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March 12th Labor-Management Meeting Notes

Marc’s notes from the Graduate Center’s Labor-Management Meeting – 3/12/18

In attendance from Management: Chase Robinson (GC President), Jane Herbert (President’s Chief of Staff), Lynette Phillips (GC Labor Designee)

In attendance from Labor: Luke Elliott-Negri (Chapter Chair), Marc Kagan (Delegate), William Novello (Master’s Student)

  1. Follow-up on master’s tuition increases; effects on GC budget
  • On behalf of master’s students, William Novello made a statement (see below). A number of master’s and Ph.D. students stood behind him in solidarity.
  • Chase Robinson responded: the term “Excellency Fee” was not his doing, but CUNY’s. The revised fee is different, as a result of earlier protests: no current students are affected, specific programs were allowed to opt in or out, with the additional money staying in that program. Robinson noted the continued paring of the GC’s budget. Many campuses have fees above tuition – GC is one of the last and smallest.
  • Some discussion followed on the opt in/opt out procedure. Were specific programs targeted? Robinson denied this. Might specific programs, which have to run very lean as a result of budget decisions, feel a necessity to accept the fee? Robinson suggested talking to DSC members on the Budget Committee.
  • (At this point, Novello and master’s supporters left the room.)
  1. Proposal for a Graduate Center “Lobby Day” in Albany
  • Since the general premise of the fee is that the GC is not properly funded, vigorous discussion ensued about methods to win more money in Albany: either specific earmarks for the GC or more money for CUNY as a whole, which, premised on the type of research work that the GC produces, would result in allocations for the GC. Robinson noted that in talks with legislators they are familiar with the generalized CUNY ideas (diversity, access, social mobility) but are unaware of the GC and its world-class research and faculty. Our task, then, is to get them to think of the GC more like SUNY’s “University Centers.” We suggested sending up delegations – not just Robinson, but some of our high-powered faculty, and eloquent students. Steve Breyer and Luke will be working on this with Robinson – anyone else?
  1. Governance plans for new master’s programs
  • In the past two years, six new master’s programs have been, or are being, established. Prompted by our experiences at SPS, we wanted to make sure that Governance in these programs would follow the current GC model. Robinson assured us that they were all following the protocols laid out in Section 3.1 of the GC Governance documents, which ultimately calls for a committee composed of faculty and students to design program governance. He suggested that we get in touch with the Committee on Structures. Gerry Martini and Marc will follow-up, again, along with anyone else who is interested.
  1. Marissa Holmes “trespassing” issue
  • On one or more occasions, Marissa Holmes, a DC37 member who worked at CUNY-TV (which is not part of the GC, but is housed in our building), who is contesting her firing by CUNY, has been removed from the building. Robinson’s response was that she is being treated as any other member of the general public would be treated – she can sign in and move around the building. His position was, though, that no member of the general public (as opposed to workers or students) is allowed to leaflet in the building.
  1. Information on GAs by actual department
  • Resolved and provided.
  1. Follow-up on revising admission and yearly financial aid award letters and Banner financial aid page to reflect actual allocations and work requirements
  • Anh Tran drafted the template of the “ideal” financial aid letter, which they gave to the DSC to deliver to the Provost. The Provost’s office got back saying they were taking most of our changes but not all because they want the rest of the info to be on CUNY First.

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