Category Archives: Global News

Articles related to the global labor movement

The Looming Student Loan Bubble

For the first time, in 2010 student loan debt exceeded 100 billion dollars. Student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt. Students are taking on massive debt, and then are unable to procure well-paying jobs to pay it off.  Economists predict that this burden will be a drag on consumer spending and the economy for years (let alone what it suggests about the lives of the students and parents who have taken on the debt), while students organize to demand loan forgiveness.  Here is the article.

–Suzanne Verderber

At U. of Colorado, most revenue from tuition hike goes to top administrators

A revealing story about the fate of most of the money derived from a nearly 10% tuition hike at the University of Colorado: most goes to salaries of top administrators. About 50% of faculty received a slight raise after salaries had been frozen for three years, and they also lose most of their tuition benefit for family members since this is a “down economy.” At U. of C., it’s apparently only a “down economy” if you’re a faculty member, not a top administrator.  Here’s the story.

–Suzanne Verderber

The State of Academic Unionism, Dec. 9, 5:15-7:30

Dear Union Members:

I am pleased to announce that on Friday, December 9th,  from 5:15-7:30, at Pratt Institute (location TBA), the UFCT Local 1460 will be hosting a lecture/presentation: “The State of Academic Unionism.” Our esteemed guests will be both Stanley Aronowitz of the CUNY Graduate Center, and Michael Pelias of LIU.

Please RSVP ASAP ( as seating will be limited. Moreover, students, friends, and guests are allowed, but we will need to know just how many to accommodate.

In Solidarity,


Report on Situation at UC Davis

Here is an excellent report on the situation at UC Davis, and in the California public university system in general, in the wake of pepper spraying of students and use of police brutality on campus.  It includes an interview with untenured professor Nathan Brown who called for the Chancellor’s resignation, and has since garnered support from around the world.  A brilliant example of faculty and students standing in solidarity against tuition hikes and the repression of free speech on campus.



Union Event on Fracking, Thurs. Oct 13

Please join the Pratt Faculty Union (UFCT 1460) for a special presentation: ‘Hydraulic Fracturing’ 
[the new Halliburton technique used to drill for natural gas]Learn how proposed “fracking” regulations will NOT protect New York City!
On Thursday, Oct. 13, from 6:30-8:30 in the Alumni Reading Room, three expert panelists will discuss proposals for New York State, the Delaware River Basin, and Lower Manhattan.  
Since 2005, when ‘fracking’ was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act, fracking has swept across the country, investors and policymakers believing we have enough domestic natural gas for perhaps 50-100 years. Unfortunately, though natural gas is in fact less dirty than coal when burned, the fracking process itself is so contaminating that when extraction is included, natural gas causes more greenhouse gas emissions than does coal, if taken out 20 years.  In addition, fracking tends to contaminate water supplies with the heavy metals, methane and radioactive materials found deep underground, as well as with the toxic chemicals used in the process itself, and also vents dangerous hydrocarbons into the air. Though it does create a few, mostly temporary jobs, it also destroys many traditional jobs. The New York Times has labeled its investment strategies as a ponzi scheme. Both New York State and the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) are about to issue fracking regulations, thus opening up NYS and the Delaware River Basin (source of 90% of NYC’s pristine drinking water) to this dangerous process, and threatening our growing local and organic farmlands.Spectra Energy is about to be issued a permit allowing it to build a 36-42-inch high-pressured gas pipeline under the West Side Highway, the West Village and Lower Chelsea. This pipeline is the same type as the one that blew-up in San Bruno, CA in 2010, killing eight people and damaging the city’s water supply system. We still have time to demand NY transition to sustainable energy, rather than natural gas.Panelists:

Joe Levine, graduate of Pratt Architecture, is a principal in the NYC firm of Bone/Levine Architects. The firm is involved with urban infrastructure upgrading and rehabilitation, conservation easement planning, and is a consultant to the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design. He is also the co-founder of NYH20 and Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, two grassroots nonprofit organizations dedicated to educating the public about the threats posed by unconventional natural gasextraction.

Craig Michaels is an attorney and consultant to the NRDC on the NY SGEIS. Previously he was the Watershed Program Director at Riverkeeper.

Clare Donohue is a kitchen and bath designer, and founding member of Sane Energy Project, a group formed to fight the Spectra pipeline and promote sustainable energy in NYC. The group has been working since early spring11 to make residents aware of the project, and in two weeks convinced 500 people to become intervenors against the pipeline. In June, SANE Energy presented more than 2500 petitions to City Council.

If interested in attending, please RSVP me at: as space is limited. Moreover, non-UFCT members as well as students are certainly welcome; I’ll just need to know beforehand for a rough head-count that cannot exceed sixty for the ARR.

Lastly, attached to this email are two fliers one B&W and one in color. Please print-out, post, and distribute within your respective department/area(s) (email Kye for attachments).

Thanks to my sister Foundation colleague: Alice Zinnes for organizing this special event!

In Solidarity,