Contract Campaign

In the five weeks since the Supreme Court’s Janus decision, more than a thousand faculty and staff at CUNY have joined or reaffirmed their commitment to the union. PSC members are defying the right-wing attempt to crush the power of working people and our unions. The PSC is at its largest membership ever.

The union bargaining team brought that power to the bargaining table in two bargaining sessions in July. In this update we report on the first of those sessions; another update will follow shortly. What happens at the bargaining table is important, but the deciding factor is the power of our members standing together.

At previous bargaining sessions, PSC negotiators traced the erosion in CUNY salaries over time and the resulting lack of competitiveness of our current salaries. We also raised our critical demand to raise the adjunct minimum pay to $7,000 per course

At the first July session, the union bargaining team completed our presentation on salaries and raised other economic demands. We called for additional salary increases for several of the lowest-paid full-time positions, especially Lecturers and College Laboratory Technicians. Over time, as percentage-based raises are applied, the gap between highest- and lowest-paid titles widens, and real inequities can arise. The PSC leadership has consistently sought to address these inequities, negotiating additional salary increments for these positions in past contracts and creating a salary differential for Assistants to HEO and CLTs who have earned advanced degrees in their fields.

AFT Members Support PSC’s Campaign for 7K for Adjuncts

The American Federation of Teachers, PSC’s national affiliate, has adopted a resolution in support of the PSC’s campaign for $7,000 per course minimum pay for CUNY adjuncts. It resolves “that the AFT supports PSC’s campaign for $7K and all other AFT locals’ campaigns for fair adjunct pay, and that the AFT leadership will call on AFT members to support the PSC in actions, demonstrations and advocacy for $7K, because a victory on $7K at CUNY would be a victory for every teacher, professor, education worker and student in the country.” Click here to read the resolution, which was adopted July 16 at the union’s 2018 national convention in Pittsburgh, PA.

Dental & Hearing Benefit Upgrades, July 1

Dental and hearing benefits provided to CUNY employees by the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund have been significantly improved. Beginning on July 1, 2018, the Fund’s reimbursement schedule for many common but expensive dental procedures—when provided by participating, in-network Guardian dentists—have been enhanced. Beginning on July 1, 2018, the Fund has also doubled the per-ear, in-network subsidy for hearing aids from $750 to $1,500, for a total subsidy of $3,000 once every 36 months. Visit the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund website to read more about the benefit enhancements.

Janus in the news

PSC members and hundreds of other NYC trade unionists marched in a UNION STRONG rally in Foley Square in Manhattan on June 27 in defiance of the Janus decision, announced earlier that day.
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PSC Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling in Janus v. AFSCME

President Barbara Bowen, Professional Staff Congress (PSC/CUNY), AFT #2334
The Janus decision is not about the First Amendment. It is about consolidating wealth, power and even health in the hands of the few while imposing permanent economic austerity on everyone else. The majority decision helps to advance an agenda that has been planned and lavishly funded by billionaires and far-right organizations. Its goal is to undo every gain made by workers, people of color, immigrants, women, the middle class and the poor during the last half-century.

Read the full statement.

Department Chairs Call for Full Funding and Implementation of Teaching Load Reduction

More than 200 CUNY department chairs have signed a letter about the new Teaching Load Reduction Agreement addressed to Board of Trustees Chair William Thompson and Chancellor James Milliken. The letter is copied to University Provost and incoming Interim Chancellor Vita Rabinowitz. The letter urges them to fund and implement the agreement so that its full benefit for the University will be achieved.  It argues that “the potential of the agreement will not be fully realized if the University fails to allocate adequate funding and takes the position that current discretionary reassigned time allocated by the college presidents must be eliminated or sharply reduced.” Read more for the full letter and the signatories.

In solidarity with Fordham Faculty United

The Executive Council of the PSC has passed a resolution in support of the Fordham Faculty United contract campaign. Fordham Faculty United (affiliated with SEIU Local 200) represents approximately 800 non tenure track faculty who voted overwhelmingly to form a union in November 2017. The union is now bargaining for its first contract. The resolution resolves that the PSC declares its solidarity with the FFU’s effort to win a strong contract and encourages its members to support the FFU’s contract campaign. Read the full resolution.

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