This Week in the PSC (02.09.22): Vaccine Mandate | Delayed Adjunct Paychecks
Feb 10, 2022
Vaccine Mandate for Faculty and Staff
The CUNY Board of Trustees, in accordance with Governor Hochul’s directive, voted at their January 31 meeting to enact a vaccine mandate for all faculty, instructional staff and personnel in the Executive Compensation Plan. The resolution (item No. 11) states that the mandate will be subject to legally required medical and religious exemptions and exceptions. It also authorizes the Chancellor to engage in impact bargaining in relation to the mandate.
The PSC has begun bargaining with management to ensure that the mandate is implemented in a fair and equitable manner. We will also continue to advocate for expanded testing and the distribution on every campus of CDC-recommended masks. Additional updates will follow soon.
Delayed Adjunct Paychecks
The PSC has heard from adjunct faculty at several senior colleges – Baruch College, City College, Lehman College, John Jay College, and Queens College – that they were informed that their 2/10/2022 paychecks will not be issued on time due to a “system error.” This delay is totally unacceptable. For many, this is their first CUNY paycheck since December. The union is demanding that CUNY instruct the Human Resources directors at these colleges to provide support for the affected instructors: (1) Provide instructions for requesting the partial advance of 60% to which they are entitled; (2) Issue a letter of explanation about the delay that may be forwarded to a landlord or other creditors.
Unfortunately, these delays are not an unusual occurrence at CUNY. Apart from the financial hardship they cause, they are deeply disrespectful to adjunct instructors, and they are avoidable. It is the employer’s responsibility to meet the State’s deadlines to ensure on-time payment.
A partial advance is of course inadequate, and the PSC will press CUNY management to address the real source of the problem: a payroll system that is not equipped to handle the volume of contingent appointments on which CUNY relies. Instructors should be aware of the possibility that a double-paycheck on 2/24/2022 could temporarily change one’s tax withholding rate. If you request an advance because of a delayed paycheck, please email the PSC at [email protected] to let us know.
State Budget Campaign Update
#Allin4SUNYCUNY Press Conference
Legislators joined students, advocates, and leaders of the PSC and our sister union at SUNY, United University Professions (UUP), Monday at a press conference in the Capitol to urge the state to commit an additional $250 million each for CUNY and SUNY in the state budget. Click here for TV coverage (:24 second timestamp) of the event and here for the joint news release with video, photos and quotes.
The PSC is working in coalition with the CUNY University Student Senate, NYPIRG, NYSUT, UUP and the SUNY Student Assembly to organize three days of online lobby meetings. Together, we’ll be calling for dramatic increases in State investments in CUNY and SUNY, updated facilities, free tuition and better financial aid. Sign up here to join the lobby meetings. Meetings will be scheduled Wednesday, February 16 through Friday, February 18. (You can indicate your availability on the registration form.) Register here for only the online plenary, which will be held on Zoom Wednesday, February 16 at 5PM.
Faculty, staff, students and alumni have sent more than 5600 letters urging lawmakers to pass and fund the New Deal for CUNY. Yesterday, PSC members sent more than 500 letters in response to a call to action sent during the budget hearing. If you haven’t sent your letter yet, send it now! If you’ve already sent a letter, please send the letter link to friends and colleagues and post it on social media.
Health Insurance: If your class is canceled and you start teaching (or have a non-teaching adjunct assignment) at a different CUNY school, be sure to inform the Human Resource Office (HR) of your home school that you still qualify because you are teaching six hours or the equivalent. Please open any emails from [email protected] since that office monitors adjunct eligibility. If you lose your insurance, they will inform you and send you a COBRA application.
Pension: All adjuncts are eligible to join the NYC Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and Tax Deferred Annuity programs from your first semester at CUNY. You can get application forms from your campus Home Resource Office or the TRS website (trsnyc.org). You can also join the NYS Tax Deferred Compensation 457 Plan. If your title or school changes at any time, be sure you inform each HR of your TRS QPP number. Members should look at their paystubs constantly to verify the mandatory contributions are being deducted through every college they work at to avoid huge deficits at time of retirement. Click here for more information about retirement benefits for adjuncts.