News

Pursuant to an agreement between the PSC and CUNY, beginning Oct. 1, 2014, the University Benefits Office will be responsible for providing health insurance through the NYC Employee Health Benefits Program to all eligible CUNY adjuncts. To avoid a lapse in coverage, eligible adjuncts must enroll in the NYC Employee Health Benefits program via their College Benefits Officer no later than Sept. 19, 2014. Here is a letter to adjuncts currently enrolled in the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Basic Health Insurance from the University Benefits Office and the Fund. Here is a link to the University Benefits Office website where forms and further information are posted. On the CUNY University Benefits Office page, select “Benefits at a Glance,” then select “Adjunct Staff (Teaching and Non-Teaching)”.

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Please join your PSC sisters and brothers and their families at the Labor Day Parade on Saturday, September 6. PSC will gather on East 47th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues at 12:30pm.

This year’s Labor Day theme is “One City, Five Boroughs, All Workers”. Across the country and in New York City, as we negotiate our contract with CUNY, workers face wage cuts, furloughs, and reduced benefits and pensions. Public employees continue to be demonized, and the very right of unions to organize is repeatedly challenged. For these reasons, join other union members from around the region as we march to demonstrate solidarity and strength.

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For the Fall 2014 semester, teaching adjuncts are scheduled to be paid on eight successive pay dates. At the senior colleges, the first pay date will be Sept. 18 and the last pay date will be Dec. 24. At most community colleges, the first pay date will be Sept. 12 and the last pay date will be Dec. 19. Kingsborough CC, LaGuardia CC and Guttman CC operate on a different academic calendar. Click "read more" for all the dates.

Failure to pay adjunct faculty on time at the start of a semester has often been a problem at CUNY. Last year more than a third of the Queens College's 1,000 adjuncts got no paycheck in the first Fall pay period.

CUNY has circulated a list of “best practices” to ensure timely adjunct paychecks. The list includes a measure that had been urged by the PSC: designating a specific staff member to track adjunct appointments “before and during the beginning of a semester.” Read more in this May 2014 Clarion article.

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COCAL XI, a conference of adjunct and other contingent faculty activists from Canada, Mexico and the U.S., kicked off Monday, August 4 at CUNY’s John Jay College with a welcome from labor leaders representing academic workers from throughout North America and a poem from a work entitled Ivory Tower Anthology.

“Twenty adjuncts and I share an office…Four times we’ve been evicted from similar digs…When I had no office I kept my papers in my car,” read Vicki Moss, poet and adjunct professor of English at Fashion Institute of Technology.

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PSC members throughout the city have been shocked and saddened by the deaths of Michael Brown of Ferguson and Eric Garner of Staten Island. Many of us want to demand justice and express our solidarity with their communities. We also want to voice our opposition to law enforcement policies that disproportionately target communities of color and the poor—the communities of many of our students at CUNY. Our demand for justice for Eric Garner has become even more urgent since the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri.

Join us on Saturday, August 23 at the We Will Not Go Back March, organized by the National Action Network, NAACP, Communities for Police Reform, labor unions and grassroots groups on Staten Island to call for policing policies that protect all New Yorkers.

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Momentum is growing in negotiations for a new contract, with two formal bargaining sessions and several subcommittee meetings held during the last month. Both PSC and CUNY management representatives have expressed a commitment to reaching a settlement as expeditiously as possible, given that several other public-employee unions in the city have already completed bargaining.

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The Professional Staff Congress and The City University of New York have reached a landmark agreement with the City of New York on inclusion of eligible CUNY adjuncts in the New York City Health Benefits Program. The agreement provides regularized health insurance for an important part of the CUNY teaching workforce and contributes to stabilizing the finances of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund.

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At it's June 19th meeting, the PSC Delegate Assembly established a mobilization committee to "build for, and participate in the Global Climate Change actions being planned for New York City by labor, environmental, and community organizations during the UN General Assembly from September 16-23, 2014." [Click here for the DA resolution.]

Together with other labor, environmental, community, faith-based, grassroots and NGO organizations, the PSC is joining the "People's Climate March," culminating in what may be the largest climate march in history at 11:30 am on Sunday, September 21st. As of late July, the march had more than 500 sponsoring organizations.

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The PSC Delegate Assembly has passed a resolution, Against the Institutionalization of ROTC at CUNY. The resolution, passed overwhelmingly at the May Delegate Assembly, is in response to the establishment of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs at City College, Medgar Evers College and York College, and to the attempt to start an ROTC program at the College of Staten Island. CUNY students have been a target for recruitment into ROTC since the Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank, published a report in 2011 naming CUNY as a “huge potential recruiting pool.” The resolution concludes that ROTC is not in the best interest of CUNY students or the University community. It calls on the CUNY administration to close its existing ROTC programs and prohibit the establishment of future programs.

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On Thursday, June 19th the PSC Delegate Assembly passed a resolution on “Democratizing Ballot Access in New York Elections” which called for the PSC and its state and city affiliates to “join in a campaign for voting rights reform in New York City and state which would have the effect of maximizing voter turnout by allowing for early voting, voting by mail and same-day registration.”

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