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Vol. 57, No.4 - January 30,2012
THE KRAZY KONTRACT KREW
A truism for longtime CUNY observers: as sure as the sun rises in the east, Drs. Bowen and London will fall months or even years behind in negotiating a new contract—and then they'll blame it on state or national politics they can't control. Good economic times or bad, a Democratic governor or a Republican, it's always someone else's fault that Barb's Krazy Kontract Krew can't do what is the #1 priority of their union position: negotiate a timely contract.
As a diligent reader recently reminded us via e-mail, the Bowen/London team is right now running more than a year behind on the current contract. What accounts for this delay? Perhaps the Krew's Krazy belief, as reflected in the PSC organizing website, that the Bowen/London “ground operation, while beginning on our campuses, must extend its power to Albany and City Hall.” Righttt! Andrew Cuomo is sitting around in the governor's mansion, with his 70-percent approval rating, worried about a protest from Barbara Bowen. (But protesting is so much more fun than actually doing the hard work of negotiating!)
How is the Delegate Assembly working to implement the Bowen/London agenda of extending the PSC power? Through passing resolutions such as demanding withdrawal from Afghanistan (President Obama, take notice!); ending “mass incarceration”; and expressing “Support for the Jazz Musicians of Local 802: The Soul of the City.”
Back in 2009, the PSC did everything in its power to ensure that Mike Bloomberg, Mark Green, and David Yassky would not be elected to city-wide office. (We're sure that the trio's ethnicity had nothing to do with the Dear Leader's negative opinion of them.) In the Comptroller's race, the PSC associated CUNY faculty with the career of John Liu, who narrowly captured the primary.
Liu was back in the news last week. In the latest allegation of criminal activity by his backers, the U.S. attorney's office secured an indictment against one of Liu's bundlers, Oliver Pan. As the Daily News noted, “At the least, Liu ignored the legal mandates of campaign disclosure in New York. He is engaged in his sixth run for public office in the city and cannot claim ignorance of the law.”
Since Drs. Bowen and London associated our prestige with Comptroller Liu, will they now issue a statement apologizing for their decision to endorse such an ethically challenged figure?
Yet Another “Fabricant-ation?”
At the January 19th meeting of the PSC Delegate Assembly, a delegate from one of the senior colleges wished to understand why the PSC is giving large amounts of members' dues money to the Working Families Party. During the question period that followed the presentation of the November financial statement, she noted that, according to The Patriot, $30,000.00 of members' dues money were to be given annually to the WFP.
Delegate: “Why is that?"
PSC Treasurer Michael Fabricant: "I missed that.” [we doubt it – ed.]
Following some scurrilous remarks about our venerable publication, he avoided explaining “why” and said simply that the donation to the WFP was voted by the PSC Executive Committee and the DA.
Delegate: "Is it true that one can pay agency fee, and not pay for this?"
Michael Fabricant: "You can read the PSC website.”
Delegate: "If someone pays agency fee, do they pay less?"
Michael Fabricant: "NO!"
When the delegate attempted to get a clarification, Barbara Bowen opined that Michael Fabricant would speak to her privately if she didn't understand. That ended the exchange.
Though neither our Dear Leader nor “Money Man” Mike were willing to be candid with the DA, The Patriot is. We gladly respond to that delegate who had the temerity to request the truth from the PSC, and to all our readers:
Agency fee payers who wrote letters expressing an objection to the PSC's political expenditures paid 24% less than union members last year.
Only agency fee members who failed to write a letter of objection (using a procedure described in the last TPR and the union website) paid the same as union members.
Mike Fabricant's deceptive answer was clearly designed to keep members in the dark about their rights, and thereby to help preserve the union's political slush fund. And it is telling: union leaders who mislead members about one thing are likely to be dishonest about others. Seems like a good reason for a far more detailed audit of the union's expenditures than is provided for now.
Well, Mike, what about it? A few less dollars funneled to the Working Families Party, and a few more paid for a full, fair and publicly available audit might be money well spent.
Sharad Karkhanis, Ph.D.