Keep Everyone at Brooklyn College Working and Fight for Full Public Funding for CUNY

Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez and President Michelle J. Anderson

Cutcovidnotcuny

The fiscal challenges we face are real, but Brooklyn College and the University must address them with maximum transparency while fighting to protect every job and the quality of a CUNY education.

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To: Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez and President Michelle J. Anderson
From: [Your Name]

Faculty, staff and students of Brooklyn College, like all New Yorkers, have had our lives upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen the inequities of our society laid bare, as the rates of illness and death have risen disproportionately in the low-income communities of color and immigrant communities served by our university. We have witnessed unbearable loss of life in our City, including among our colleagues and our families.

To cause further trauma for the Brooklyn College community by cutting 25% of course offerings and eliminating the jobs of many of CUNY’s most precarious workers is outrageous. Furthermore, it undermines Brooklyn College’s core mission to “educate immigrants and first-generation college students from the diverse communities that make up our city and state.”

The fiscal challenges we face are real, but CUNY must address them with maximum transparency. For Brooklyn College, we demand a virtual town hall so that members of the campus community can pose questions and seek clarity before dramatic actions are taken to reduce Fall course offerings.

Announcing massive, preemptive cuts to our already underfunded college before every dollar of federal stimulus, every college reserve fund, and every cost savings from our campus shutdown has been publicly accounted for sends the message that Brooklyn College can withstand such cuts. It cannot. Cuts that will cause hundreds, if not thousands, of adjuncts across the CUNY system to lose their jobs and health insurance in the midst of a public health crisis are morally repugnant, especially when there has been no announcement about reductions in pay for employees on the Executive Compensation Plan.

The PSC’s Delegate Assembly has resolved that our union “stands by the principle during the pandemic of keeping everyone working, getting paid and maintaining health insurance and rejects any attempt to anticipate or resolve budget difficulties by dismissing or not reappointing employees, including contingent and part-time employees and student employees.”

New York cannot overcome the deepening recession with a hollowed out public university. Your job is to uplift and protect CUNY, not to manage its destruction. Do not accommodate to deeper austerity for our students, faculty and staff. Do not help Governor Cuomo place the burden of this economic crisis on the most vulnerable and marginalized. This is bad policy for our state and our country. Join us in demanding new taxes on billionaires and the ultra-rich and new investments in CUNY, instead of cuts to CUNY. Progressive taxation has been a response to economic crises from the Great Depression to the 2008 Recession. Brooklyn College was built during the Depression!

New York will be forever changed by COVID-19. The choices you make will help determine if Brooklyn College can be part of a just economic recovery. Do the right thing. Help keep our college and its workers strong and fully employed.