Unions, Community Orgs, Elected Officials Press CUNY to Negotiate a Competitive Contract for 30,000 Faculty and Staff
New York—With their union contract four days expired, hundreds of CUNY faculty and staff represented by the Professional Staff Congress kicked off an energetic contract campaign tonight in midtown. The kick-off—a press conference, rallies at two CUNY campuses, disruptions of the CUNY Board of Trustees meeting, a lighted march, and a 25-foot light-up sign—pressed the CUNY trustees to negotiate an agreement that protects CUNY quality and helps students to succeed.
Standing with community groups, other union leaders, elected officials and CUNY students, PSC President Barbara Bowen explained that a good contract for CUNY faculty and staff is good for all New Yorkers.
“There would be no New York without CUNY. CUNY is the single most successful university in the country in enabling poor and working-class graduates to achieve long-term economic security. Yet leading professors consistently turn down positions at CUNY and many current professors leave because the salaries are so uncompetitive. CUNY faculty salaries are significantly lower than those at Rutgers, Stony Brook, Fordham and Pace University. The most damaging result of planned underinvestment in CUNY is the University’s reliance on grossly underpaid part-time faculty, ‘adjuncts,’ to teach more than half of the courses. It’s time for the CUNY trustees to provide decent salaries at CUNY; anything less is an admission that the education—and the future—of New York’s working people and their families does not matter,” Bowen said.