Campaign to Save Adjunct Healthcare: Why Now?

CUNYdependsOnAdjunctLabor.jpgThe PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund provides supplemental health benefits for CUNY’s full-time faculty and staff, management employees, retirees, and their families. Since 1986, the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund has also provided basic health insurance for eligible adjuncts.

It is an anomaly to provide basic health insurance for any group through a supplemental benefits fund. CUNY adjuncts are treated differently from other City workers who are employed half-time or more, and from SUNY adjuncts—both groups are eligible for the same health insurance as full-timers. Despite intense advocacy by the PSC, CUNY has never corrected this inequity. CUNY’s contributions to the Welfare fund for adjunct health insurance have failed to keep up with rising health care costs or CUNY’s own growing dependence on adjunct faculty.

Since 2003, CUNY’s contribution to the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund for adjunct health insurance has remained unchanged, regardless of the number of eligible adjuncts or the cost of the insurance per individual. Meanwhile, both the number of participating adjuncts and the amount charged by health insurance companies have skyrocketed, resulting in a total cost increase of 400%.

CUNY’s chronic underfunding of the Welfare Fund has finally led to a crisis where in hundreds of CUNY’s adjunct faculty stand to lose access to employer-provided health insurance, if the university fails to act.

On July 25th 2011 the trustees of the Welfare Fund passed a resolution stating that unless sufficient funding or an alternative source of adjunct health insurance is made available by the end of August 2012, the current adjunct health insurance plan will be discontinued and a severely reduced benefit will be put in its place. The union is fighting back. Join us.