During the Bloomberg-era breakdown in municipal contract negotiations, it was difficult to make progress on an overall contract agreement between CUNY and the PSC. But union and management negotiators were not idle: They were hard at work on a series of other agreements, which have led to important gains in benefits and working conditions for CUNY faculty and professional staff.
Here is a list of the highlights, with links to past Clarion coverage that provides more details:
Paid Parental Leave: A pilot program that provided this benefit on a trial basis was made a permanent part of the contract. (See Clarion, Dec. 2011.)
Phased Retirement: Union and management reached agreement on a three-year pilot program. Eligible full-time faculty who belong to an Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) like TIAA-CREF may choose to take a phased retirement with full health insurance benefits of one, two or three years at 50% workload and 50% pay. Eligible HEO-series employees and full-time CLTs (who must also belong to TIAA-CREF or another ORP plan) can take a phased retirement with full health insurance benefits for either six months or one year, at 80% of workload and 80% pay. (See Clarion, June 2013.)
City Tech Teaching Load Equity: The teaching load for full-time faculty at City Tech was brought in line with other CUNY senior colleges. The reduction from 24 to 21 hours corrected a longstanding inequity, a victory that was the result of local rank-and-file organizing. (See Clarion, Nov. 2013.)
PSC-CUNY Research Awards: A pilot program maintained faculty control, increased total funding, and added larger grants of up to $12,000. It was made permanent in 2014. (See Clarion, Jan. 2011.)
Dedicated Sick Leave: A dedicated sick leave policy is now in place: it allows eligible full-time members to donate or receive sick leave in response to special health needs. The union had sought coverage for part-timers as well, but this is an important first step. (See Clarion, May 2010, p.8.)
Payroll Practices: An agreement affirms that adjunct faculty receive pay for the fifteenth week of the semester at all CUNY campuses. It also includes clarifications to permit full-time faculty who are on payroll for only one semester in an academic year to receive accurate pay and health insurance coverage without breaks.
Timesheets: No agreement yet, but progress has been made in discussions of union-proposed changes in the new timesheets for HEOs, CLTs and Research Associates/Assistants. (See Clarion, April 2014.)
Adjunct Health Insurance: This agreement gained additional dedicated funds and subsequent supplemental funding that allowed the Welfare Fund to continue coverage through September 30, 2014. Agreements to date between union and management have led to substantial progress toward a lasting solution.
Adjunct-CET Professional Development Fund: $250,000 was added to the Adjunct-Continuing Education Teacher Professional Development Fund, as part of the 2013 agreement with CUNY for funding of continued adjunct health coverage (as described in Clarion, June 2013.)
RELATED COVERAGE: Union Expects Intense Talks Through Summer