Saving Adjunct Health Insurance

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Adjunct Health Insurance, through the Welfare Fund, is extended for 14 months

On Wednesday, April 24, 2013 PSC President Barbara Bowen wrote a letter to adjuncts informing them that:

Adjunct health insurance through the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund has been extended for a year and two months—through June 30, 2014. An agreement between the PSC and CUNY on the 14-month extension was reached today [4/24/13], and was supported by a vote by the Welfare Fund Board of Trustees.

Bowen explained that:

I had hoped to be able to announce a permanent shift of adjunct health insurance to the City of New York, but agreement with the City has not been reached. Rather than ask you to live in uncertainty any longer, the PSC worked with CUNY to negotiate an extension of the current adjunct health insurance program through the Welfare Fund. We are grateful to the CUNY administration and to the Welfare Fund Trustees and staff.

"Coverage through the Welfare Fund is not a permanent solution," Bowen noted, "and the union will continue to work with CUNY on a long-term structural solution [placing adjuncts on a public plan]. Meanwhile, we have agreed on the extension."

Funds for Adjunct Health Insurance Included in the State Budget

March 2012

After a budget season of intense advocacy from the PSC and our statewide affiliate, NYSUT, the Legislature passed a final State budget for fiscal year 2013 that fully funds CUNY’s mandatory cost increases, including funding for adjunct health insurance.

The PSC has begun negotiations with CUNY to determine how the benefit will be implemented.

Funds for Adjunct health Insurance Proposed in the Executive Budget

January 18, 2012

The PSC was heartened to see that the Governor’s proposed budget for Fiscal year 2013 (academic year 2012-2013) includes funding for adjunct health insurance, at CUNY’s request. Inclusion of the requested funds in the proposed budget is a major step in the process toward achieving permanent, equitable health insurance for CUNY adjuncts, and we thank the Executive Office. But the process is not yet complete. Now we must work with CUNY, the Legislature and the Governor’s office to ensure that the funding remains as part of the final budget.

About the Issue and the Campaign

October 2011

Adjuncts teach more than half the courses at CUNY; the University depends on their labor. For ten years, CUNY resisted the union’s demands for a permanent source of adjunct health insurance. As CUNY expanded its reliance on adjuncts, it covered less and less of the total cost of their insurance. Now CUNY covers only 20 percent. Hundreds of adjuncts, including those who have taught at CUNY longest, stand to lose their health insurance unless the University resolves the problem this year.

On July 25, 2011 the Trustees of the Welfare Fund passed a resolution stating that unless sufficient funding or an alternative source of adjunct health insurance is made available by the end of August 2012, the current adjunct health insurance plan will be discontinued and a severely reduced benefit will be put in its place.

The union is leading the fight to preserve adjunct healthcare. We’re pressing CUNY to solve this problem once and for all. We believe we can win—but only if this becomes everyone’s fight.

There has been important movement on this issue -- but there is still a long way to go. On Monday, September 26th, CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein announced at the monthly Board of Trustees meeting that the University will seek funding for adjunct health insurance in its upcoming State budget request.

Goldstein made his announcement as 500 PSC members protested inside and outside the meeting which was held at the Baruch Vertical Campus.

"It's the first time CUNY has ever moved on adjunct healthcare," PSC President Barbara Bowen told a jubilant crowd afterward. Bowen cautioned that CUNY's request to the State is "only the first step" and "each step is going to be difficult." [Click here for coverage of the 9/26/11 rally and Goldstein's announcement.]

At a Board hearing on Monday, November 21, more than 20 part-time and full-time faculty and staff presented testimony demanding that CUNY follow through with their commitment to seek funding for adjunct health coverage. Another dozen submitted written testimony on the same subject. A week later, on November 28, at the stated November Board meeting, the B.O.T. formally made funding for adjunct health insurance part of its budget request to the state.

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If you’re an adjunct potentially affected by this threat to your healthcare insurance, contact the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund with questions about your coverage.

Read a message to all adjuncts from President Barbara Bowen and Vice President of Part-Time Personnel Marcia Newfield (8/15/11).

Read a message to all PSC members from President Barbara Bowen (8/17/11).

