership chose to throw away the ballots rather than vote, Barbara Bowen and Steven London, President and Vice President of the PSC, have shown such contempt for full-time PSC members that a revolt of extraordinary magnitude is about to erupt on each and every campus. From senior professors to College Lab Technicians, all full-time members of the Union are angry and frustrated that their welfare and other benefits are rapidly disappearing. Although their membership dues were increased substantially, the salary increases they received in the last contract were miniscule, to say the least. They are desperate to get rid of the current central PSC leadership, for this leadership has abandoned the very essence of what unions are supposed to do for their members.
The Editor of the Patriot retired in February of last year. However, due to a large volume of e-mails and voice mails appealing for the return of the Patriot, an electronic version has been prepared and sent to your mailbox. As in the past, the thrust of the Patriot will be to disclose the atrocities being committed against full-time CUNY instructional staff by the gang headed by Babbling Barb, Foggy London, Stanley Aronowitz and others - people who do not understand that the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist techniques of the early twentieth century did not succeed. CUNY faculty are extremely well educated and sophisticated, and will not be sucked into this nonsense. It will also attempt to expose highly questionable areas of expenditure by your union - expenditure of your hard-earned money, much of which you pay in the form of dues.
HOW DOES YOUR RADICAL PSC LEADERSHIP SPEND YOUR MONEY?
Logically, a large portion of your dues should be expended for contract negotiations, contract implementation and processing of grievances. However, to the best of our knowledge, a very substantial amount of your union dues is spent for the following:
1) Participation in demonstrations and protest marches: Innumerable refreshments, t-shirts, signs, catered hot breakfasts, use of PSC office space, telephones, faxes and personnel. Many of these events, paid for by your money, were, to say the least, questionable as to whether they represented the beliefs of the majority of faculty. For instance: Money was spent on the following "causes": "Defend Democracy for Texas Legislators"; "FDA Appointment of Dr. Hager"; "Support the Verizon Workers"; "Rev. Lawson at Riverside 8/14r"; "Tell Starbucks: Dump your laundry"; "Pride at work- lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (non-CUNY) workers"; "Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride"; "WBAI's building bridges -- the people's business (radio program in Troy. N.Y.)"; "Bring the troops home now"; "Demonstrate against Drummond Coal Co. in Alabama which is moving to Colombia"; "Demonstrate against 'Killer Coke'"; "Repeal of the ... unjust Rockefeller drug laws"; the list goes on and on and on...
2) STIPENDS: As you probably know, the Union negotiates for a substantial amount of released time hours to be allocated to the Union by the University. PSC people are relieved from their jobs to conduct union business. However, when people are given additional released time hours by the union, the union has to pay back to the university according to the member's salary. This money comes from union dues.
3) DONATIONS TO QUESTIONABLE INDIVIDUALS: $5,000.00 of your hard earned dues money was donated to a Fund to free Lori Berenson from a Peruvian Jail for collaborating with Marxist rebel Tupac Amaru and renting a house in Lima which stored 8,000 rounds of ammunition and 3,000 sticks of dynamite.
4) AD HOC COMMITTEES: Babbling Barb and Steve London enjoy establishing ad hoc committees on every issue that comes to their attention whether or not it is relevant to Union activity. Consider, for example, the Ad Hoc Basic Skills Committee. Basic skills have nothing to do with the contract or its implementation. However, it gives them a chance for their friends to meet, to talk and enjoy dinner in a fine Manhattan restaurant, paid from your dues.
5) What is the proper response to this chicanery by your Union leaders? Should we invite the FBI to investigate the PSC as was done with the United Teachers of Dade in Florida? (See NYT, June 1, 03, page 26)
YOUR WELFARE BENEFITS - GONE, GONE, DISAPPEARED
The most vital constituency of the PSC, the full time CUNY faculty, has seen the slashing of dental benefits and prescription drugs. Now, the PSC has eliminated the Life Insurance Policy of all its members. From retirees to CLT'S, every member of the PSC is adversely affected. The answers as to why the PSC found it necessary to do this can be found by asking the following questions:
- Q: Did the current leadership negotiate
the Welfare Benefits at the time of the Contract negotiations?
CURTAIN FALLS ON PSC'S LIMITED OPENNESS
Very recently, PSC Public Relations Director Chris Cage announced the closing of the only window to limited openness in the PSC. She has restricted the PSC list serve to Delegates, Alternates and PSC staff only, thus making all other instructional staff, including members of campus chapter Executive Committees and Grievance Officers, wholly dependent upon information on the PSC web site, all of which is carefully edited to mask the reality of the union's spending and other activities.
In addition, the Discussion Board on the PSC website was also closed, in August, with the excuse of reformatting it - but it has never been re-opened (it would seem that there was never any intention of reopening it).
It seems that Babbling Barb and Foggy London, who proclaim the lofty ideals of openness, free exchange of ideas, and wide participation, find the hot and heavy discussion and criticism about cuts in welfare benefits too unbearable.
The kitchen got too hot and they chose to close it. So much for democracy and openness!
It is imperative that your voices be heard! To that end, you may now communicate with this editor directly. Address your concerns, your issues and your experiences to email@example.com I look forward to hearing from you.
For those of you that want to get the big picture - that want to fully understand the grave danger that our university faculty is in - you may access most back issues of The Patriot in the the soon to be featured "Archive" section of the web site.
Sharad Karkhanis, Ph.D.
Professor (Retired), KCC