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Vol. 26, No.4 November 07, 2005
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING CONTRACT???
Readers of The Patriot will know that we have been keeping a close watch on the often bewildering actions of Barbara Bowen and the New Caucus: from their non-negotiable demands, to the declaration of a "State of Emergency," to the "Candles in the Rain" demonstrations, through the authorization for a "job action" referendum, the September 29th "mass rally," the October proto-strike picketing, and their November 3rd deadline. From the pages of the Clarion, the periodic krazy kontract kampaign updates, and the PSC's ever-morphing website, we thought that we had learned the following: that the PSC's baseline demands were for a 14% package, in line with the SUNY faculty's most recent collective bargaining agreement, and a hefty transfusion of cash into the hemorrhaging Welfare Fund. We also learned that the NYC teachers had won a 15% salary increase, albeit by non-binding arbitration, rather than nonsensical agitation.
But now we are very puzzled. In her November 4th statement to the Delegate Assembly and the membership, our Dear Leader announced that "The PSC continues to press for a non-austerity agreement, one that meets our needs of at least 10% on salary..." SAY WHAT? 10%??? Is Barbara now hinting that despite the months of mindless militancy, and the lack of a new salary scales for over three years, we will be getting less than she has promised to deliver?
As we go to electronic press, there are increasing indications that the divided, demoralized New Caucus is on the verge announcing that what was once derided as an "austerity contract" will now be hailed as a great victory. Our well placed sources in the PSC have heard that the 10% figure will be spread over four years, and that it would come at the cost of a shorter summer vacation and the exclusion of department chairs from the bargaining unit. Negotiations are still ongoing, however, and these details may well change. But we are quite concerned that very soon we will be all be haunted by the specter of the INCREDIBLE SHRINKING CONTRACT!
FOR THE RECORD
Here at The Patriot Returns, we are pleased when our virtual squibs catch the attention of our colleagues at CUNY. This was especially the case for our last number, Vol.26, no.3. Within a few minutes of its e-publication, "Bickering" Barbara Bowen had taken to the Internet, screaming to all and sundry about mistakes that we had made therein.
Were we prepared, we would have responded to Barbara sooner. But since it was Halloween our editor-in-chief was out trick-or-treating for UNICEF with our friend, and PSC stalwart, the Giant Inflatable Rat. Now that the holiday has passed, we'd like to reply to Barbara's intemperate remarks; the Rat, however, refuses to wear his "Dear Leader" mask again.
In our last "Rumor Column" a number of claims regarding the compensation and the perquisites of office enjoyed by the leadership of the PSC were made. The details of some of those claims were inaccurate. In the cause of candor, we would like to correct them.
Our Claim: Associate Professors who served on the PSC's executive committee, such as Barbara Bowen and Steve London, were being paid as full professors.
And remember---even though Battlin' Barb and Solidarity Steve receive full released time to do their work as union officers, the PSC voted them summer salary. Maybe we should have a contract demand for all professors to be able to vote themselves salary increases if they do any research in the summer?!
Our Claim: That members of the PSC's Executive Committee are provided with American Express cards.
Our Claim: That members of the Executive Committee use a limousine service, rather than taking public transportation.
THE RUMOR COLUMN
The rumors of a pending PSC crack-up are surfacing everywhere. Among the more intriguing, and amusing, is that the long-term rivalry between Bowen and London could spark off a civil war among the leadership. When the long-suffering members head to the ballot boxes next spring to choose a new executive committee, they might well be able to choose between the New Caucus and the "New" New Caucus. Barbara and her slate (Marxist-Leninist) may be smashing poor Steve for his stewardship of the Welfare Fund. The London slate (Paranoid-Schizophrenic) could be going after Bowen for caving in on salaries, and cutting short our summers. Tony O'Brien, if he knows what is good for him, will keep his mouth buttoned. And Stanley Aronowitz, angered and appalled as usual, will run for governor again---but will he get his 1% of the vote on the Green or Working Families line? Stay tuned.
We've also heard that the PSC's Secretary and Treasurer, Cecilia McCall and John Hyland, are going to step down from their positions. Anyone interested in making an additional $17,229 in salary, $7,500 in "allowance," and $2000+ in expenses--as do Cecilia and John--please call the PSC office. It sure would beat the heck out of a 2.5% annual raise!
REQUESTS TO MS. BARBARA BOWEN AND CHANCELLOR MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN.
Now that we have accounted for our errors, The Patriot Returns would like to ask a favor of Barbara Bowen. By demonstrating in front of Matthew Goldstein's apartment, Barbara invaded his privacy and needlessly harassed the Chancellor and Mrs. Goldstein. We request, therefore, that she apologize for this inappropriate conduct to the entire CUNY community. The Patriot Returns also requests that the Chancellor suspend all negotiations with Ms. Bowen until such time as she issues that apology.
"HEY HEY, HO HO! BUNGLING BARBARA GOT TO GO!"
Sharad Karkhanis, Ph.D.