As you might recall, in December last year, members of The Adjunct Project met with various administrators at The Graduate Center to discuss possible solutions to the longstanding late pay crisis within CUNY. One of the promises made at that meeting was that the Provost’s Office was going to request a meeting between representatives of The Adjunct Project and HR staff from the GC and other CUNY colleges at the Central Office in early 2014. The goal would be to impress upon those responsible for submitting Adjunct paperwork the importance of doing so on time and work with them to identify and prevent potential hindrances to doing so.
We have just learned that these meetings did occur (without us), resulting in a set of “best practices” to ensure that adjuncts will be paid on time in the future. In case you don’t have time to read the entire memo, there are two key points and one major caveat.
First, each college has been asked to appoint one person who will be responsible for overseeing all steps of the adjunct pay process to ensure timely payment.
Second, in cases of late hire, colleges are directed to inform the affected adjuncts when they will be paid and that they are eligible for an advance.
However, it is important to note that adopting these policies is voluntary: “The college may adopt these procedures or develop its own, but every effort should be made to ensure that adjunct faculty are paid promptly.” While it is encouraging that CUNY Central is taking measures to address the late pay problem, the optional nature of this program at the individual college level is troubling. We sincerely hope that none decide to interpret “every effort” as “we’re already doing everything we can.” We’ll be watching.