News & Events

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.

I will show up at the Baruch Vertical Campus, 55 Lexington Ave. at 25th St. at 3:45pm to attend the Board of Trustees meeting and call attention to our contract demands.

For many members of the instructional staff, the time when colleges send out notices of reappointment and non-reappointment is approaching. For full-time faculty in their second and subsequent years of service, notice of decision must be received by on or before December 1, except for lectures who in both their first and second year of service must be notified on or before April 1. For lecturers in their third and subsequent years of service, notice of decision must be received on or before December 1. Notice of the decision for full-time faculty in their first full year of service must be received by April 1. Adjuncts must receive written notice of reappointment or non-reappointment on or before December 1 in the fall semester and May 1 in the spring semester for appointment by semester. Adjuncts who are entitled to a yearly appointment or a three year appointment must receive notice by May 15.

If you are due notice of reappointment/non-reappointment by the December 1 deadline and do not receive it or if you are notified that you have been denied reappointment, please notify the your chapter grievance counselor immediately. Here is a list of PSC’s contract enforcers. Grievance counselors can also be contacted at the PSC central office (212-354-1252) Under the terms of the PSC contract, grievances relating to non- reappointment must be filed within 30 days, excluding Saturday, Sundays and legal holidays of the scheduled dates of notification of either December 1 or April 1. Union grievance counselors can guide you through your college’s academic appeals process and file a grievance. The deadline for filing grievances for notices of non-reappointment due on or before December 1 is January 17, 2018 and for April 1, 2018 the deadline for filing is May, 11, 2018.

The phased retirement benefit negotiated by the PSC and management allows full-time instructional staff members to ease into retirement. Full-time faculty who are 65 and older, have at least 15 years of pensionable service and are members of the Optional Retirement Program (largely TIAA) are eligible to apply to “phase” for up to three years, work 50% of their workload and receive 50% of their salary and full health insurance. HEOs and CLTs are eligible to phase for up to one year with a 20% workload reduction (one day per week) for 80% pay, if they are at least 65 and Members of the ORP. Faculty and staff must irrevocably commit to retiring at the end of the phasing period. To begin phased retirement in Fall 2018, applicants must develop a plan with their chair/supervisor and submit an application to their college human resources office by November 15, 2017. The application form is available in the Retirement Benefits section of the CUNY website and on college websites. Read more.

Student groups are leading a statewide coalition to demand more State funding for SUNY and CUNY, and the PSC is proud to be part of the campaign. Add your name to the coalition’s petition urging Governor Cuomo to sign a bill to invest in CUNY and SUNY.

CUNY’s Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank is a pool of voluntarily donated sick leave and annual leave available for potential use as sick leave by all full-time employees at CUNY (instructional and classified) who are also donors to the bank. The Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank, which arose out of a PSC contract campaign, exemplifies worker solidarity and mutual support. It gives CUNY workers a way to offer aid to colleagues dealing with a catastrophic illness and provides a place to turn for help if they face a similar need. The open enrollment period for the Catastrophic Sick Leave Bank will be held from October 1 to October 31. Workers must donate leave in a program year to be eligible to receive leave in that year (up to 90 days). Click here for program requirements and to learn how to donate and receive leave from the bank.

PRESENTED BY THE QC CHAPTER OF PSC/CUNY

Learn how you can help defend the future of higher education at Queens College from the serious threats posed by the chronic underfunding of CUNY by our elected officials in Albany and the Janus v. AFSCME case pending before the Supreme Court, which could seriously erode the power of public employee unions to represent their members.

Tell Washington to Reject the Graham-Cassidy Bill

The Graham-Cassidy bill is being sold as a compromise—but it’s not. It’s just as bad as every form of Trumpcare that we’ve seen so far and, once again, favors the powerful over the vulnerable. This bill would strip millions of their healthcare, increase premiums for working families, deny coverage for pre-existing conditions and punish states that expanded Medicaid. Write Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today and tell them to reject this bill. Even better, use this AFT web tool to call their offices.

The Professional Staff Congress/CUNY rejects the statement by Michael Isaacson about imagining his students dead. Isaacson’s statement is anathema to the teaching profession. It in no way represents the position of the PSC as a union or the tens of thousands of CUNY faculty—both full-time faculty and adjuncts—who choose to work at CUNY because of a profound commitment to the diverse and largely working-class students we are privileged to teach. But the right of free speech protects even repugnant speech, and every worker should be entitled to due process. The PSC will vigorously defend the due-process rights of every CUNY employee - both full time and part-time - we represent.

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