Category: Blog (Page 2 of 8)

We Are Workers: Graduate Worker Day of Action—GC Edition!

We Are Workers flyer version

Join the CUNY Adjunct Project, graduate workers from different GC programs, and graduate-worker officers of the GC PSC chapter, to discuss our unique role in the academic-labor system as simultaneously students and academic workers.

Thursday, October 15, room 5414.
Lunch provided at 12:30p; roundtable discussion at 1p.

This event is part of the national “We Are Workers: Graduate Day of Action” being observed by graduate-worker unions on Oct. 15 in connection with the National Labor Relations Board’s pending decision on whether graduate students at private universities are also workers and therefore able to unionize. Please see our joint statement here.

We hope to see you there!

USS Overwhelmingly Passes Resolution in Support of CUNY Adjuncts

On September 27th, the University Student Senate, which is comprised of delegates from all CUNY campuses, overwhelmingly approved (with only one abstention) a resolution in support of adjunct faculty. The statement points to the vital role part-time faculty play in the functioning of CUNY and calls on Chancellor Milliken to recognize that fact by ensuring adjuncts receive significant raises in the next contract, with the goal of movement toward pay parity for a more equitable CUNY.

The full text of the resolution can be found below. Thanks so much to Cecilia Salvi, delegate from the Graduate Center, for composing it and bringing it to USS for a vote:

Resolution in Support of CUNY Adjuncts

WHEREAS the University Student Senate (USS) is the duly elected representative organization of all students at the City University of New York (CUNY),

WHEREAS the mission of the USS is “to preserve the accessibility, affordability and excellence of higher education within the City of New York and to protect the rights of the student body and to inform them when their rights are threatened, to further the cause of public higher education and to promote the general welfare of its student constituents and the University,”

WHEREAS the mission of CUNY is, in part, “to maintain and expand its commitment to academic excellence and to the provision of equal access and opportunity for students, faculty and staff from all ethnic and racial groups and from both sexes. The City University is of vital importance as a vehicle for the upward mobility of the disadvantaged in the City of New York,”

WHEREAS CUNY has some 540,000 students and employs some 13,000 adjuncts;

WHEREAS a significant number of Graduate Center (GC) students adjunct to 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 adjuncts comprise 59% of the CUNY faculty but earn only 29-38% of what full-time faculty earn;

WHEREAS the starting salary for CUNY adjuncts for a three-credit course is approximately $2,700, and the average is about $3,275;

WHEREAS increasing adjunct salaries would inhibit CUNY from relying on adjuncts as cheap labor and significantly close the salary gap between adjunct faculty and full-time faculty;

WHEREAS CUNY students have increasingly paid more for their education through rational tuition and various fee increases, and senior college tuition has increased 31% since 2011, but students have not directly benefited from those increases through greater student-to-teacher ratios, and in fact have experienced an overall decline in university services;

WHEREAS these austerity measures disproportionately harm working-class students and students of color, since more than half of CUNY undergraduates have family incomes of less than $30,000 a year, and 75% of CUNY undergraduates are Black, Latino or Asian, and these measures run contrary to the mission of CUNY stated above;

WHEREAS adjuncts are consistently subjected to unpredictable working conditions, including but not limited to late pay, classes cancellations, lack of rehiring, disproportionate class sizes that vary by campus and department, and inadequate access to instructional resources;

WHEREAS contracts for CUNY faculty and staff expired in 2010, and there have been no raises since 2009;

WHEREAS the working conditions of CUNY’s adjuncts and doctoral student workers are the learning conditions of its undergraduate and graduate students and the failure to produce a contract or make pay commensurate with that of other institutions of higher learning endangers the quality of education;

Be it RESOLVED that the University Student Senate supports all adjuncts, especially those who are also doctoral students within CUNY, in their demands for better wages and working conditions, and for a fair and equitable contract that protects worker rights and academic freedom;

And be it further RESOLVED that the USS calls on Chancellor Milliken to negotiate with the Professional Staff Congress, the faculty and staff union at CUNY, for a significant raise in the starting salary per three-credit course for CUNY adjuncts in current and ongoing contract bargaining as determined in negotiation by the Professional Staff Congress (PSC);

And be it finally RESOLVED that the USS calls on CUNY to bargain this demand in good faith, since more equitable salaries and working conditions for CUNY adjunct faculty benefit all staff, students and faculty, especially the University in an effort to preserve the “CUNY value” of affordability and accessibility for all.

