Vol. 23, No. 2                                                                                       January 1, 2005

Don't Be Surprised if You Are Called to March...

      Since their election to the PSC leadership, the Bowen/London gang has, over the years, asked you to march in numerous protests including: Workers Freedom Ride; Jobs with Justice; Campaign Against Coke; Rally for Bill of Rights; International Human Rights Day; Stop Bush; Mass March on D.C. to Say Bring the Troops Home and End the Occupation of Iraq; on and on it goes ... We would not be surprised if they were to ask CUNY faculty to join them in the March for (sic) Equal Pay for Mongolian Women; More Release Time for Susan (Queen of Released Time) O'Malley; Justice for Public School Teachers in Moldova; Promote Barbara Bowen from Associate to Distinguished Professor; Save Affirmative Action (But Don't Apply It to the PSC Leadership) and other similar "causes" which have nothing to do with your contract. The Bowen/London gang thinks that we have nothing to do but march in parades and save the world for causes they believe in.


       A good union must pay attention to:

  1. Negotiating a good contract and
  2. Implementing and enforcing the contract with effective grievance procedures.
       To enforce the contract effectively, the union needs well-trained grievance counselors and an experienced and knowledgeable in-house attorney.

       The Patriot believes that our current PSC leadership has not provided a good contract (the current one expired two years ago!) and will not get us a decent one in the future. Moreover, it has endangered the rights of our unfortunate members who had to resort to grievances for their contractual rights.

       Since the retirement of Nick Russo last winter (who as the in-house attorney was responsible for grievance procedures), the PSC grievance machinery is in shambles and disarray - it is crumbling! Despite the fact that Nick had announced his retirement well in advance of his leaving, as of today - more than a year later - no in-house attorney has been hired! Instead, a great deal of work has been given to expensive outside attorneys without PSC grievance experience, rumored to be friends of President Bowen. Cronies who support the Bowen/London ideological agenda are being appointed as counselors at the Central PSC. They do what they are told by the Central PSC staff, controlled again by the Bowen/London far-left agenda. These counselors are also handsomely paid.

       The absence of an in-house attorney has made grievance counselors and chapter members angry. Members of the instructional staff are not getting appropriate guidance and advice in matters of grievance. We are losing grievances at "step one" and "step two" at a faster rate than ever before, and unfortunate union members are being penalized.

       Why is President Bowen not appointing an in-house attorney, an absolute must for any union of our size? We believe that she feels that she can save money on services critical to union members, which can then be diverted to her ideological causes. She also feels the need to grease the pockets of her cronies. But mainly - lack of attention to this is just one more proof that this group does not care about us - its members, from whom they gladly take over 1% of our gross income!


       The Patriot believes that the Bowen/London leadership has consistently misled the membership and suppressed the truth regarding arbitration decisions that have been rendered during their term in office.

       We, the members, are only told about decisions in which they have won marginal victories, such as the one in the intellectual property area. But have you been told about the numerous arbitration decisions they have lost, and the deleterious effects of those on your rights? Of course not!

       Here are three decisions among many about which you should know - because you have lost important rights! Please know that you have a right to copies of the complete arbitration decisions. Call Bowen at 212-354-1252. Tell her you want copies. Read them for yourself.

       1) Re: Evaluations of Chairpersons of College Departments by the President.
      AAA Case No. 13-390-00729-02
      Arbitrator: Alan A. Symonette, Decision date: Jan. 17, 2003.
      Decision: "Unilateral implementation of a process to evaluate chairpersons in their roles is not in violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The grievance is denied."

       College presidents now evaluate department chairs.
       Loss to PSC Members: College presidents never had the right to evaluate duly elected chairs prior to this decision. This case, brought by the Union and poorly argued, gave that right to management, depriving elected Chairs of the freedom to act in defense of their departments and of their faculty without repercussion from management.
       This had been the right of chairs since the inception of CUNY some hundred years ago - now lost as a result of the Bowen/London team.

       2) Re: Department of Student Life Workload.
      AAA Case No. 13-390-02345-02
      Arbitrator: Arthur A. Riegel. Decision date Dec. 16, 2003.
      Union Grievance called "that the Counselor had been given an excessive and unreasonable workload by virtue of an excessive student load due to increased class size in DSL 100 classes" at BMCC.
      Decision: While denying the grievance, the arbitrator wrote among other things, Counselors "are not full time classroom teaching members of the Instructional Staff..."

      Loss to members of the Library and Student Services Departments: Their dreams of becoming equal to teaching faculty become dimmer and dimmer with this kind of decision. This has resulted from the Union's reckless action: bringing a badly-argued grievance whose loss was sure to establish harmful precedent, to the arbitration table.

       3) Re: Failure to Reappointment an Adjunct at York College - Mohammed Yousry, grievant.
       AAA Case no. 13-390-00960-03.
       Arbitrator: Alan A. Symonette. Decision date Jan. 16, 2004.

      Yousry taught two courses in the Cultural Diversity Program during Spring 2002. He was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in April 2002. The indictment alleged that the grievant, who was employed as a translator for Attorney Lynn Stewart, representing Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, assisted "in transmitting messages to and from Sheikh Rahman". Rahman is serving a life sentence, having engaged in a "seditious conspiracy to wage war or urban terrorism against the United States, including the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and a plot to bomb certain New York City landmarks" ... Yousry was preliminarily assigned to teach two courses for the Fall 2002 Semester. Around August 12, 2002 the college orally advised Yousry that he would not be reappointed.

       Decision: The arbitrator wrote, among other things, "There is no language within the agreement which specifically gives an individual an automatic right to reappointment because the individual did not receive notice by May 1, 2002." He further wrote that "grievant had no automatic right to reappointment under the Collective Bargaining Agreement." He continued, "this grievance must be denied."

       CUNY adjunct members' loss: You now have lost a VERY VALUABLE former right. Prior to this ruling, adjuncts who did not get timely notice of non-reappointment did have automatic reappointment. That right has now been lost - with it, we are sure, comes the loss of teaching positions for many adjuncts.

       The filing of this grievance, which had no merit at its outset, is a prime example of the very poor judgment that our current so-called "leadership" has made in the grievance process. The grievance was bound to result in a loss, bringing with it the loss of important rights for others. We believe that Barbara/Steve were so taken by the radical, murderous nature of this defendant (what, after all, could be more glamorous to them than an actual terrorist conspirator) that they were willing to sacrifice PSC adjunct faculty.



       Who gets to enjoy the benefit of Viagra (for up to $500.00 per year) paid for by your prescription drug supplier under your plan? That depends upon who you are and where you are in the PSC power hierarchy. Did you know that the policy on obtaining paid Viagra through Medco has never been distributed to the PSC membership?

              When members take the prescription to the pharmacy, they are told that it is not covered by the plan. However, our investigation has revealed that a specific form is available only from the PSC Welfare Office. That form along with a physician note, (preferably a urologist), providing a diagnosis and noting the appropriateness of Viagra should be sent to the Welfare Fund Administrator. The Administrator may decide to approve the request and notify Medco, allowing your eligibility for Viagra for that year. Why was this policy not announced by the PSC to the entire membership? Is it possible that the seniors in the Executive Council and their significant others and cronies wished this benefit reserved for themselves only?


Sharad Karkhanis, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

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