Urgent End-of-Year Information for Teaching Adjuncts

Updated: October 2, 2015
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Reappointment Rights

According to Article 10 of the PSC-CUNY contract, CUNY adjuncts have a basic contractual right to receive a letter of appointment on or before May 1 (if they are eligible for a one semester appointment) or on or before May 15 (if they are eligible for a one year appointment).

Adjuncts are eligible for a one year appointment for the following fall and spring semesters if they have taught not fewer than six consecutive semesters (exclusive of summer sessions) during the three years immediately preceding the appointment in the same department.

The PSC/CUNY contract, Article 24.2(b)2 provides that every appointment letter should include the adjunct’s title and hourly rate of pay. If the rate of pay is incorrect, you must notify the Department of Human Resources no later than 30 days prior to the first day of the semester.

The contract stipulates that your college must notify you of your appointment for the following semester or year. However, the contract does not guarantee that you will receive an appointment for the same number of courses as the previous semester or year.

If you did not receive a letter of appointment with the appropriate title and hourly rate by May 1 or May 15 or if you think you are eligible for a one year appointment and received a letter for a semester appointment, please notify a PSC Adjunct contract representative at 212-354-1252 or email to psc@pscmail.org by June 12­­­ or we may be time-barred from challenging any discrepancies in the letter of appointment or a notice of non-reappointment.

Unemployment

The union has learned about an important Court decision that may enhance adjuncts’ rights to collect Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits if they are unemployed and seeking work during the summer. Eligible adjuncts can apply for UI benefits during the summer and have a decent chance of receiving them, even if they have received an appointment letter.

Adjuncts who will be unemployed during the summer should not apply until the spring semester is over. Apply by phone (888-209-8124) or online https://labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance.shtm. When you apply, the Dept. of Labor will ask what you have been told about the coming year. You must fully disclose all offers of work, both written and oral. You must be available for work and actively searching for work during the weeks for which you claim benefits. If you are denied benefits, you have the right to a hearing before an impartial administrative law judge.

While the contract does not guarantee that you will receive an appointment for the same number of courses as the previous semester or year, the lack of a clear offer of specific courses (orally or in writing) or a reduction in the number of courses you teach—from one semester to the next or from one year to the next—may result in your being eligible for UI benefits.

The PSC does NOT represent or offer advice to UI claimants. You are entitled to represent yourself, or contact the Workers Defense League, a non-profit advocacy organization, for advice or possible representation at 212-627-1931.