City Tech Chapter 5/9 with Guest Speaker James Davis, PSC President

What are the make-or-break issues for you in the contract?
Pay Stagnation? Adjunct Job Security? Health and Safety on Campus? Lack of Basic Resources? HEO shortages? Attacks on shared governance?

ACTION: Meet CUNY’s Board of Trustees on 4/1 at City Tech

This is NO JOKE! CUNY’s Board of Trustees will hold their #Brooklyn #Hearing at #CityTech on April Fool’s Day. Hearing begins at 4:30 pm in the Academic Complex Theater. Join the #Rally before hand at 3:30 pm and Demand a #Contract!

Poster announcing CUNY Board of Trustees Hearing on Monday 4/1 at City Tech

TODAY! Spring ’24 Mass Online Meeting 3/6 at 6:30 pm

Contract for #APeoplesCUNY

Wednesday, March 6, 6:30PM

RSVP for the Zoom Meeting

We need every PSC member at this mass online demonstration of solidarity and support for a strong new contract! Please RSVP here for the Zoom and log on to hear the latest from the PSC Bargaining Team after a dozen bargaining sessions with CUNY management and a year without a contract. Ask questions. Learn what you can do in Spring ‘24 to escalate the campaign to win a Contract for #APeoplesCUNY.

2/29 February Chapter Meeting-Our Contract has Expired, What Now?

This month marks the 1 Year Anniversary of our contract. Come find out what’s happening at the bargaining table. Help leaflet before and after the Chapter Meeting. Can’t make it in person? Join the meeting via Zoom. Spread the word!

Latest News on NYC’s Union Contracts

City Workers Losing Patience With Slow Crawl to Union Contracts

In the second year of the Adams administration, public employees are asking when raises might be coming — but a bitter and costly fight over retiree health care isn’t over.

By Claudia Irizarry Aponte

Jan 27 12:05am EST

Most city employees are now working under expired labor contracts that lapsed as far back as 2020 — frustrating rank-and-file union members whose anticipated pay raises are tied up in an escalating battle over proposed changes to retired colleagues’ health coverage. 

Nearly all of the city’s roughly 300,000 unionized staff are working under expired collective bargaining agreements. They include members of the city’s largest public sector unions, District Council 37 (DC37) and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). Administrative workers, school crossing guards, teachers, police detectives, sanitation workers and health technicians are among those eager to bargain for raises as well as potential new benefits, such as flexibility to work remotely.

That their adversary, Mayor Eric Adams, is himself a former city worker who emphasized his background on the campaign trail and collected many union endorsements only adds to their frustration, especially for those who helped keep the city going during the worst of COVID.

“I think that he misrepresented himself to the unions,” said a delegate to DC37 who declined to give their name as they are not authorized to speak publicly about the issue. Delegates are elected to represent their locals at the 300-member Delegates Assembly and are themselves in charge of electing the union’s leadership.

Said Barbara Randolph, a nurse at Lincoln Hospital in The Bronx: “He won’t be mayor for too much longer if he won’t back the union.” The New York State Nurses Association contract with the city’s public Health+Hospitals system expires March 2.

A roadblock: Retired city workers successfully sued to derail Adams’ plan to move retiree health care to a cheaper alternative called Medicare Advantage and charge a monthly fee to those who wish to retain existing coverage. A City Council bill pushed by Adams that would allow him to roll out Medicare Advantage, which he says would save the city $600 million a year, is “dead,” the Daily News reported last week.

That leaves Adams hundreds of millions of dollars short. The planned Medicare Advantage shift originated in deals struck by former Mayor Bill de Blasio and the unions to pay for raises by finding health care savings. As long as that money remains in limbo, new contract negotiations are going nowhere.

“Our contract is not being negotiated until this is resolved,” said the District Council 37 delegate. “That’s what we’ve all been told.” Some public sector union leaders have also said that the health care talks have stood in the way of bargaining a new contract for their members.

Medicare Mess

The executive director of DC 37, Henry Garrido, also co-chairs the Municipal Labor Committee, the consortium of public employee unions that agreed to the health savings deals. He declined to speak about the standoff or his members’ frustrations.

“We don’t bargain in the press,” said Garrido, who declined to comment further. 

