Author Archives: Ellen Sexton

Two events coming up this week are worth your participation

Colleagues:    Two events coming up this week are worth your participation:
  • A hybrid (virtual AND live-action) rally on Monday during the Board of Trustees meeting @ Baruch, and
  • A virtual Zoom meeting of the John Jay Chapter on Thursday (during common hour) — see details & register below.
1. Our union contract expires in 18 months. By Spring 2023 the PSC aims to have enough power and capacity to win major new public investment in CUNY, pass the New Deal for CUNY, and settle a great new contract.
The Strategic Action Plan to achieve our goals will require active listening and communications about members’ needs. It will mean organizing structures that reach into every department and office, growing our membership and ranks of activists, and increasing our ability to exert power for members in the workplace and in Albany and City Hall. We’ll try to seize every available opportunity—and create new ones when possible.
The PSC and the CUNY Rising Alliance have already helped to create an opportunity. Critical parts of the New Deal for CUNY are supported in the $416 million University Budget Request for next year, including 1,075 new full-time faculty lines, opportunities for full-time conversion appointments for adjuncts, and additional full-time mental health counselors. And all of it would be funded without increasing tuition. It’s the most ambitious request we’ve seen from CUNY in years, a strong start for a campaign to remake our university and fund a great contract.
The Board of Trustees will vote on the budget request during their 4:30 PM Monday, October 25th virtual meeting. When they do, our union will be watching with 500 or more members on the virtual rally and 75 or more at the in-person demonstration. We need you with us as we demand that the Board approve the request and urge Governor Hochul and the presumptive Mayor, Eric Adams, to fully fund it.
The campaign for a great new contract and a New Deal for CUNY is in motion. Be part of the movement.
2. The John Jay Chapter of the PSC will host a meeting on zoom beginning at 1:40 on Thursday, October 28th. Please register in advance:
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Oct 28, 2021 01:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting:
See you soon!
John & Zabby

Upcoming deadline to avoid classroom crowding and other updates

Colleagues —    Provost Li has acknowledged the CDC guidelines at last by giving faculty the chance to request a larger room in the event of crowding, AND to go on line if a larger classroom is not available. The deadline for applying is 5 pm on Thursday afternoon. Here is the link for that request.

On our website, you will find the report our health & safety watchdogs have forwarded to the administration, following our 3rd walkthrough.  Li’s modified policies, and cleanliness and responsiveness to our concerns that we have directly experienced help ease the greatest of our concerns, but as you will see we have a number of issues and we have not yet received any direct communication about our original punch list.

The PSC has demanded, CUNY-wide, a testing interval of 72 hours to confirm the safety of non-vaccinated entrants to campuses. The science says 72 hours is protective, not 168 hours, as CUNY is content with.  Non-teaching faculty and staff are still obliged to be on campus half of the time amid all who are allowed on campus, despite the inadequate testing interval.  Additionally, we seek the surveillance testing that CUNY management and its testing vendor promised weeks ago.  Since vaccinated people can, it turns out, spread the virus, and the surveillance tests themselves are not onerous, we want this to protect everyone and help put this pandemic behind us.

We want to know if there are concerns that have surfaced on campus.  Here is a link to our new reporting form . https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSehUBFHdTZtvr_PppqYP_i31S-8iv2-UiUGVvhnjow1N7S5-A/viewform?usp=sf_link

Provost Li has acknowledged the wisdom of the policy that we and the department chairs have been arguing for since early August — that faculty should be able to go online with their classes temporarily, given that the Chancellor has set us up for a situation on campus of mixed vax’ed in-person populations. The Provost’s offer is only for classes which still have unvaccinated students.

