What is the status of the Multi-Year Appointment provision for Teaching Adjuncts?
The multi-year appointment provision is a pilot program negotiated in the PSC-CUNY contract (2010-2017 and renewed in the 2017-2023 contract). See Appendix E for eligibility requirements. PSC and CUNY are negotiating a successor collective bargaining agreement, and the multi-year appointment provision is among the key issues. CUNY management has expressed opposition to the program and said they intend to let it expire unless a new agreement is reached between the parties. However, the PSC is seeking to extend and improve multi-year appointments for teaching adjuncts.
Is this provision of the PSC-CUNY contract still in effect?
- Yes, until the end of the 2023-2024 academic year, unless the PSC and CUNY reach a new agreement.
- The most recent cohort of adjuncts who were eligible for the 3-year appointment began their appointment in Fall 2023.
- The appointment of all adjuncts who are currently serving on a 3-year appointment will remain in effect until the end of the term of their respective appointments. This is true even if the pilot program were to expire.
- The PSC encourages adjuncts who would be eligible for their first 3-year appointment or a subsequent 3-year appointment to prepare as if the PSC will prevail in negotiations and the provision will be extended. Eligible adjuncts should request observations, review all their personnel files, and submit materials required for the comprehensive review by their departments.
Can an adjunct who is completing a 3-year appointment and is non-reappointed be re-hired by the same department on a shorter appointment?
- No. If an adjunct on a 3-year appointment is non-reappointed, the adjunct cannot be appointed on a 1-semester or 1-year basis. If this were permitted, colleges could circumvent the provision by directing departments to non-reappoint anyone who qualifies, then rehire them on a shorter appointment, thus defeating its purpose. One-year appointments are available only to adjuncts who are newly eligible for their first 3-year appointment and whose departments determine, after a comprehensive performance review, that the instructor would benefit from a year of additional guidance. However, adjuncts who are non-reappointed after serving on a 3-year appointment may be appointed by another department at the same college or at another CUNY college for a shorter duration. The appointment of any adjunct who is rehired by the same department is presumptively a 3-year appointment.
- In the rare instances that a department does not have a sufficient number of sections to maintain the schedule for an adjunct during their 3-year appointment, the contract provides alternatives: (a) an academically appropriate non-teaching adjunct appointment in the current semester for an equivalent number of hours at the non-teaching rate; or (b) an additional teaching assignment of the number of hours of the contact-hour deficit within the following two semesters or summer session.
Must an adjunct who is eligible for a 3-year appointment be considered for a 3-year appointment by the department?
- Under the current contract an adjunct who is eligible for a 3-year appointment must be considered by the department for a 3-year appointment.
What can I do as a PSC member to ensure that multi-year appointments for teaching adjuncts remain a contractual right at CUNY?
- Faculty members in all titles should speak to their department chairs and college administrators about the importance of preserving and enhancing this hard won provision, which is a benchmark nationally in higher education. Department chairs can support by endorsing this letter.
- The union’s strength at the bargaining table depends on our collective strength away from the table. Join your chapter’s Campus Action Team to support the struggle for this and other critical provisions in the next contract.
- Make sure your co-workers are union members too: https://psc-cuny.org/join-psc/
Published: December 5, 2023