Garrido and other union leaders are getting vocal pushback from their ranks — and not just from retirees who would be immediately affected by health coverage changes.

Five chapters of DC37 Local 375 — which represents city planners, engineers and architects — wrote in a Jan. 9 letter to City Council labor committee chair Carmen de la Rosa that they did not support the Medicare Advantage switch and urged her to kill the proposal. DC37 Local 768, which represents therapists, exterminators, and other health technicians, also urged its membership to pressure their City Council members to strike down the bill.

A City Hall spokesperson said the Adams administration is “committed to offering quality and sustainable care for our retirees.

“The city and the Municipal Labor Committee worked together to take advantage of the federal funding for Medicare Advantage plans that would permit us to continue providing high-quality, premium free coverage for retirees while saving approximately $600 million a year — savings that are especially critical as we continue to face a skyrocketing health care crisis and other fiscal challenges,” mayoral spokesperson Jonah Allon said in a statement. 

Pointing to a recent Council hearing on the bill that would break the Medicare Advantage logjam, Allon added: “We presented a clear case that the city’s Medicare Advantage plan would offer myriad improvements over the current SeniorCare plan, while still encouraging the Council to preserve retiree choice by amending the administrative code.”

Health Care Costs 

Marianne Pizzitola, an FDNY retiree and president of the NYC Organization of Public Service retirees, the nonprofit behind the lawsuit, urged the mayor and the Municipal Labor Committee to find another way to reach health care savings.

“This is not being supported by the City Council, it’s not appreciated by our seniors. Let’s do something else. Let’s go back to the bargaining table and figure something out,” she told THE CITY.

The last mayor to let contracts lapse was Michael Bloomberg, who refused to settle with any of the city’s 152 labor unions, effectively leaving those negotiations to his successor.

That was Bill de Blasio, who worked quickly to settle expired contracts upon taking office in 2014, reaching a deal with the UFT that May and DC37 soon after. (Just one union remains at sea: the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, which represents Staten Island Ferry captains and mates, has not had a contract for more than a decade.)The health savings pact, and that $600 million in savings, was a critical piece of the puzzle — one Adams is now trying to solve. 

Mayors traditionally settle labor agreements first with the largest unions, UFT and DC37, which represent about 60% of city employees, setting a pattern that smaller unions then follow in their own negotiations. 

The Adams administration recently began preliminary talks with DC37, whose contract covering 100,000 workers expired in 2021. The loss of expected health savings means money is not flowing into a special health insurance fund that the city and unions jointly administer to help pay for member benefits.

“The unsettled nature of the Medicare Advantage program as well as the overall fiscal health of the Health Insurance Stabilization Fund is an impediment to moving forward with regular labor negotiations,” said Ana Champeny, the vice president for research at the nonprofit Citizens Budget Commission.

She added that rising health care costs need to be dealt with, somehow. 

“The entirety of how the city finances, pays for and provides health insurance benefits and welfare fund benefits to the public sector — both current employees and retirees — needs a close reevaluation,” she said. Collective bargaining, she added, is where these issues will play out.

Reserves and Rainy Days

Experts at the Independent Budget Office, an official fiscal watchdog, say that the steep costs associated with past commitments to help unions pay for GHI Emblem Health, the plan most city workers have enrolled in since the 1940s, are bound to continue piling up. Since the 1980s, city union contracts have only guaranteed funding for an insurance plan that is typically cheaper, called HIP — and making up the difference has become a ongoing scramble.

“There are always trade-offs in any particular budgetary decision,” said IBO assistant director for budget review Logan Clark. “As long as GHI remains more expensive than HIP/HMO, then we’re going to be dealing with this problem sort of in perpetuity.” He called the gap between HIP and GHI premiums “a continuing hole that we will always have to be filling in.”

But there are options to fill the budget gap, at least for the short term, he said. The city could tap into its general reserves, funds set aside every fiscal year, or the Temporary Benefits Trust, a $3.4 billion reserve. 

“That’s something that they could be tapped into as part of the reserves, either by paying down or essentially making smaller payments into next year’s payments for retiree health benefits,” said Clark.

Another option would be dipping into the city’s rainy-day funds – in what would be an unprecedented move because “the promulgation of standards of what constitutes an emergency to tap into the rainy day funds haven’t really been promulgated yet, so that’s something that is certainly up for question,” Clark said.

