Judge blocks furloughs for CUNY faculty


NEW YORK - Union leaders say the injunction issued today, May 28, by U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn is a victory for both the Professional Staff Congress and the City University of New York students.

Judge Kahn issued a preliminary injunction against New York Governor Paterson's plan to furlough state workers, including CUNY faculty and staff. The PSC/CUNY, one of several unions opposing the plan in court, argued that the furloughs would violate the New York State and U.S. Constitutions.

CUNY is the city's public university system. It is the largest urban university in the US, with over 260,000 degree-credit students and 273,000 continuing and professional education students enrolled at campuses located in all five New York City boroughs.

"We are gratified that justice has been done. Today's ruling is a victory for CUNY faculty and staff - and above all, for CUNY students," said Dr. Barbara Bowen, president of the PSC/ CUNY and the lead plaintiff on the PSC's lawsuit. "Now the thousands of students, who attend CUNY in the summer, need not face the prospect of classes cancelled, credits denied, dreams put on hold. Judge Kahn's ruling against the illegal scheme for mandatory paycuts is also a victory for all public workers. The decision defeats the State's attempt to scapegoat us for an economic crisis we did nothing to create.

"New York's furlough scheme had nothing to do with closing the budget deficit: it would have produced about $240 million, while the deficit is $9 billion. The only real way to solve the budget crisis is to enact progressive tax reform, something the governor and the legislature have so far refused to do. I hope this decision sends them back to the bargaining table and convinces them of the need for closing tax loopholes and restoring a fair tax system," said Bowen.

Last year, Wall Street profits hit a record high of $61 billion. The PSC is supporting a bonus recapture tax, reducing the rebate on the stock transfer tax to 80%, and other progressive revenue measures to close New York State's budget gap.

The PSC argued that Paterson's furlough plan would have caused irreparable harm to tens of thousands of New Yorkers, and that the governor had not demonstrated that violating union contracts was either necessary or reasonable. Judge Kahn agreed with the PSC's position on every point, and found that the state's argument was "transparently unsupported" by the facts or the law. The preliminary injunction prohibits the State from imposing furloughs while the union lawsuit against the governor's plan moves forward. It is "substantially unlikely," Judge Kahn concluded, that the state will prevail when the underlying lawsuit is heard.


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    THE “COST CUTTING” THAT HAS INCREASED COSTS AND SPENDING AN ASTOUNDING 67% AND F.O.I.A. Reports are yet to be denied and need answers. THE POLITICS OF “DECREASED SPENDING” that has INCREASED SPENDING, Increased SALARIES almost 50%, Dramatically INCREASED Office Budget, Voucher and Travel Spending, along with hiring of additional non-essential “associates”, and Fringe Benefits” now an unimaginable $82,000 in FRINGE… for the smallest business development office in the State. W can add the yearly, weekly resort “training” for the entire State and guests at roughly $650.00 per person X 300 people….

    Actual ACCOMPLISHMENT has been CUT IN HALF as FOIA reported, and a once highly recognized New York State office program to assist Veterans now shows just 3 Veterans in the program. THE COST TO THE UNSUSPECTING TAXPAYER…Mega, as in MEGA MILLIONS YEARLY—add pension and health benefits forever. If SYSTEMIC IN NATURE, THE FEAR OF THESE GOVERNMENT/ACADEMIA F.O.I.A. REPORTS, DOCUMENTS AND DISCLOSURE REACHING THE PUBLIC has “OUR” JUDICIAL SYSTEM needing to SILENCE our CHECKS AND BALANCES, along with our FREEDOM OF SPEECH.
    The ECONOMIC BACKBONE of this country IS struggling, AND IT STARTS WITH A SIMPLE CASE OF RETALIATION when staff of AN AWARD Winning “educational” ECONOMIC TEAM there to assist the business community said no to theft of time, of services, of reporting and of spending. This is JUST ONE OF TOO MANY SIMILAR GOVERNMENT/CITY/STATE TAXPAYER FUNDED “ECONOMIC/COMMUNITY/DEVELOPMENT and BUSINESS in the community, all TAXPAYER FUNDED OFFICES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY UNDER THE GUISE OF EDUCATION—and many ON ‘PUBLIC’ Higher EDUCATION CAMPUSES the College pays for along with the government. We were number one in the State (4 people) after 9/11 with an ill director excused from the office due to illness—the story needs sunlight.

    “We’ raise tuition, cut services and eliminate blue collar employees, and for many… no raises due to the “economy.” The “pyramid of numbers” used to increase spending has replaced actual client and billing hours—so we talk about the economics of business and our backbone in need of support, minorities and Veteran’s—and that walk out on our Veterans’ program summed it all up as just words and in the wrong hands with a gullible public to keep funding the words…as you raise tuition and write about cost cutting…and then take away our freedom of speech when spending and false reports are questioned.

    ASK OUR PRESIDENT, or understand “billing” at Citytime and the Corona-Elmhurst Local Development Center which opened in 2006 with great fanfare and closed in 2009 as our leaders promoted this great organization and then…, or discuss billing in the form of no-shows and a weekly paycheck in need of justifying existence by fudging numbers—ask our Congressmen how easily and routinely that scenario is played out, and the cost to the taxpayer times thousands in every State and far too many “funded by us” organizations doing similar work in each and every community in this country. From one small office geared to assist the small business owner—the government and city funded organizations idea for “deficit reduction” is to go from $332,000 in 2006 to $491,000 in 2009. I am still waiting on FOIA voucher, billing and grant spending not included in this Ponzi of schemes. Small Business Owners understand the bottom line—and offices that are supposed to assist our backbone have a total disregard of doing just that, as the taxpayer foots the bill for the personal agenda of administration, as you increase taxes, tuition, and cut essential services….reform starts within the system. Let us say $520,000 (or possibly higher if the final FOIOA requests are received for this office) divided by 260 “supposed” clients=over $2,000 per client and these clients visit similar organizations within the system—we had clients shuffled from one office to another within our own offices.

    “One man with courage is a majority.”—Thomas Jefferson.


    Bobby Styles.

    Posted by Robert Stein, 04/15/2011 5:36am (4 years ago)

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