In the five weeks since the Supreme Court’s Janus decision, more than a thousand faculty and staff at CUNY have joined or reaffirmed their commitment to the union. PSC members are defying the right-wing attempt to crush the power of working people and our unions. The PSC is at its largest membership ever.
The union bargaining team brought that power to the bargaining table in two bargaining sessions in July. In this update we report on the first of those sessions; another update will follow shortly. What happens at the bargaining table is important, but the deciding factor is the power of our members standing together.
At previous bargaining sessions, PSC negotiators traced the erosion in CUNY salaries over time and the resulting lack of competitiveness of our current salaries. We also raised our critical demand to raise the adjunct minimum pay to $7,000 per course
At the first July session, the union bargaining team completed our presentation on salaries and raised other economic demands. We called for additional salary increases for several of the lowest-paid full-time positions, especially Lecturers and College Laboratory Technicians. Over time, as percentage-based raises are applied, the gap between highest- and lowest-paid titles widens, and real inequities can arise. The PSC leadership has consistently sought to address these inequities, negotiating additional salary increments for these positions in past contracts and creating a salary differential for Assistants to HEO and CLTs who have earned advanced degrees in their fields.
The American Federation of Teachers, PSC’s national affiliate, has adopted a resolution in support of the PSC’s campaign for $7,000 per course minimum pay for CUNY adjuncts. It resolves “that the AFT supports PSC’s campaign for $7K and all other AFT locals’ campaigns for fair adjunct pay, and that the AFT leadership will call on AFT members to support the PSC in actions, demonstrations and advocacy for $7K, because a victory on $7K at CUNY would be a victory for every teacher, professor, education worker and student in the country.” Click here to read the resolution, which was adopted July 16 at the union’s 2018 national convention in Pittsburgh, PA.
Dental and hearing benefits provided to CUNY employees by the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund have been significantly improved. Beginning on July 1, 2018, the Fund’s reimbursement schedule for many common but expensive dental procedures—when provided by participating, in-network Guardian dentists—have been enhanced. Beginning on July 1, 2018, the Fund has also doubled the per-ear, in-network subsidy for hearing aids from $750 to $1,500, for a total subsidy of $3,000 once every 36 months. Visit the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund website to read more about the benefit enhancements.