So far, Adams budgeted enough in his preliminary budget to cover 1.25% annual raises — far below the current 6.3% inflation rate in the New York area.

Adams has used his rank-and-file bona fides to set himself apart from his predecessors, to the annoyance of retirees who sued his administration over the healthcare plan.

Previous mayors, he told an audience of labor leaders at the SOMOS convention in Puerto Rico last November, “never knew what it was like to hold their stomachs when it was time for union contract negotiations. Didn’t know what it was like to fight for their healthcare, to protect their pensions, to be on the union lines to really fight to get the raises you deserve.”

“Like the retirees,” Pizzitola, the president of the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees, shot back in a moment captured on video.

Arthur Goldstein, a high school ESL teacher who has documented the health care plan saga on his blog, said that he is preparing for a long battle ahead.

“I think we could be without a contract for a very long time.”

THE CITY is a nonprofit newsroom that serves the people of New York. Sign up for our SCOOP newsletter and get exclusive stories, helpful tips, a guide to low-cost events, and everything you need to know to be a well-informed New Yorker.

“This story was originally published by THE CITY. Sign up to get the latest New York City news delivered to you each morning.” 

Contract Rally on Sat 12/2/23 1-3 pm

Sing Out, Shout Out for #APeoplesCUNY !

Come Sing Out, Shout Out for #APeoplesCUNY on  Saturday, December 2nd at 1 PM. Send a powerful message to the Governor and to CUNY about the power of CUNY to uplift students and communities. Everybody who loves somebody at CUNY is welcome!  Everyone who wants a New Deal for CUNY, with free, high quality education for all, is needed!

CUNY allies will meet at the Governor’s Midtown office (map) 633 3rd Avenue, Manhattan, to Sing Out for the New Deal for CUNY and will then march to CUNY Central, just a few blocks away, to Shout Out for the contract that the unionized CUNY faculty and staff deserve. 

Let’s join with the CUNY Rising Alliance and turn out to support a New Deal for CUNY and the workers of New York’s great public university!


Poster for the Shout Out Sing Out PSC CUNY Event on 12/2/23 1-3 PM

Why Sing Out?
Early December is the time to influence Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget proposal for next year. It’s an opportunity to set the starting point of next year’s funding struggle.  

We’ll be singing out to affirm our progress toward #NewDeal4CUNY for free and fully funded education, to call for new investments in our students and communities, and to be part of the continuing tradition of song in labor and social movements. Join us!

Why Shout Out? 
Faculty and staff represented by PSC-CUNY have been working eight months with an expired contract. They’ve been bargaining since June, but the CUNY bosses still have not made an economic offer! The union is demanding a fair contract with real raises that supports justice and community at CUNY.

Day of the Dead PSC-CUNY Rally for a Just Contract at Brooklyn Borough Hall

Poster for Brooklyn Borough Hall Day of the Dead Rally on Nov 1, 2023

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

PSC-CUNY Rally for a Just Contract at Borough Hall

On Wednesday, November 1, CUNY students, faculty and staff–led by the Brooklyn chapters of City Tech, Medgar Evers, Kingsborough, and Brooklyn College–will congregate in costume for a fun-filled, raucous event at Borough Hall and rally for a strong and just contract. Our contract expired last February, and negotiations for a new contract began over the summer.  CUNY management wants to make brutal cuts in every domain, which would be disastrous for our members and our students. Join City Tech PSC members in our fight to gain a new contract that supports faculty and staff in serving our CUNY students.  

Register now! Come in costume! Bring family and friends!

Want to help plan this event? Share ideas? Email Carole Harris,

Monday Morning 2/27 Rally at CUNY Central

Get Your Shirt & Swag at 7:30 AM, Rally Starts at 8 AM
CUNY Central, 205 E. 42nd St.

Did You Know Our Contract Expires Feb 28th? Take Action NOW!

Rally outside CUNY Central the morning before our contract expires. We’ll be taking our demands to CUNY, literally putting them on tables outside of the bosses’ door and confronting them with our vision for a Fair Contract for #APeoplesCUNY.


Check out the Bargaining Demands for the New Contract here.