Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New York march demands good contract, education

By Workers World New York bureau
Published May 15, 2011 10:37 PM

>A picket line of university faculty, staff and students outside City Hall on May 5 was boisterous and militant. Seven hundred protesters then marched from City Hall to a rally at Borough of Manhattan Community College, where they spoke truth and bitterness about conditions at the City University of New York.

The state cut CUNY funding by $107 million this year and billionaire Mayor Bloomberg wants to cut $63 million more. These recent cuts and years of underfunding guarantee overcrowded classrooms, fewer full-time faculty positions, less time for student mentoring and guidance, abuse of hard-working but underpaid adjuncts, and reliance on tuition instead of public investment. Meanwhile, wealthy New Yorkers are scheduled to receive $5 billion in tax breaks.

At an opening rally in City Hall Park, Professional Staff Congress President Barbara Bowen told other protesters, “We’re rallying to puncture the myth of economic austerity, used by Albany and City Hall to justify massive budget cuts. If we let politicians continue to say ‘we’re broke’ with one side of their mouth while they promise tax breaks for the rich with the other, millions of ordinary New Yorkers will pay the price.” The PSC represents faculty and staff at CUNY, which is jointly funded by the state and city of New York.

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