AS CUNY PREPARES TO LAY OFF HUNDREDS OF ADJUNCT FACULTY, UNION DEMANDS JOBS AND CALLS FOR NEW TAXES ON WEALTHY TO PROTECT PUBLIC EDUCATION
CUNY colleges, bracing for deep budget cuts, have begun announcing plans to eliminate the jobs of hundreds—possibly thousands—of adjunct instructors and contingent employees, putting thousands of classes at risk of being canceled. Adjunct faculty teach 56% of CUNY's classes. The Provost at John Jay College earlier this week announced plans to eliminate 437 adjunct positions, almost 40% of the college teaching force. City College and College of Staten Island have targeted 25% and 35% of adjuncts, respectively. Notices of appointment/non-reappointment are due to adjuncts by May 29.
CUNY’s lowest-paid, most precarious workers are in danger of losing their jobs and health insurance during a pandemic. Many have already been told they will have no jobs this fall. CUNY students, mostly low-income people of color, are losing mentors, professors and courses they need to graduate while Albany is refusing to ask billionaires and the ultra-rich to their pay fair share of taxes.
The CUNY layoffs are preemptive measures, planned without fiscal transparency, without public accounting for millions of dollars in stimulus money, and before final action on the State and City budgets.
When: Wednesday, May 15, 1:30 PM
• Aravella Simotas, NYS Assembly, sponsor of legislation to Increase taxes on the ultra-wealthy
• Other NYS legislators
Professional Staff Congress members
• Barbara Bowen, PSC President
• Elizabeth Hovey, Adjunct and Union Leader, John Jay College
• CUNY adjuncts whose jobs have been eliminated
• Michael Paris, Department Chair, Political Science and Global Affairs, College of Staten Island
The State budget enacted in April gives Governor Cuomo and State Budget Director Robert Mujica, a member of the CUNY Board of Trustees, the authority to cut the State budget unilaterally at several points during the year in response to declining revenues. The State funding cuts applied to CUNY could be as high as $95 million, if the Governor continues to refuse to increase taxes on the ultra-wealthy. Mayor de Blasio has announced $20 million in mid-year funding cuts to CUNY. The proposed cuts put hundreds of classes at risk.
Even before the cuts, one-third of CUNY students could not register for at least one course, and of those "almost half" could not register for a course needed for their major.