Much of our power comes from a mobilized membership and close alliances with our affiliates, students and their communities. The PSC has mobilzed our members and allies to protect health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together we have won key contract provisions (e.g. winning the first paid parental leave benefit for public employees in NY state). Similar — and sometimes even bigger membership mobilizations and key alliances — have secured victories beyond the contract. Over the past decade the PSC has:
- Save Lives. Save Jobs. Save CUNY! 2020
- Restructured pay for teaching adjuncts and added paid office hours, increasing the minimum for a three-credit course by the end of the 2017-23 contract to $5,500 (an increase of 71%), four-credit course to $6,875,
- Expanded graduate employee health insurance funding and tuition waivers in 2017-23 contracts.
- Increased Welfare Fund funding in the 2017-23 contract, supporting further benefit enhancements.
- Doubled travel funds under the 2017-23 contract
- Negotiated a three-credit reduction in teaching load for full-time faculty, to be phased in by 2020.
- Achieved the first multiyear appointments for teaching adjuncts at CUNY, including a provision for guaranteed income.
- Secured full and ongoing funding for Adjunct Health Insurance.
- Won and ratified first contract ever for Research Foundation Field Units.
- Increased sabbatical pay from 50 percent to 80 percent.
- Expanded PSC-CUNY grants under faculty control.
- Enhanced enforcement of the HEO workweek against the abuse of arbitrary overtime.
- Won full-paid reassigned time for research for junior faculty.
- Implemented a dedicated sick leave agreement.
- Won the first paid parental leave benefit for public employees in New York State.
- Enhanced member benefits for dental, vision and hearing care, and restored the finances of the Welfare Fund..
- Played key role in securing graduate employee health insurance from NY state.
- Won paid office hour for adjuncts (section 15.2b of contract).
- Negotiated new RF Central Office contract with enhanced benefits and salaries.
- Won salary differential for CLTs with advanced degrees.
- Secured reclassification benefits and salary differentials for HEOs.
Last contract: March 13, 2019 rally in front of governor’s NYC office.
Beyond the bargaining table, in Albany, at City Hall and in the larger labor and progressive movements, the PSC has contested austerity budgets, advocated for immigrant students, opposed racism, defended academic freedom, moved our national affiliates to oppose an unjust war in Iraq, took principled stands on elections for political office, protected teacher-preparation programs against the testing regime, marched as the largest labor contingent in the massive People’s Climate March in 2014, supported other workers in struggle and on strike – and much more.
Over the years, the PSC has activated thousands of members in campaigns ranging in focus from contract to budget to workload to equity for adjuncts to parental leave – and more. Below is a gallery of photos showcasing the breadth of PSC’s work and the level of participation in our campaigns.
In November 2015, 52 union members were arrested for blocking the entrance of the CUNY Central Office on 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan. The civil disobedience took place after a bargaining session where CUNY offered no retroactive raises for four of the years that union members have worked without a contract. CUNY eventually settled the contract with retroactive pay.
The PSC turned out in force on Sept. 21, 2014 for the People’s Climate March. Hundreds of us joined the estimated 310,000 marchers to demand action from world leaders two days before a U.N. climate summit. The PSC was the largest labor contingent in the march.
The PSC organized over a twelve-year period to stabilize healthcare funding for qualifying adjuncts. That meant moving adjunct healthcare from the PSC/CUNY Welfare Fund to the New York City plan. A key point of mobilization was a huge rally both outside and inside a Board of Trustees meeting on September 26, 2011 (see picture above). At that meeting, the B.O.T. agreed to seek city funding for adjnct healthcare. Almost three years later, on July 30, 2014, the PSC, the B.O.T. and the city signed an agreement that regularized health insurance for an important part of the CUNY teaching workforce and contributed to stabilizing the finances of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund.
Success! The parental leave campaign mobilized thousands of supporters — and won! Above: Parents and children who took advantage of the leave benefit at a celebration at the PSC Union Hall, 10/24/09.