CUNY Digital History Archive

CUNY Digital History Archive

A participatory project to collect and preserve the histories of the City University of New York — A work in progress
Show/Hide Menu

Edgar Pauk Statement on Union Merger

In this draft document, Edgar Pauk, a lecturer at Queens College and vice president of the 4-year public college unit of the United Federation of College Teachers (UFCT), announces his break with the union's leader, Israel Kugler, stating that he had decided to leave the UFCT in favor of joining the rival Legislative Conference (LC). His statement speaks to many of the concerns facing the union at the time, particularly the need for a single bargaining unit for all of CUNY faculty and staff. Pauk is especially critical of both the UFCT as an organization and its leadership provided by Kugler.

Pauk would come to play an important role once the two unions decided upon a merger with the creation of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) in April 1972. In the first election of the new union in 1973, Pauk decided to run for union presidency doing so against Belle Zeller, president of the LC, and also Israel Kugler, president of the UFCT. Pauk received a meager 321 votes in the election, however, the winner, Zeller, defeated runner-up Kugler by only 124 votes. Kugler would thereafter claim that most of Pauk’s votes came from those who otherwise would have supported him, and that without Pauk in the election, he would have won. Instead, the caucus led by Zeller and members of the former LC took control of the union in its early years. While Kugler's claims remain unproven, Pauk undoubtedly had a real impact on the election though such would forever remain the extent of his influence with the PSC.

Source | Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Creator | Pauk, Edgar
Date Created | 1971 (Circa)
Rights | Obtain From Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Item Type | Text (Report / Paper / Proposal)
Cite This document | Pauk, Edgar, “Edgar Pauk Statement on Union Merger,” CUNY Digital History Archive, accessed June 16, 2019,

Print and Share