Finally, we have scheduled two PSC meetings for September. Our Chapter meeting will be on zoom on Tuesday, September 21st, during common hour, 1:40-2:55 pm.  A link will be forthcoming.  Also, the Adjunct Organizing Committee will meet from 1:30 to 2:30 on Thursday September 9th.  Adjuncts, please watch your inboxes for communications from its co-chairs Jonathan Epstein and Corinna Mullins.

in solidarity,

Zabby Hovey & John Pittman,   John Jay PSC Chapter co-chairs

Chapter Meeting – Monday 23 August 11 am – link and agenda

Because of the uncertain circumstances in which re-opening is taking place, the John Jay PSC Chapter will have a pre-semester chapter meeting this coming Monday at 11 am to discuss next steps:

PSC John Jay is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Pre-Semester Chapter Meeting
Time: Aug 23, 2021 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 861 224 9991
Passcode: 0
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+19292056099,,8612249991# US (New York)
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        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
        Meeting ID: 861 224 9991
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kB5ImdoEd


We’ve enlisted 3 experts to join us:

Angelique Corthals, John Jay’s own, who has been advising the Reopening Committee (she advises Doctors without Borders, too).

Andrea Vasquez, PSC 1st VP

Joan Greenbaum of the PSC Health & Safety Watchdogs

This is the agenda.  We’ve sent some questions to the experts, Q&A from the meeting will be the main event.

11:00   Welcoming comments/ Chair + quick updates

11:05  Comments on the state of the pandemic: Angelique C. (7 min)

11:12   Overview of current PSCco position: Andrea V. (10 min)

11:22   PSC watchdogs basic strategy: Joan G. (8 min)

11:30   Q&A, comments from the floor (25 min)

11:55   Chapter petition, other asks, #CUNYSafeReturm Press Conference  (5 min)

Update from Chairs, Faculty Senate calls for postponed reopening

Dear Colleagues,

    Please be reminded that we have a short Chapter meeting scheduled for tomorrow/Monday at 11 AM on zoom.  Here is the link, full zoom details at the end. We have top experts from John Jay’s Reopening Committee, PSC negotiators and union Watchdogs on the state of reopening; a brief account what members should be prepared for on the first day of classes; and a Q & A for your comments and questions.  Please join us!

    The John Jay chapter is issuing a letter to the chancellor and our own administration on the situation, calling for flexibility and a John Jay version of a safe reopening, authorizing those concerned with conditions on campus to implement their own ‘soft return’ to campus.  You can find and sign onto the letter here. https://actionnetwork.org/letters/psc-john-jay-safe-reopening

    We also want to acknowledge here the statement issued last week by the Faculty Senate executive committee calling for a postponement of the campus reopening.  If you haven’t seen it, you can read it here below, in green. We certainly endorse this statement.

See you tomorrow,

John & Zabby

p.s. Once you have signed and shared our John Jay letter to the Chancellor, amplify a similar CUNY wide petition “Delay CUNY Reopening” https://www.change.org/p/cuny-chancellor-f%C3%A9lix-matos-rodr%C3%ADguez-executive-vice-chancellor-h%C3%A9ctor-batista-delay-cuny-reopening?signed=true

Announcement shared Friday morning, 8/20/21


The Faculty Senate met yesterday and the Senate Executive Committee adopted this resolution in accordance with the views of the Senators attending. We are sending this to the Chancellor, because implementing these recommendations is partially or completely under the Chancellor’s control. We are also sending this to our college administration.

Ned Benton, Senate President

Karen Kaplowitz, Senate Vice President

Francis Sheehan, Mickey Melendez, Erica King-Toler, Heath Grant, Executive Committee


Whereas, the Faculty Senate held a special meeting on August 19, 2021 to discuss the schedule for reopening as it relates to classroom-based instruction, and as it relates to mask requirements;

Whereas, the Chancellor has communicated to the students that that unvaccinated students will have a maximum of 45 days from the date of the FDA approval to get fully vaccinated and upload verification documents to CUNYfirst;

Whereas, reported COVID-19 cases in New York County continue to rise;

Whereas, the Chancellor has announced that, in a classroom, if a vaccinated professor is teaching a class and is able to keep social distance from everyone else in the class, he or she may choose not to wear a mask;

Whereas, the College reopening plan proposed a stronger mask policy that did not provide for the exception announced by the Chancellor.

Therefore, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, acting during the summer to convey the sense of the Faculty Senate, resolves that:

  • For Fall 2021, all instruction should be conducted online until 45 days following the date of FDA approval of a COVID vaccine, when the CUNY mandatory vaccination policy, as described by the Chancellor in an email to all students, takes effect, and
  • For Fall 2021, John Jay College should enforce a no-exception mask mandate for all persons within our campus facilities.