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This Week in the PSC

No Business As Usual for CUNY | Bargaining Updates

May 22, 2024

No Business As Usual for CUNY Management and the Board of Trustees

Real Raises! Job Security! Contract Now!

An 11th hour location change from Midtown to the Bronx didn’t stop over 140 PSC members from disrupting business as usual at the CUNY Board of Trustees meeting this past Monday, May 20th at Bronx Community College. We’ve worked 15 months without a new contract and have resisted management attacks on job security and governance.

CUNY Board Chair William Thompson tried to ignore the angry faculty and staff with “Protect Our Jobs” and “Respect” signs when he started the public portion of Monday’s Board meeting. But he was flummoxed when President James Davis interrupted the proceedings to declare that PSC members are tired of the disrespect CUNY has shown its workers. Then it was impossible for the Board and chancellery to ignore the theater full of loud and proud PSC members chanting “Real Raises! Job Security! Contract Now!” After security escorted the union out of the meeting, we rallied outside the building until we were ushered off campus.

“What the Board heard from you all today was anger and impatience–you’re fed up with business as usual at the university and you made that known loud and clear. And when they try to proceed with business as usual we are not going to let them,” Davis concluded to the protestors outside the college gates.

Photos and video from the action are posted here on the PSC website and on the PSC’s X, Instagram and Facebook feeds.


Bargaining Updates 17 and 18

The bargaining update for the April 30 and May 13 sessions are posted here on the PSC website. In the April session management continued to raise the constraints of the city and state pattern on their overall economic offer. The union challenged the idea of a limited “pie” created by the pattern. “The pie is a political artifact,” said President Davis, as he pressed management to make a better offer. Union advocacy brought tens of millions more to CUNY at the last minute of the state budget negotiations, and management’s offers have not even achieved the full value of other public-sector contracts settled in this round of bargaining. There is money available for a better offer.

The parties returned to the table Monday, May 13, with counter proposals regarding multi-year appointments for adjuncts. The update for that session is here. We remain divided on the most critical aspect of the provision: job security. CUNY contends that our departments cannot guarantee work. The union contends that with few exceptions departments have been able to operate well within Appendix E and has outlined numerous ways that a department and college might employ an adjunct whose department does not have sufficient courses for them during the length of the contract. Since the parties failed to reach an agreement on a successor to Appendix E by the May 15 appointment deadline for next year, teaching adjuncts who would otherwise have been eligible for a multi-year appointment were eligible only for a one-year appointment. As these critical negotiations continue, the PSC will seek to hold these adjuncts harmless in the transition and maintain their continuity of service under the terms of the new provision. Management put forward counter proposals on various PSC demands–most with some objectionable provisions that must be addressed. The PSC also presented a counter proposal to CUNY’s offer on Lecturer advancement.

The bargaining update for the May 15 session will be posted to the Bargaining Dates and Updates section of the contract campaign webpage soon.


 Observe Contract Bargaining

The next bargaining sessions are scheduled for May 29, June 3 and June 5. All dues-paying members are welcome to observe a bargaining session after attending an online orientation. Your next opportunity to attend an orientation will be:

• Wednesday, June 12, 6:30-7:30 PM, Register here for the 6/12 Zoom.


Write Your NYC Council Member Urge Them to Keep Fighting for CUNY

New York City’s budget deadline is in six weeks, and we have to do everything in our power as a union to shore up our CUNY champions in the City Council. The Council has been a bulwark against the Mayor’s cuts to CUNY. They restored tens of millions of dollars in funding for community colleges in last year’s City budget and are the driving force behind CUNY Reconnect, an incredibly successful re-enrollment program. But the Mayor has cut almost $95 million from CUNY’s budget since he took office, and we have been forced to rely on the City Council to backfill critical programs and services. Send this letter to your NYC Council member.

The letter urges the Council to:

  • continue fighting for CUNY to restore cuts and lift hiring freezes;
  • focus on funding student services;
  • mandate that CUNY screen students for Fair Fares so students without free MetroCards don’t pay too much; and
  • make capital investments in CUNY campuses.

If you live outside of the city, use the address of your CUNY campus and send the letter as a worker in the local council member’s district.

SEND NYC BUDGET LETTER


Victory for Retirees Maintained

Yesterday, May 21, the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court upheld an August 2023 ruling issued by Judge Lyle Frank in a suit brought by the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees. Frank’s ruling blocked the Adams administration from forcing the city’s 250,000 municipal retirees out of traditional Medicare and into a Medicare Advantage plan. The PSC filed an amicus brief supporting retirees’ right to stay on traditional Medicare in January. The Adams administration intends to appeal.


WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

There are five raffle winners drawn from the 1,469 HEOs, CLTs and faculty librarians who filled out the 2024 Staffing and Workload Survey. This number represents an excellent 30% return rate. This month’s Clarion shares some results and a full analysis will be coming this summer. The raffle winners are Alba Lynch, Edgardo Sanabria-Valentín, Jessica McBride, Tara Smith, and Annabella Bernard.


Unemployment Insurance Information Session for Adjuncts

Friday, May 31, 3:30 – 5 PM, Zoom

Adjuncts who are not working or whose total earnings from all employment is less than $504 per week should apply for unemployment insurance, with or without a letter of non-reappointment. Eligibility will be determined by your individual circumstances.

Jon Bloom, executive director of the Workers’ Defense League, will join the PSC Committee for Adjuncts and Part-timers for a Zoom seminar to review the details and quirks of unemployment insurance for CUNY adjuncts. Register here to better understand your rights and learn how to navigate the process.

 


Union Grievance Wins $1.7 Million for CUNY Adjuncts and Instructional Staff

More than 4,300 adjuncts and other instructional staff represented by the PSC will receive a combined payout of more than $1.7 million dollars under the terms of a new settlement agreement signed by President Davis on Wednesday, May 22. The settlement stems from college and CUNY-wide grievances filed by the union in June 2020 after CUNY failed to provide proper compensation for required online trainings provided by the colleges and CUNY Central in the Spring and Summer of 2020. The affected adjuncts and instructional staff who are party to the agreement were paid varying amounts at the time of the training, but those amounts were less than what CUNY was contractually obligated to pay. The settlement will bring the full payment for the online trainings up to $900 per worker, and CUNY will be required to pay each affected worker the difference between what they were paid and the agreed upon $900. Individual payouts will range from $6 to $800. The payment will appear as a line item on members’ paychecks. CUNY Payroll has not yet confirmed a payment date, but members should look out for the payment this summer.

 

 


Published: May 22, 2024 | Last Modified: May 23, 2024

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