After months of pressure by the PSC, CUNY management came to the table last week for collective bargaining for a new contract. The current contract, the 2010-2017 agreement, expired on November 30, 2017. Under New York State law its provisions remain in effect while a new agreement is being negotiated. Two bargaining sessions were held last week, on March 14 and March 16.
It was a good beginning. The PSC bargaining team presented the union’s list of demands for a new contract and argued forcefully for the union’s full bargaining agenda. The union stressed the urgency of reaching an agreement far more quickly than in the last round and emphasized that members will not tolerate inordinate delay.
Both the State Senate and Assembly have passed one-house budget resolutions that increase investment in CUNY. The resolutions name the priorities of the two houses and set the table for the final budget negotiations. The Senate proposes a $40 million increase in operating support for the senior colleges. The Assembly would increase senior college support by $12.1 million in a CUNY Labor Contingency Reserve. Both houses would increase funding for CUNY community colleges by $100 per FTE student ($6.3 million).
Both the Senate and the Assembly would restore proposed cuts to ASAP, and increase investment in CUNY’s capital budget. The Assembly resolution would restore proposed cuts to SEEK, College Discovery and other opportunity programs and would increase funding for those programs by 20%. The DREAM Act, which would give undocumented students access to state financial aid, is in the Assembly budget resolution, but not the Senate’s.
Click here to send a letter to your legislators urging them to fight hard for a final state budget that makes the maximum possible investment in CUNY students’ success.
It will take more than a strong argument and the moral high ground to win our demand for $7,000 per course minimum pay for adjuncts. It will require a campaign to break the grip of austerity on CUNY, an effort that will build power on campus, support in the community and leverage at the bargaining table. Outreach to legislators will also be essential. The University’s two-tiered labor system is a direct result of years of disinvestment by the State; it will take significant reinvestment to more than double adjuncts’ starting pay.
PSC members, full-time and adjunct, faculty and staff, will travel to Albany on Tuesday, April 24 to make the case for $7K and inform legislators about the vital role adjunct faculty play in educating CUNY students. Sign up here. This is a one-day event. The bus will leave NYC early in the morning and return later that evening. When you sign up, a PSC organizer will contact you with more information.