Resolution for $7K Adjunct Salary Per Course Passes DSC Unanimously!

The following resolution calling on the Professional Staff Congress to include a demand for a $7000 minimum starting salary per three-credit course for adjuncts in ongoing contract negotiations—and for CUNY and the PSC to bargain the demand in good faith—passed the Doctoral Students’ Council unanimously this past Friday evening by a vote of 48-0.

The Adjunct Project, working with the DSC steering committee, wrote and introduced the resolution, and we’ll be forwarding it to the PSC leadership.

Many thanks for everyone’s support, at the DSC meeting on Friday and elsewhere, and special thanks to the National Mobilization for Equity and the folks who got COCAL to endorse the $7K figure!

Resolution Calling for a $7,000 Minimum Starting Salary for CUNY Adjuncts

WHEREAS the City University of New York (CUNY) employs some 13,000 adjuncts (according to the Professional Staff Congress [PSC], the union of CUNY faculty and staff);

WHEREAS the starting salary for CUNY adjuncts for a three-credit course is approximately $2,700, and the average is about $3,000;

WHEREAS the Modern Language Association, as a general example, recommends a minimum starting salary of $7,000 per three-credit course for adjuncts;

WHEREAS the National Mobilization for Equity campaign this year called for a minimum starting salary of $5,000 per three-credit course for adjuncts;

WHEREAS the CUNY Adjunct Project and CUNY Contingents Unite jointly called for a minimum starting salary of $5,000 per three-credit course;

WHEREAS the above call garnered more than 800 signatures from CUNY faculty, graduate assistants, and staff;

WHEREAS the American Federation of Teachers, the parent union of the PSC, and the PSC itself have both passed resolutions in support of the May Day $5K campaign to fight for a minimum starting salary of $5,000 per three-credit course;

WHEREAS the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL) conference this summer endorsed a minimum starting salary of $7,000;

Whereas the PSC’s current contract demands do not include a minimum salary of $7,000 or $5,000 for adjuncts, nor do the demands include any concrete measures that would significantly move adjunct salaries toward parity with full-time faculty;

WHEREAS a minimum starting salary of $7,000—$42,000 for a 3/3 course load—would significantly close the salary gap between adjunct faculty and full-time faculty;

WHEREAS a significant number of Graduate Center (GC) students adjunct to help subsidize their graduate studies and living expenses, whether solely or in addition to graduate assistantships, especially those students who entered the GC prior to 2013;

WHEREAS this increase in adjunct salaries will substantially help those students;

WHEREAS increasing adjunct salaries would inhibit CUNY from relying on adjuncts as cheap labor;

WHEREAS the PSC leadership has not responded to the call for $5,000 or $7,000 issued by the CUNY Adjunct Project, CUNY Contingents Unite, and COCAL respectively;

WHEREAS contract bargaining between the PSC and CUNY is ongoing;

Be it RESOLVED that the Doctoral Students’ Council calls on the PSC to include a demand for a $7,000 minimum starting salary per three-credit course for CUNY adjuncts in current and ongoing contract bargaining;

And be it further RESOLVED that CUNY bargain this demand in good faith, since higher, more equitable salaries for CUNY adjunct faculty benefit all, especially CUNY undergraduate students, whose learning conditions are their faculty’s working conditions.

Audio of #altCOCAL, Aug. 6, 2014

Listen here for the audio of today’s #altCOCAL convening at the CUNY Graduate Center. More details to come.

Contingent Representation and $5K Contract Demand

The two campaigns the Adjunct Project is participating in for contingent representation at CUNY’s union, the open letter calling on the union leadership to represent contingent academic laborers, and the call for $5K per adjunct per course as a bottom-line contract demand in the union’s current negotiations, have been moved to a new, independent site in deference to their broad formations. There you will also find the daily update tracking the number of days it takes the union president to respond to the open letter.

#altCOCAL: A Debriefing & Discussion of COCAL XI

COCAL XI, the eleventh conference of the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, takes place Monday, August 4, through Wednesday, August 6, at John Jay College/CUNY.

We invite all those attending COCAL XI—and all those who are not—to join us for lunch and discussion on Wednesday, August 6, to consider ways forward, both for the conference and for the movement to end the two-tier system of academic labor.

Location: Graduate Center/CUNY, room 5414.*

Lunch, 1:30p-2:30p; report-backs and discussion, 2:45-5; refreshments and merriment, 5-6

Sponsored by the Adjunct Project and Contingent Representation at CUNY’s Union.

*From COCAL XI, take the B/D at 59th St.–Columbus Circle to 34th St.–Herald Square, then walk one block east along 34th St. to 5th Ave. The Graduate Center is on the northeast corner of 34th St./5th Ave.

 

Day 4–No Response from CUNY Union Pres.

