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Home » Clarion » 2015 » December 2015 » Labor In Brief

Labor In Brief


Working Families Party Backs Sanders for President

The union-backed national Working Families Party (WFP) overwhelmingly endorsed US Senator Bernie Sanders for president. It is the first time the party has endorsed in a presidential contest.

The PSC is affiliated with the WFP. In the past week, the New York State leadership group voted to bind its two delegates attending the WFP endorsement convention to the outcome of a national membership plebiscite on the three Democratic Party presidential candidates. The PSC voted with the majority of the NYS WFP leadership regarding a binding plebiscite but was not a part of the national convention that endorsed Bernie Sanders.

The online membership vote was open to all WFP members who affirmed support for WFP values, and was combined with a vote of WFP’s national advisory board that included representatives from the party’s state organizations. Sanders took 87.4 percent of the vote and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won 11.5 percent.

Clinton, however, has garnered the endorsements of major unions, including the American Federation of Teachers, of which PSC-CUNY is a local. (PSC President Barbara Bowen was among three AFT leaders who voted against the endorsement; see the September Clarion.) Earlier this month, Sanders supported PSC’s contract campaign, tweeting, “We must invest in our public institutions! We stand with @PSC_CUNY in their fight for a fair contract.”

Journal Explores Adjunct Labor Organizing

The most recent issue of the academic journal WorkingUSA (published by Wiley-Blackwell), examines contingent academic work with articles exploring organizing, tactics and collective bargaining.

This issue, “Contingent Academic Labor: The Way Forward,” is edited by PSC bargaining team member Marcia Newfield; Polina Kroik, adjunct assistant professor at York College; and Joe Berry, one of the founders of The Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, which convenes biennial conferences, the most recent one hosted by PSC-CUNY in 2014.

Newfield introduces the issue by tracing the evolution of adjunct organizing. Anthony Prato, an instructor with the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP) at Queensborough Community College, addresses organizing efforts for CLIP and CUNY Start instructors, who are “mislabeled as part-time [workers.]” PSC staff organizer Eric Paul outlines steps that activists can take to build collective power at the grassroots level.

This issue of WorkingUSA is available for $12 and can be obtained by emailing Marcia Newfield.

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