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
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"Don't Sign Away Your Contract!"

In this item, the Legislative Conference (LC) voices disapproval of the ongoing efforts by the rival United Federation of College Teachers (UFCT) to replace the two bargaining units and two contracts that resulted from the collective bargaining [...]

Letter from UFCT President Requesting Protest

In this letter to the membership of the United Federation of College Teachers (UFCT), union president Israel Kugler stresses the UFCT’s support for both a more diverse student body at CUNY and the newly established Open Admissions program. Kugler [...]

"Sign the Petition for a New Collective Bargaining Election"

In this open letter from April 1971, Israel Kugler, president of the United Federation of College Teachers (UFCT), first outlines some of the serious problems facing his union and CUNY. He then calls for a new collective bargaining election, with [...]

Letter from UFCT President Requesting Contributions to UFCT Legal Defense Fund

In this letter, Israel Kugler, president of the United Federation of College Teachers (UFCT), asks for voluntary contributions to a Legal Defense Fund. The funds, he explains, would used to meet the high costs of implementing the contract of 1969 [...]

Handwritten Letter Concerning Responsibilities of Membership in the Professional Staff Congress

This letter from a nonmember of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) asks about the responsibilities of membership, particularly in regards to striking. The sender, a CUNY instructor, had been inquiring prior to deciding whether or not to join the [...]

Response from PSC to Non-member's Letter Regarding Membership Responsibilities

In this response to the concerns of non-member Mary Jane Blanpied about striking, a representative from the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) makes clear that ”no such action could be taken without a full membership referendum.” Such a [...]

UFCT University Reporter: "Legislative Memorandum: Support Support Support"

This February 1968 memorandum was issued to the membership of the United Federation of College Teachers (UFCT) by its president. Israel Kugler calls for support for legislation that would equalize the salaries and working conditions of senior [...]

"Letter Requesting Support for UFCT in Upcoming Election"

This letter from M. Fred Tidwell offers reasons why faculty and staff at CUNY should vote for the United Federation of College Teachers (UFCT) as the single bargaining unit for CUNY faculty and staff. Tidwell was a chapter chair with the UFCT, which [...]

"Unity At Last: LC-UFCT Merger Proposed"

This memorandum to the memberships of both the Legislative Conference and the United Federation of College Teachers came from the presidents of the two unions, Belle Zeller and Israel Kugler respectively. The memo announces the merger agreement [...]

Letter from UFCT President Israel Kugler to Frederick Burkhardt: Removal of Department Chairmen at Kingsborough Community College

This letter from UFCT President Israel Kugler stemmed from the unprecedented decision of the CUNY governing board to remove all department chairmen from the bargaining unit at Kingsborough Community College in July 1971. Although the UFCT did not [...]

LC-UFCT Merger Agreement

This is the full text of the merger agreement between the Legislative Conference (LC) and the United Federation of College Teachers (UFCT). The agreement was approved by the governing board of each organization, and then by the membership of each [...]

Chancellor Bowker to NYS Politicians Opposing Community College Faculty Advancement

In this letter to New York State politicians, CUNY Chancellor Albert Bowker opposes a bill in the New York State Legislature that would have changed full time faculty salaries in the community colleges to be equal to that of faculty in the senior [...]

Statements of Belle Zeller and Israel Kugler before the Board of Higher Education

These statements were prepared shortly after the Legislative Conference, led by Belle Zeller, and the United Federation of College Teachers, led by Israel Kugler, merged to form the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) in April 1972. This marked the [...]

Labor Leaders at the Celebration of Merger

This photograph was taken at the CUNY Graduate Center on 42nd St at a celebration of the merger of CUNY's two professional unions, the Legislative Conference and the United Federation of College Teachers, into the Professional Staff Congress (PSC). [...]

"BHE Freezes Salaries August 31"

In this memorandum to CUNY faculty and staff, the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) attacks the tactics of the Board of Higher Education as the parties sought to negotiate the first contract following the merger of the Legislative Conference (LC) [...]

UFCT Hunter Viewpoint: "Close Ranks! Merge! Affiliate! Revel!"

This flier was issued by the chair of the Hunter College Chapter of the United Federation of College Teachers, Bill Leicht. It calls on the members to vote in favor of the proposed merger with rival union, the Legislative Conference. the flier also [...]

UFCT Legislative Memo: Petition Against State Budget Cuts

This memo was issued to the members of the United Federation of College Teachers (UFCT) on behalf of union president Israel Kugler. It announces a petition drive against proposed budget cuts at CUNY. The document illustrates that even in times of [...]

PSC Rally with Children

This photograph was used by the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) as part of its campaign against a 50% tenure quota policy for academic departments that had been announced by Chancellor Robert Kibbee, and then approved by the Board of Higher [...]

Audience at First PSC Contract Rally

This October 1972 mass meeting at the Marc Ballroom at Union Square, New York came at a time when the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) was deadlocked with CUNY administration during negotiations for the union's first contract following its creation [...]

Lobby Efforts in Albany, NY

Belle Zeller, Professional Staff Congress (PSC) president, was a frequent visitor to the New York legislators, first on behalf of the Legislative Conference, and then, after the merger, for the PSC. Here, in 1973, she is joined by State Senator John [...]

Rally Demanding Progress in Contract Negotiations

This photograph captures a rally held by the Professional Staff Congress during their deadlock with CUNY administration over the terms of a new contract in 1973. As negotiations stalled, the PSC held a number of rallies demanding that CUNY [...]

Bus Ride to Albany Rally

Belle Zeller, Professional Staff Congress (PSC) president, can be seen at the right with Israel Kugler, the union's deputy president standing at the back. The photo was taken on a bus trip to Albany to rally in support of Open Admissions. The PSC [...]

Picketing at Baruch College

The Professional Staff Congress (PSC) picketed in favor of Open Admissions, among other things, in front of Baruch College in February 1973. Their efforts to save Open Admissions from budget cuts presaged the struggles that would come with fiscal [...]

Tenure Quota Rally

Carrying a sign that reads "Tenure Means Academic Freedom," Irwin Polishook, Vice President of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), is joined by Carol Brandon, a union leader from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, at a rally against [...]

PSC Contract Rally

The Professional Staff Congress (PSC) struggled to win its first contract from CUNY in 1972 and 1973. It called on support from others in the labor movement to help put pressure on the CUNY administration. At this meeting, President Belle Zeller of [...]

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