On December 10 at 4 pm, members of The Adjunct Project met with representatives from the Graduate Center’s Offices of the Provost, Human Resources, Payroll, and Student Affairs to brainstorm and discuss ways to implement measures that could ensure on-time payment of Graduate Assistants and Adjuncts throughout CUNY and mitigate the impact of late pay in situations where it is unavoidable, as in the case of a late hire. The meeting was chaired by Louise Lennihan and yielded a number of valuable insights and suggestions. What follows is a brief summary of the group’s findings and actions to be taken.
Within the GC:
- Interim Provost Lennihan is going to request more money (amount to be determined) from the CUNY Foundation board to provide more full advances for those who are to be paid late via Financial Aid, and that the advances would be provided regardless of reason–i.e., even in cases where students failed to accept their awards in a timely fashion, etc.
- The payroll office is willing to issue larger advances (70% instead of 60%) for those who are to be paid late via payroll; they stated that though 100% net pay advances are not possible because payroll cannot accurately calculate taxes, health insurance premiums, and union dues prior to the actual check being issued (meaning that if they got it wrong, students could wind up having to repay more than one check), 70% of gross would roughly approximate 100% of net.
- It recently came to our attention that community college adjuncts who are paid late through the GC are not receiving late pay in a lump sum as they have in the past, but rather, the money owed is being divided into equal parts and distributed in each subsequent check, meaning that the person is not “made whole” until the end of the semester. The representative from payroll was unsure whether this was an internal decision or an external directive but is going to find out and attempt to rectify the situation.
- The Provost’s Office is going to request that several of the meeting’s attendees, including representatives of The Adjunct Project, get “invited” to meetings of HR staff from other CUNY colleges at the Central Office in early 2014. The goal would be to impress upon them the urgency of submitting Adjunct paperwork on time and work with them to identify and prevent potential hindrances to doing so. We will also discuss with them the importance of GC students using the title Doctoral Student Adjunct, particularly in the case of community college adjuncts, who need to be identified so that they can be transferred to the GC payroll.
We will continue to provide updates on these measures as they develop. Thanks again to all of those who have participated in the effort to end late pay!