Tuesday at 3:40 p.m. I sent an open letter to Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, CUNY’s union, with the subject line “Open letter re your De Blasio statement & your exclusion of adjuncts and graduate student workers.” I copied the union’s first vice-president, treasurer, vice-president for part-time personnel, and executive director on the email, all people we Adjunct Project coordinators have worked with, or attempted to work with, this academic year. I also copied 11 of the 12 members of the newly reconstituted (and elected) Graduate Center chapter slate, omitting one member because I couldn’t find an email for that person. Finally, I copied two higher education officers (HEOs) at the Graduate Center, one of whom is a cross-campus officer on the executive council of the union, both of whom, working together, put together the Graduate Center slate (with no input solicited from the Adjunct Project).

There . . . → Read More: Day 4–No Response from CUNY Union Pres.

Open Letter to CUNY Union Pres. Barbara Bowen

To sign this letter, please visit its new site here and leave a comment with your academic affiliation (if you have one). All are welcome in this effort to hold the union leadership accountable at the largest university by enrollment in the U.S.! Real democracy now!

Dear Barbara—

I write as a union member and CUNY contingent faculty member to express my great dismay at your statement of May 9th praising Mayor De Blasio for his CUNY budget and singling out “full-time faculty and student support staff” as needing “investments” while entirely omitting mention of adjuncts and graduate student workers.

In addition to the questionable negotiating strategy of such mayoral sycophancy—and your bizarre contention that CUNY is the “solution” to “inequality,” when CUNY reproduces, and contributes to, the inequality of New York City at large—I don’t understand how you could ignore the needs of adjuncts and graduate student workers, . . . → Read More: Open Letter to CUNY Union Pres. Barbara Bowen

$5K Per Course Must Be Bottom-Line Contract Demand

To sign this call, please visit its new site here and leave a comment with your name and CUNY affiliation(s). Thanks!

What is needed is to take steps that concretely improve the situation of the majority of the instructional staff suffering the effects of the two-tier labor system. The Professional Staff Congress has formally endorsed the national campaign calling for a minimum starting salary of $5000 per three-credit semester course. We hereby call on the PSC leadership to make a formal commitment that the $5K demand will be a bottom-line demand in the current contract negotiations. Any proposed contract that does not include this should be rejected out of hand.

We invite all our fellow union members to sign and help circulate this call.

Signed by:

Makeba Lavan, Graduate Center, CUNY

Erica Chutuape, Hunter College, CUNY

Sándor John, Hunter College, CUNY

Jennifer Chancellor, Graduate Center, CUNY

Sean M. . . . → Read More: $5K Per Course Must Be Bottom-Line Contract Demand

Union VP for Part-Time Personnel Responds; Our Reply

Yesterday at 6:32 p.m., the CUNY union’s vice-president for part-time personnel, Marcia Newfield, responded to the 121 of us (and counting–read and sign the letter here!) calling for the union to represent adjuncts and graduate student workers. She sent her response to a group of organizers of the COCAL conference this August, of which the Adjunct Project coordinators are a part.

My response to Marcia, on behalf of the 121 of us, follows her statement.

It’s day for since we sent the letter to the union president, Barbara Bowen, and she still hasn’t responded.

Dear Colleagues,

I encourage you not to sign it. Not only is [the] letter full of untruthful statements, but it is unfairly critical of Barbara’s efforts to support a fight for increased funding for CUNY. The PSC’s proposal for increased investment in CUNY as delivered to the City Council by Bowen on May . . . → Read More: Union VP for Part-Time Personnel Responds; Our Reply

Statement by Long-Term CUNY Adjunct Re Open Letter

As a long-term adjunct at the College of Staten Island, I too am aware of the needs of adjuncts and graduate assistants.

While I would have written [the open] letter with a few different words, I agree with the sentiment.

I too have written about the union’s lack of democratic qualities, and for sometime now.

Specifically, an organized click runs the union and they demonstrate a total lack of imagination in how democracy can empower virtually the entire community.

For example, the executive committee runs our union, not the designated power of our union, the Delegate Assembly. In other words, they worship centralized power.

Consequently, the union leadership operates under the same principles as the right-wingers: they believe that power is all that matters; ethics and right/wrong are for thinkers, not doers.

The PSC union leadership is truly out of touch when the President of the union can say . . . → Read More: Statement by Long-Term CUNY Adjunct Re Open Letter

Day 3–No Response from CUNY Union Pres.

Tuesday at 3:40 p.m. I sent an open letter to Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, CUNY’s union, with the subject line “Open letter re your De Blasio statement & your exclusion of adjuncts and graduate student workers.” I copied the union’s first vice-president, treasurer, vice-president for part-time personnel, and executive director on the email, all people we Adjunct Project coordinators have worked with, or attempted to work with, this academic year. I also copied 11 of the 12 members of the newly reconstituted (and elected) Graduate Center chapter slate, omitting one member because I couldn’t find an email for that person. Finally, I copied two higher education officers (HEOs) at the Graduate Center, one of whom is a cross-campus officer for the union, both of whom, working together, put together the Graduate Center slate (with no input solicited from the Adjunct Project).

There was one response from . . . → Read More: Day 3–No Response from CUNY Union Pres.

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