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CUNY Union Chapter Unanimously Passes Resolution in Support of Trans Rights

The Graduate Center chapter of PSC-CUNY, the faculty, staff, and graduate worker union of the City University of New York, passed a resolution pledging support to all workers fighting the anti-trans bills nationwide.

Olivia Wood

March 12, 2023
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A sign drawn on a small whiteboard, in trans pride colors. Text: "CUNY Graduate Center and Professional Schools Workers for Trans Rights" Beneath the text is a chain of 9 smiling stick figures in different colors, all holding hands

In a March 10 chapter meeting, union members from the CUNY Graduate Center and the CUNY professional schools unanimously passed a resolution in support of trans rights, pledging support to all workers fighting the nearly 400 anti-LGBTQ bills currently under consideration in the United States, and committing to fighting for trans co-workers and students at the City University of New York. The full text is published below.

Statements of support are always nice, but can often feel hollow. But as the author of this resolution myself, let me be perfectly clear:

We are already working on organizing for expanded name change procedures in our union chapter, with plans to expand our demands to the other issues discussed in the resolution. And I could not be more sincere about the invitation for other workers in states facing anti-trans laws to reach out to us to discuss how we can support you, collectively, as a union chapter. Whether that takes the form of more solidarity statements, or a Zoom conversation about organizing strategies, thinking about the possibility of some of us traveling to support actions in other states, or  something else. We will help you as much as we can, given your needs and the capacity and resources at our disposal. Please reach out to our chapter via email or on social media. You do not need to be a union leader or even a union member — any worker or student interested in organizing against these bills is welcome.

PSC-GC Resolution in Support of Trans People and Education Workers Fighting Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills Nationwide

Whereas as of March 3, 2023, the ACLU is tracking over 371 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in this legislative session alone;

Whereas many of these bills aim to forcibly detransition trans children and adults and prevent people from beginning to transition, exclude trans people from public spaces through criminalization, prevent minors from learning about LGBTQ+ people and topics, and create a hostile environment for trans youth in schools;

Whereas as a result, many of these bills directly target students and education workers, such as “Don’t Say Gay” bills that ban workers from discussing LGBTQ+ topics and/or gendering their students correctly, and bills that require education workers to forcibly out their students against their wishes;

Whereas some of these bills could effectively ban trans people from working in education, and many would force all queer workers to remain closeted at work;

Whereas the Professional Staff Congress, as a union of education workers, has a particular interest in supporting the interests of other education workers worldwide;

Whereas we oppose all forms of oppression, including but not limited to homophobia and transphobia, and recognize that oppression also functions to divide workers from one another and keep wages low; 

Whereas we recognize that these bills and the enforcement of these bills will disproportionately impact multiply-marginalized people, such as trans people of color, trans women, disabled trans people, and anyone whose personal finances limit their ability to respond to changing circumstances;

Whereas while the New York State Legislature is not currently considering a similar bill, trans students and workers in New York and at CUNY specifically still face various forms of oppression;

Be it resolved that the assembled members of the Graduate Center chapter of PSC-CUNY, as well as members of the HEO chapter who work at the Graduate Center, stand in solidarity with all queer, trans, non-binary, and/or intersex students and workers;

And be it further resolved that the assembled members of the Graduate Center chapter of PSC-CUNY, as well as members of the HEO chapter who work at the Graduate Center, invites students and education workers in other states, unionized or not, to reach out to us, and that we pledge to assist them in their fight against these bills in any way that fits both their needs and our capacity and resources;

And be it further resolved that we commit to fighting for trans rights at CUNY, including but not limited to the right to use one’s chosen name on all documentation, to expand the number of gender neutral bathrooms on campuses, improve access to and coverage of transition-related healthcare for CUNY students and workers, and protect students, faculty, and staff from gender-based discrimination in and out of the classroom.

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Olivia Wood

Olivia is a writer and editor at Left Voice and lecturer in English at the City University of New York (CUNY).

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