We hope everyone reading this has been enjoying a productive and healthy summer–and getting a bit of well-earned rest and relaxation at some point within it! We are writing to bring you up to date on some union developments, and point your attention to some pressing issues you’ll hear more about from us soon.
Last week, the PSC and CUNY agreed to extend the Remote Work Agreement for professional staff and library faculty through the end of 2022. We will meet with CUNY this fall to negotiate a more permanent policy. Our pandemic experience has shown that flexibility in work location has worked well for the vast majority of our positions, and the union is seeking a policy to govern work arrangements that is transparent, consistent and fair for our members and the students we serve.
The union has contacted the Chancellor concerning COVID safety protocols on the campuses. We all must be able to work safely. A flexible masking policy must include our autonomous capacity to request and require masking at times and in spaces where members or students are at risk of severe disease from infection. Free, high-quality masks must be available to everyone on campus. Ventilation and airflow have been improved on many campuses, but adequate ventilation remains a concern in numerous buildings, offices, libraries and other CUNY facilities. We have also asked CUNY to address the emerging Monkeypox threat and inform the university community about steps they are taking to help address it. Our national affiliate, the AFT, has issued this guidance for members. This year’s infusion of new capital funding to CUNY must be directed to make all of our places of work and study safe.
We have been watching fall enrollment numbers, which at this moment are troublingly low at a number of campuses, including the community colleges and some senior colleges. PSC leaders on these campuses are mobilizing members to urge their administrations to keep sections open and allow for flexibility regarding modality, as needed, to meet student demand. Administrations should do everything to avoid canceling sections, including allowing smaller than normal classes to run–our students deserve the classes they sign up for, and our members, who pulled this university through the pandemic, deserve the respect and security of an intact schedule. CUNY must not create another crisis by canceling sections taught by adjuncts, jeopardizing their health care and income at this precarious time. The union will be circulating a petition to the Chancellor this week – please look out for it – and may organize additional actions.
Beginning August 25, the teaching adjunct pay rates negotiated in our last contract move to their highest step. Adjunct lecturers will earn $5500 per 3-credit course and $6875 per 4-credit course, while Adjunct Assistant Professors, Adjunct Associate Professors, and Adjunct Professors will earn higher salaries. Any teaching adjunct who was on schedule to earn a higher salary than the new single rate for their job title will receive their 2% increase on November 1. More information is available in the July issue of Clarion, and teaching adjuncts can confirm updated rates of pay with their college’s office of Human Resources.
Finally, we will be holding a PSC-wide picnic to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Professional Staff Congress! We invite all members, your families, colleagues and friends to convene in Prospect Park, in the picnic area outside the Picnic House, from 12-4 pm on August 28th.
James Davis, President
Andrea Vásquez, First Vice President
Felicia Wharton, Treasurer
Penny Lewis, Secretary
Published: August 3, 2022
Last Modified: August 23, 2022