Revolutions Per Minute - Radio from the New York City Democratic Socialists of America

Back to School: Working Class Struggle at CUNY

Episode Summary

The City University of New York improves the lives of millions. Founded in 1847 with the purpose of providing higher education to working class New Yorkers, CUNY today has 25 colleges spread across New York City’s five boroughs, serving 243,000 degree-seeking students of all ages and awarding 55,000 degrees each year. Like many other institutions built to serve the public good, CUNY faces multiple intersecting crises. The university system could not function without its 30,000 strong unionized labor force. Many professors, graduate student workers, and staffers are underpaid and overworked. The Professional Staff Congress, of which I am a member, is currently in negotiations to improve the material conditions of workers across the board. CUNY has also suffered from decades of underfunding by New York state and city elected officials. This has not only forced thousands of educators into precarious employment, but led to decaying infrastructure. As funding has gone down, tuition has been increased at the once free public university system. We’ll discuss how PSC union organizers and their allies are fighting back to build the People’s University that this city deserves. Later in the show we’ll hear from Amy Wilson and her interview with Wren, a healthcare worker struggling to materialize reproductive rights in a capitalist society.