Web designer needed to revamp AP site!

Hello to everyone, and hope you’re doing well!

Jenn, Luke, and I, along with our friends/colleagues at OpenCUNY, have agreed for some time that the Adjunct Project website—this site right here that you’re visiting—could use a redesign to make it more streamlined and easily navigable. We’ve been trying to work on this project ourselves over the last year or so but it’s always slid to the back burner because of higher-priority issues.

Fortunately, we finally realized we could reach out to the Adjunct Project, Graduate Center, and CUNY communities in order to find someone who’d want to take up this task.

The details:

We know the basic website model we’d like to emulate—it’s WordPress-based, like our current site—and we can offer $401.52 in compensation, our monthly individual wage as AP coordinators during the academic year. We each work about 24 hours a month, and we expect the redesign to take far less time than that—though the work doesn’t have to happen in a month’s time: there’s no rush, so long as the redesign is ready for the start of the fall semester. (We can talk more about timing in the initial consultation.)

Beyond the above, our only additional consideration is that we want to find a CUNY graduate student worker or post-grad adjunct for the job, so if the prospect of redesigning the AP site resonates with you, let us know! And if it doesn’t, please circulate this post to your various listservs and to your web-design-savvy GC/CUNY pals!

All inquiries to me (Sean M. Kennedy) at kennedy.sean@gmail.com, please, along with one or two samples of previous web-design work. Thanks!

TL;DR:

What: Adjunct Project website redesign

Who: you or someone you know, at the GC or CUNY

When: between now and the start of the fall 2015 semester

How: less than 24 hours of labor, for compensation of $401.52

Contact: Sean M. Kennedy (kennedy.sean@gmail.com)

Please share this post via social media—just click one of the buttons below!

National Adjunct Walkout Day (#NAWD) at the GC!

Adjunct faculty equal 59% of CUNY faculty but only earn 29%-38% of what full-time faculty earn per course.

The time for adjunct pay parity is now! Join us tomorrow (Wednesday, February 25), 11:30a-12:30p, in front of the Graduate Center’s entrance for a rally and banner reveal in support of National Adjunct Walkout Day.

Here’s the flyer we’ll be handing out, which you can use in your class to talk about the adjunct struggle at CUNY and the Taylor Law that prohibits public employees from striking:

CUNYAdjunctProject NAWD flyer

Hope to see you!

Petition to End the 9-6 Rule

CUNY colleagues,

As you are probably aware, there is a rule in the PSC-CUNY contract limiting adjunct faculty to teaching 9 credits at one CUNY college and 6 credits at a second CUNY college each semester. Though it has been argued that this policy protects adjuncts, it is in actuality a hardship for most part-time faculty members, as it results in additional travel time and cost and makes scheduling more difficult. More importantly, an increasing number of campuses are offering 4-credit courses, making it nearly impossible for adjuncts to get enough work to make ends meet.

Because this policy does more harm than good, it must be changed. We therefore call on full- and part-time faculty, staff, and graduate assistants to sign and circulate this petition demanding that the 9-6 rule be rescinded in ongoing contract negotiations.

http://contingentrep.commons.gc.cuny.edu/…/petition-to-eli…/

As we continue the fight for a good contract, we must also fight to ensure that it is a fair contract for ALL CUNY employees.

 

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.

#altCOCAL: A Debriefing & Discussion of COCAL XI

#altCOCAL flyer jpgCOCAL 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.

 

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.

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 were two responses from these 18 people by 3:30 p.m. today, one yesterday from Andrea A. Vazquez, the aforementioned cross-campus officer (you can see her response, and my reply on behalf of the letter signers, here), and one today from Marcia Newfield, the vice-president for part-time personnel (you can see here response, and my reply on behalf of the letter signers, here).

Also, a member of the Graduate Center chapter slate, who was not one of the recipients of the letter because I couldn’t find her email address), has signed the letter.

I am now sending the letter again to the aforementioned recipients, plus the Graduate Center chapter slate member who signed the letter (as I now have her email address), along with the names and affiliations of the 132 signers.

The union leaders and chapter leaders are supposed to represent us. It’s not the other way around.

To sign the letter, leave a comment here (with your affiliation) or email me at kennedy [dot] sean [at] gmail [dot] com.

There are now 132 of us.

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