HTC Marches In Solidarity with CUNY and SUNY For Free, Accessible Education in the State of New York!

On Sunday, March 6 our HTC members joined over a thousand New Yorkers to support a New Deal for CUNY and SUNY to make education free and accessible again!
HTC members march over the Brooklyn Bridge carrying signs that exclaimed "FUND CUNY- THE PEOPLE'S UNIVERSITY"!
HTC member and CUNY student Marius Marinescu, gave an emotional speech at Foley Square in Manhattan, describing the important impact education has on people of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

On Sunday, March 6, HTC members marched from Brooklyn Borough Hall to Foley Square in Manhattan in solidarity with the Professional Staff Congress (PSC- CUNY) that represents 30,000 staff in the City University of New York. For over four decades, the PSC has been committed to improving the quality and accessibility of education within CUNY and has strived towards better wages and benefits for the staff. This past Sunday, we marched for free higher education and to call for more funding for CUNY and SUNY universities, funding that will go towards their academic departments and hiring more full-time faculty.

Despite the weather conditions, the energy was high as HTC joined over a thousand New Yorkers including unions and organizations like 32BJ, United University Professions, and New York Communities for Change. As we marched over the Brooklyn Bridge, together we held up signs proclaiming “INVEST IN CUNY, INVEST IN NEW YORK” and “CUNY IS ABOUT RACIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE.” People in cars and bicycles honked and expressed their support as they passed by the multitude of marching New Yorkers.

Once we reached Foley Square, HTC member and CUNY student Marius Marinescu gave a heartwarming speech on the impact that education has on working class families and what it means to him personally. He described how he and his wife are concerned with how they will provide their children with the same CUNY education they both were able to receive.

“Because HTC has fought so hard to make sure members have good middle class jobs, in the past many of us have been able to save, go to school, or to send our children to college. However, with unemployment at the hotels still very high, families and parents can no longer afford to pay or save for college,” Marius shared with the crowd.

“[My wife and I] are firm believers that education provides the pathway to a middle class lifestyle and high living standards,” Marius stated. “Our children will be attending college soon but the cost of higher education has been a massive burden on our family. We are family of four, and all are currently soon to enrolled in college. That is a lot of debt for working class families.”

Near the closing of his speech, Marius proclaimed, “This is why I am here today, demanding free higher education so more working and middle class families can send themselves and their children to college.”

Our Union is proud to stand in solidarity with PSC-CUNY and demand a New Deal for CUNY and SUNY, one that will make free, accessible, quality education a reality for all in the State of New York.