Article 1 of the collective bargaining agreement between the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) and the City University of New York (CUNY) defines the PSC as the exclusive collective bargaining representative for full-time and part-time employees in professional and academic titles, including all teaching and non-teaching faculty titles. These employees, CUNY’s instructional staff, constitute the 25,000 members of the PSC’s bargaining unit.
Titles represented by the PSC thus include all professorial titles, lecturer and instructor titles, Higher Education Officer titles, College Laboratory Technicians, teaching and non-teaching adjunct faculty, graduate assistants, Continuing Education Teachers and other titles such as research associates and registrars at CUNY’s seven community colleges, 11 senior colleges, the Graduate Center (including the School of Professional Studies), professional schools (Law, Journalism, Social Work, Sophie Davis School of Medicine, Public Health), Educational Opportunity Centers, and CUNY Central Office, as well as teachers, guidance counselors and related titles at the Hunter College Campus Schools.
As a unionized workplace, CUNY is an “agency shop” under New York State’s Public Employees Fair Employment Act, known as the Taylor Law. This means that all CUNY employees working in titles encompassed by Article 1 of the PSC-CUNY contract are part of the PSC bargaining unit and covered under the contract’s terms. Those terms include salaries, benefits (such as paid leaves) and other working conditions, such as hours of work, workload, evaluation processes, a grievance procedure, etc.
The PSC represents all employees in the bargaining unit, whether or not they have signed a card to become a union member. Those who are members of the PSC pay union dues that are deducted from bi-weekly paychecks; those who are not members pay an equivalent amount, known as an “agency fee,” also by paycheck deduction, to cover the costs of representation.
The PSC is a local (Local 2334) of the American Federation of Teachers and a member of the collective bargaining conference of the American Association of University Professors. The PSC is also affiliated with New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), the NYC Central Labor Council, the NY State AFL-CIO, and the Municipal Labor Committee.
CUNY is a public agency jointly funded by New York State and New York City, as well as by student tuition and donations. As employees of a public agency, members of CUNY’s instructional staff are public employees and are covered by New York State labor law.
The PSC also represents employees on the payroll of the CUNY Research Foundation (RF), at the RF Central Office and at three CUNY campuses (LaGuardia Community College, City Tech and the Graduate Center). The RF is technically a private-sector institution and its employees are therefore covered under federal labor law, with different requirements on “agency fee” and union dues. RF employees have their own contracts, separate from the collective bargaining agreement between the PSC and CUNY.
You can find out whether you are a member of the PSC or a non-member paying an agency fee by checking your paystub or by calling the union office.