FAQs

Updated: October 30, 2019
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SALARY FAQS

1. If the proposed contract is ratified, how much would my salary increase?

Salary and hourly rates would increase by 10.41% by the end of the contract, through five

2% increases:

  • 10/1/18        2%
  • 10/31/19      2% compounded
  • 11/15/20      2% compounded
  • 11/15/21      2% compounded
  • 11/1/22        2% compounded

The 12,000 teaching adjuncts and the 3,000 full-time employees in certain lower-paid titles will receive additional increases based on the principles of equity and lifting the salary floor for all.

Those in teaching adjunct and hourly professorial titles will see a substantial additional increase in pay at the start of next semester, when they will begin to be responsible for and paid for weekly office hours.  In general, these titles will not see the last 2% increase, because they will be advanced to a new hourly rate based on a single rate of pay per course per title on August 25, 2022, the first day of the Fall 2022 semester. (See Sections II through IV of the Memorandum of Agreement, as well as answers to additional FAQs and How the Increases in Adjunct Pay Would Work.)

The dates of the across-the-board increases were agreed to as part of the overall economic framework.  The union’s position was that there must be an increase for every year of the contract, and we achieved that, even though CUNY originally proposed a delay of more than a year and a half before the first increase.

The proposed agreement also includes equity increases in salary rates for 3,000 employees in lower-paid full-time titles (CLT titles, Assistant to HEO, and Lecturer and related titles).  See below.

2. Is there any retroactive pay in the proposed agreement? 

Yes, and we had to push hard to win it.CUNY management’s initial offer included no back-pay and a delay of more than a year and a half before any increases would be paid, but the PSC refused to accept a contract without retroactive increases for 2018 and 2019.After intense negotiations, we won an agreement that includes an increase in every year of the contract and retroactive increases for everyone represented by the PSC who was on payroll on October 1, 2018 and everyone who was on payroll on October 31, 2019 (including those who have since retired or left CUNY).

Back-pay is the difference between what you were actually paid and what you would have been paid if the new contractual higher rates had been in place at the time.As an example, for someone earning a salary of $50,000 and on payroll for both increases, back-pay will be between $1,500 and $2,000, depending on when it is paid.Back-pay is taxed and is subject to the same payroll deductions as your regular paycheck.Some members may want to consult a tax professional for more information about the income tax implications.

Examples: The dollar amounts in these examples are estimates until the applicable salary schedules are finalized with CUNY, and the examples assume that retroactive pay will be paid on 2/1/20. A date for payment of retroactive increases will be determined if the contract is ratified.

  1. For an Associate Professor (or HE Associate) who was on the $84,768 salary step from the 4/20/17 salary schedule at the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester, the annual salary goes up by 2% on 10/1/18 ( to $86,372 annually). She is owed 3/12 of the difference in the annual amounts for October through December ($423). On 1/1/19, she went up a salary step to $87,495, which went up by 2% to $89,245. So she is owed 10/12 of the difference for January through October 2019 ($1,458). On 10/31/19, that step goes up by another 2% (to $91,030), so the difference between the new salary rate and the one she was paid is $589 for the two months until 1/1/20 when she will go up another step which will be 4.04% higher than the 4/20/17 salary step amount. The one-month value of that difference is $306, so the estimated retroactive pay due (before taxes and deductions) totals $2,777.
  2. For a Higher Education Officer (or full Professor) who was on the $101,043 salary step from the 4/20/17 salary schedule at the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester, the annual salary goes up by 2% on 10/1/18 ( to $103,064 annually). He is owed 3/12 of the difference in the annual amounts for October through December ($505). On 1/1/19, he went up a salary step to $104,461, which step went up by 2% to $106,550. So he is owed 10/12 of the difference for January through October 2019 ($1,741). On 10/31/19, that step goes up by another 2% (to $108,681), so the difference between the new salary rate and the one he was paid is $703 for the two months until 1/1/20, when he will go up another step, which will be 4.04% higher than the 4/20/17 salary step amount. The one-month value of that difference is $366, so the estimated retroactive pay due (before taxes and deductions) totals $3,315.
  3. For a CLT on the $55,642 salary step, the formula works similarly, except that on 1/1/20 the salary step to which the CLT moves is $2,500 higher than before because of the equity increase (see below). For a CLT at the 4/20/17 annual salary of $55,642 on 9/30/18, the salary will have increased by 2% on 10/1/18 to $56,755. 3/12ths (for October through December 2018) of the difference is $278. He moved to the next higher step on 1/1/19, $57,281, which was increased by 2% on 10/1/18. 10/12ths of the difference (January through October 2019) is $955.  That salary rate increases by another 2% on 10/31/19 to $59,596. The difference between the new rate and the rate he was paid for the 2 months between 10/31/19 and 12/31/19 is $386. On 1/1/20, the CLT moves to the next higher salary step which, in addition to the two 2% increases, is now $2,500 more because of the equity increase effective on that date, and equals an annual salary of $63,801 (over $8,000 more than his annual salary before the first increase of this contract).

