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Home » Clarion » 2024 » March 2024 » Non-academic unions reach pact

Non-academic unions reach pact

What does it mean for PSC negotiations?By ARI PAUL

CUNY has tentatively agreed to a contract settlement with several unions representing workers in non-pedagogical titles. The question on the minds of faculty and professional staff is: What does this mean for the PSC’s bargaining position?

Henry Garrido

Henry Garrido, Photo credit: Courtesy of CUNY

The Chief reported that the administration has settled joint contract talks with District Council 37, Teamsters Local 237 and Service Employees International Union Local 300, “representing college assistants, IT staff, bookkeepers and other CUNY employees.” The paper reported that the deal “includes 14.9% in compounded wage increases over the span of the 67-month agreement.” The deal is retroactive to June 2021 for DC 37 members, March 2021 for Local 300 members and September 2021 for Teamsters, and comes with a ratification bonus of $3,000.

“With this contract, they will be able to withstand inflation and the rising cost of living,” Local 300 President Jim Golden said in a statement.

DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said in a statement that the deal “fairly compensates our members and responds to the new world of work.”

The good news is that the deal raises minimum pay for those covered in this contract from $15 per hour to $18. And the retroactive language sets a precedent that there is in fact money available for some kind of retroactive agreement in the next PSC-CUNY deal.


But PSC members have dealt with record inflation and a rising cost of living. It has been an especially dark economic time for adjuncts, who do not enjoy job security, and professional staff at the lower end of the pay scale. The PSC seeks to go above and beyond the pattern set here.

“I am happy to see that DC 37 at CUNY – along with some of the other, smaller CUNY unions – have gotten a new contract,” said Sharon Utakis, the PSC vice president for community colleges and a member of the union’s bargaining team. “They certainly deserve increases, though I would say that the increases that they got were smaller than I would have hoped, and far less than what we hope to get for our PSC contract. The members of DC 37 are getting ratification bonuses of $3,000, but since ratification bonuses are a one-time thing, they are far less valuable than higher across-the-board increases.”


Utakis, a professor of English at Bronx Community College, added, “In the PSC, we will need to fight harder to get better across-the-board increases along with many of the other demands that we have put forward.”

She added, “[We] will need to show that power in a variety of ways in order to win what we want.”

The deals are awaiting ratification by the unions’ memberships and must be approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees.

In August, the members of the United University Professions ratified a contract with SUNY that included, according to a union statement, “across-the-board raises, with a 2% raise for 2022 and 3% raises for 2023, 2024 and 2025.” The City’s agreement with the United Federation of Teachers also looms large. Last year, the mayor’s office announced that it had reached a deal with the UFT, based on the pattern set in a previous agreement with DC 37, that “includes wage increases of 3% for each of the first three years of the contract, 3.25% in the fourth year, and 3.50% in the fifth year.”

The UFT deal “also includes a $3,000 lump sum ratification bonus for all UFT members and a first-of-its-kind annual retention payment to be paid in May of each year, beginning with $400 in 2024, $700 in 2025 and $1,000 in 2026 and every year thereafter.”

Published: February 27, 2024

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