Wednesday, March 14, 2018
On Monday, the CUNY Board of Trustees visited Brooklyn College for its annual Public Borough Hearing. They got an earful inside and outside the Student Center on issues from campus facilities to adjunct salaries to control of student activity fees.
NYPIRG President Smitha Vargese inveighs against unilateral action on student activity fees by Board of Trustees.
Brooklyn College students make plain their demands, accompanied by Conservatory musician Allan Randall.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
The PSC Executive Council approved the following resolution, to be voted on at the April 2018 annual Representative Assembly of the New York State United Teachers:
NYSUT Members Support PSC’s $7K Campaign
And All NYSUT Locals’ Campaigns for Fair Adjunct Pay
Whereas, teachers’ unions were formed in order to demand and win professional pay and treatment for work that had previously been undervalued and viewed as non-professional; and
Whereas, as teachers’ unions have multiplied and grown, they have expanded their work, winning better pay and treatment for other educational workers, for paraprofessionals and for others in service of the public good; and
Whereas, in higher education, however, the past 40 years have seen a slow but devastating hollowing out of the profession, as public funding has been systematically reduced and universities and colleges have responded not by challenging the premise of austerity but by accommodating to scarcity: they have cut costs by replacing full-time tenured faculty with part-time contingent faculty, who are paid at a fraction of the full-timers’ rate; and
Whereas, more than 70 percent of faculty appointments in higher education nationally are now held by non-tenure-track, part-time and/or contingent employees; and
Whereas the City University of New York, whose academic employees are represented by the Professional Staff Congress, a NYSUT local, employs an exceptionally large number of part-time—or “adjunct”—faculty, currently more than 13,000, and whereas, CUNY is able to attract outstanding adjunct faculty despite low pay because of its location in New York City and the power of CUNY’s mission to draw committed, progressive teachers; and
Whereas, the starting pay for CUNY adjuncts is $3,222 for a regular 3-credit college course; and
Whereas, several thousand CUNY adjuncts rely for their entire paycheck on their adjunct teaching at CUNY, cobbling together multiple courses for an annual income of about $25,000 for a full teaching load; and
Whereas, given the number of hours required for teaching a course, $3,222 per course barely amounts to $15 an hour, forcing some CUNY adjuncts to rely on public assistance and others to be evicted from their apartments; and
Whereas, CUNY adjuncts typically have advanced degrees, including multiple Master’s degrees and Ph.D.s; and
Whereas, PSC has made major improvements for adjuncts during the last 17 years, including winning health insurance, paid office hours, three-year appointments with guaranteed income, professional development grant funds, improved sick leave and bereavement leave, and the conversion to full-time, salaried positions of more than 300 adjuncts and part-time instructors; and
Whereas, PSC is now attempting the hardest and most important adjunct improvement of all—fair pay—the goal of its collective bargaining demand for a minimum of $7,000 per 3-credit course for adjuncts; and
Whereas, other higher education locals in NYSUT are also pressing for fair adjunct pay, including United University Professions, which has made the demand for a substantial increase in adjunct pay a major part of its collective bargaining agenda; and
Whereas, New York State prides itself on espousing progressive values and supporting working people, and whereas New York State has the highest union density in the country, and whereas New York State recently passed breakthrough legislation on a $15-per-hour minimum wage; and
Whereas, it is in the interest of all education workers to fight for professional pay for other educational workers because the persistence of substandard pay devalues the education profession and creates an incentive to maintain low pay throughout education employment; and
Whereas, it is in the interest of all union members in New York State to demand that no unionized employers be allowed to persist in paying substandard wages; therefore be it
RESOLVED that NYSUT supports PSC’s campaign for $7K and all other NYSUT locals’ campaigns for fair adjunct pay, and that the NYSUT leadership will call on NYSUT members across the state to join the PSC in actions, demonstrations and advocacy for $7K, because a victory on $7K at CUNY would be a victory for every teacher, professor, education worker and student in the state; and be it further
RESOLVED that the NYSUT leadership will call on the NYS AFL-CIO to make fair pay for adjuncts throughout the state a major budget priority in 2018.