The one-month value of the 1/1/20 increases is $407, so the estimated retroactive pay due (before taxes and deductions) totals $2,026. 

These are approximate amounts because the new salary schedules must be finalized with CUNY, and CUNY calculates retroactive pay based on days, not months.

3. If the contract is ratified, when would I actually get my higher pay and back-pay?  I hear there was a long delay for DC37 members at CUNY.

The PSC bargaining team repeatedly expressed to CUNY management that increases must be implemented—and retroactive pay paid—as promptly as possible. CUNY management, however, has made no commitments as to dates.  After the last contract was settled, the PSC had to press CUNY hard for timely payment, and they still took five months to pay. The union leadership has already designated a team of officers and staff prepared to focus as soon as a contract is ratified on ensuring that the CUNY administration moves with dispatch to get raises paid.  If necessary, the PSC will campaign to press the Board of Trustees to provide enough resources to ensure prompt payment.

4. What is meant by “equity increases” and who will receive them?

Equity increases are increases in pay in addition to the “across-the-board” raises.  One of the major economic victories of the proposed contract is that it provides equity increases in salary for lower-paid full-time employees as well as the major gain for teaching adjuncts. Management initially took the position that there could be no equity increases for full-time employees if there was to be a significant adjunct increase. The union prevailed.

If the proposed contract is ratified, about 3,000 colleagues in full-time titles will receive salary increases on base in addition to the annual 2% raises.  The equity increases, all of which will be applied to every step of the given salary schedule, are as follows:

  • Full-time CLT titles, effective January 1, 2020:
  • $2,500 for CLTs
  • $2,000 for Senior CLTs
  • $1,500 for Chief CLTs
  • Assistants to HEO, effective February 1, 2021: $1,000
  • Lecturers, Lecturers Doctoral Schedule, CLIP and CUNY Start Instructors, and EOC Lecturers, effective April 1, 2021: $1,500

The different dates for equity increases are part of the overall economic framework of the agreement.

There are are several other important equity gains in the proposed contract, notably the provisions for graduate employees and the increases to the professional development grant funds for HEOs, CLTs, Adjuncts and Continuing Ed faculty. 

The other major equity increase in the proposed contract is the increase in support for the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund.  Benefit enhancements have a significant equity effect because the out-of-pocket costs saved represent a larger savings relative to income for lower-paid workers than for higher-paid workers.  For instance, if everyone who buys new glasses using the Welfare Fund program saves $400, the savings represents 0.5% of total annual income for the person earning $80,000 a year but fully 1% of annual income for the person earning $40,000 a year. 

The proposed contract also incorporates an agreement between the City of New York and a coalition of municipal unions, including the PSC, to maintain the increasingly rare option of premium-free health insurance.  The option of premium-free health insurance also contributes to equity between the higher- and lower-paid.

5. How do our proposed raises compare to those of other state and city employees in this round of bargaining?

The “pattern” of raises for NY State and City employees in this round of bargaining has been 2% per year.  The 2% “across-the-board” (applicable to all pay rates) raises in the proposed PSC contract are consistent with the “pattern”—the economic construct city and state governments normally apply to all union contracts. Individual unions negotiated slight variations in year-to-year percentages. (For example, DC 37 negotiated one 3% raise, but it covers a period of a year and a half.)

Another source of variation is the additional funding for “equity increases,” which was agreed to by both the City and State, but with the proviso that these amounts would not be applied to the across-the-board increases. For example, in their contract with SUNY, UUP negotiated a modest additional percentage to address inequities arising from compression of full-time salaries. (Their contract does not have salary step schedules.) DC 37 negotiated a small additional percentage from the City and CUNY to address salary inequities and provide funds to maintain benefits. Increased funding for welfare funds is also part of most public employee contracts in this round. 

The area in which the proposed PSC contract differs dramatically from those negotiated by other unions is in the approach to pay for adjunct faculty.  The PSC succeeded in negotiating significant increases in pay rates for adjuncts for time spent in weekly office hours with students and other professional responsibilities.    

6. Did we agree to any concessions or give-backs?

No. The CUNY administration made many demands for give-backs—such as giving up job security for certain positions or reducing summer annual leave for full-time faculty—but because union members gave the bargaining team the support needed to take a firm stand, we were able to make substantial gains while resisting concessionary demands.

The management demands we did accept as part of getting to an agreement on our demands include a pilot program to allow colleges to pay “stipends” to full-time faculty for special projects such as developing new online programs; a provision to restructure junior faculty reassigned time as a result of the reduced course load; a pilot program allowing tenured full-time faculty in specific year-round master’s programs at Baruch to teach part of their annual course load in the summer; and two adjustments to accommodate evaluation of full-time faculty who teach the majority of their courses in a department or program other than the one to which they are appointed. Language concerning these provisions can be found in the MOA on the PSC website.