If you have difficulty reading the newsletter, please go to www.patriotreturns.com to see the latest release.
Vol. 46, No.3 April 06, 2009
NEW CAUCUS: WE'RE "TOO BUSY"
At the request of some faculty members, a PSC chapter chair recently asked the New Caucus-controlled PSC Executive Board about the status of Article 13 in the contract agreement. Like all other contract provisions, Article 13, which deals with student mentoring, is "costed out" when a contract is negotiated. So the money for the article comes out of our pockets.
The response? The Executive Board was "too busy" to address the issue, since our Dear Leader, Barbara Bowen, and her New Caucus leadership were currently focusing on other things. They'll get around to the matter at some indefinite point in the future.
It seems that between strikes in Oaxaca and Stella D'Oro breadsticks, struggles over what to do about Gaza and when to do it, harassing the chairman of the NYS Senate Finance Committee, and—most important—preserving the Dear Leader's $40,000 bonus, the New Caucus has too much on its plate.
So, in the spirit of cooperation, TPR asks readers to volunteer their time by helping the New Caucus enforce contract provisions. Concerned members can call 1-800- TOO - BUSY.
WAS THE DEAR LEADER
The Albany Times Union's Capitol Confidential blog reported that Senate Republicans decided to introduce an amendment to remit 100% of the tuition increases, rather than 20%, as things now stand, directly back to SUNY and CUNY.
Given our Dear Leader's tremendous influence in Albany, we had assumed that she'd be on the first train to the Capitol, fighting to ensure that all our students' tuition dollars came back to CUNY. The amendment even provided an opening to forge a bipartisan consensus on the need to fund CUNY.
But where were the Dear Leader and her allies? They were "too busy" to lobby to remit tuition increases to CUNY. Instead, they were picketing the office of a Democratic state senator, Carl Kruger, because they don't like Kruger's tax policy. And what exactly was this "picket" like? Take a look below at the pathetic turnout:
Would you be afraid of that New Caucus "protest" if you were Kruger?
So: the New Caucus has just alienated a powerful Senate Democrat, while ignoring a pro-CUNY effort by Senate Republicans.
That's bipartisanship, New Caucus-style! The Dear Leader, it seems, believes that all CUNY needs to do is rely on the "influence" of the Working Families Party.
"TOO BUSY" TO SAVE
We've already seen the concrete results of this New Caucus' "too busy" posture: a CUNY committee, whose membership included PSC executive director Debbie "Ding Dong" Bell, came up with a proposal to strip from faculty control the PSC-CUNY research grants program. And the New Caucus was "too busy" to do anything about it—at least until the CUNY Alliance raised the issue in the campaign.
In a fascinating bit of historical "revisionism"—it might even be worthy of a research grant proposal—a New Caucus apparatchik from Kingsborough has reinvented the past. In a mass e-mail blaming the CUNY Alliance(!!) of "fearmongering," he said he had no problem placing the fate of the program in the hands of a PSC staffer. " Debbie Bell," said he, is "a skilled negotiator and I think the issue, which is a matter of collective bargaining, is in good hands."
So, Bell's sitting on her hands and doing nothing is what the New Caucus considers the response of a "skilled negotiator"? No wonder the Dear Leader keeps negotiating failed contracts.
Sharad Karkhanis, Ph.D.
As you know, Susan O'Malley has sought to silence the Patriot by bringing a lawsuit which seeks to limit his free speech and financially bankrupt him. Interested colleagues have weighed in at