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Fourteen-Month Extension for Adjunct Health Insurance

On Wednesday, April 24th, PSC President Barbara Bowen wrote a letter to adjuncts informing them that:

Adjunct health insurance through the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund has been extended for a year and two months—through June 30, 2014. An agreement between the PSC and CUNY on the 14-month extension was reached today [4/24/13], and was supported by a vote by the Welfare Fund Board of Trustees.

"Rather than ask you to live in uncertainty any longer," Bowen noted, "the PSC worked with CUNY to negotiate an extension of the current adjunct health insurance program through the Welfare Fund."

"Coverage through the Welfare Fund is not a permanent solution," Bowen added, "and the union will continue to work with CUNY on a long-term structural solution [placing adjuncts on a public plan]."

Current Adjunct Health Insurance Extended Through Sept. 30

On Monday, August 20 the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund Trustees voted to extend basic health insurance coverage for eligible adjuncts while the final stages of negotiations on a new health insurance plan for adjuncts are completed.

PSC's State Budget Testimony for Fiscal Year 2013

PSC President Barbara Bowen delivered testimony about how the Governor's Executive Budget proposal will affect faculty, staff and students at CUNY. In her testimony, Bowen highlighted important positive developments in the Governor’s budget plan, like the inclusion of adjunct health insurance and funding for CUNY's mandatory cost increases, and she made a powerful case for more public investment in CUNY.

PSC Voices Rise at Trustees Hearing

On November 21, the CUNY Board of Trustees held a hearing to collect public testimony on a number of items scheduled to come before the Board at their November 28 meeting. At the hearing, testimony focused on three issues: adjunct health insurance, tuition hikes and revisions of the CUNY Bylaws that would undermine faculty and staff rights.

CUNY announces it will seek funding for adjunct healthcare

Presenting petitions to Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson.
AHIpetitions092611.jpg

CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein announced at Monday's (9/26/11) Board of Trustees meeting that the University will seek funding for adjunct health insurance in its upcoming State budget request.

Goldstein made his announcement as 500 PSC members protested inside and outside the meeting which was held at the Baruch Vertical Campus.

Response to CUNY from Steve London on Adjunct Health Insurance

President Bowen, in her August 15 communication concerning adjunct health insurance, said that the University failed in the employer’s basic responsibility of providing adequate funding for health insurance for eligible adjuncts. Vice Chancellor Silverblatt, in her August 17 “CUNY Newswire” response, is incorrect when she writes that CUNY has not underfunded adjunct health insurance. While CUNY has met its contractual funding obligation to the Welfare Fund, that is not the issue.

The real issue is that CUNY, as the employer, has consistently resisted its responsibility to provide adequate, ongoing funding for adjunct health insurance for its eligible adjunct employees.

Letter from Barbara Bowen to PSC membership

Dear Colleague,

I am writing about difficult news for CUNY’s adjuncts and about a campaign that will take all of us to win.

Frequently Asked Questions: Adjunct Health Insurance Campaign

What is the campaign for adjunct health insurance about?

Letter from Barbara Bowen and Marcia Newfield to adjuncts

Letter to adjuncts from Barbara Bowen, PSC President, and Marcia Newfield, Vice President for Part-time Personnel, on the campaign to save adjunct healthcare.

Share your story!

Save adjunct healthcare -- Share your story!

Adjuncts: If you are a CUNY adjunct who receives health insurance from the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund, please tell us what it would mean to you to lose your health insurance.

Full-timers: Are you a member of the faculty or staff at CUNY who supports continuing health insurance for qualifying adjuncts? Tell us why you’re ready to stand up for what’s right.

Campaign to Save Adjunct Healthcare: Why Now?

The PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund provides supplemental health benefits for CUNY’s full-time faculty and staff, management employees, retirees, and their families. Since 1986, the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund has also provided basic health insurance for eligible adjuncts.

It is an anomaly to provide basic health insurance for any group through a supplemental benefits fund. CUNY adjuncts are treated differently from other City workers who are employed half-time or more, and from SUNY adjuncts—both groups are eligible for the same health insurance as full-timers.