RF Campus Contract Ratified
Years of organizing and activism made the first-ever RF campus contract possible.
PSC members employed by the CUNY Research Foundation (RF-CUNY) at New York City Tech, LaGuardia Community College, and the Graduate Center voted to ratify their first-ever union contracts by a vote of 177 to 0. The votes were counted and results certified by the American Arbitration Association on May 23. RF-CUNY’s Board of Directors was expected to cast a similar vote of approval for the new agreements as Clarion went to press in the last days of May. The contract would then take effect June 1, when the first 2% wage increase is scheduled. In addition to wages, the agreement covers health insurance, arbitration and grievance procedures, and other terms and conditions of employment for RF workers at the three campuses. RF employees at the three schools will be included in a single union chapter.
MEC Campus Update
This year the administration at Medgar Evers College (MEC) has been the target of criticism from faculty and staff, often concerning its friction with MEC’s community-oriented academic centers. The Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions, which combines policy work on criminal justice issues with support for former offenders seeking access to college, was finally forced to leave MEC in March, after a long-running dispute about its status on campus, and has relocated to offices in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Another sore point at MEC has been complaints from union members about a lack of due process. The administration has now ended the practice of using security guards to deliver letters of non-reappointment to faculty members at their classrooms. “They are beginning to meet their responsibilities,” said PSC Chapter Chair Clinton Crawford. But “until they change the present climate” overall, Crawford said, the school will not see real improvement. MEC still has the most union grievances of any CUNY campus.
Five hundred MEC students have signed a petition asking President William Pollard for a public meeting to address a list of 31 questions on issues of financial transparency, college priorities and community relations. On May 16, student organizers took their concerns to a governance meeting in the college’s main auditorium. Campus security personnel initially threatened them with a summons for “unlawful assembly” when they entered the auditorium, but backed off after intervention by former Congressmember Major Owens.
RELATED COVERAGE: Update: More on Medgar Evers College