FAQs

Updated: November 25, 2019
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Return to the Contract 2019 page 

Please check back as we will be updating the FAQs periodically.

Salary Increases

  1. If the proposed contract is ratified, how much would my salary increase?
  2. Is there any retroactive pay in the proposed agreement? 
  3. If the contract is ratified, when would I actually get my higher pay and back-pay?
  4. What is meant by “equity increases” and who will receive them?
  5. How do our proposed raises compare to those of other state and city employees in this round of bargaining?
  6. Did we agree to any concessions or give-backs?

HEO and CLT Issues

  1. What improvements were made to the HEO salary differential?
  2. Why were Assistants to HEO singled out among HEOs for the equity salary increase? 
  3. Why did the union propose higher equity increases for the CLT titles?
  4. How much will a typical full-time CLT salary increase over the life of the proposed contract?
  5. Are there gains for Adjunct CLTs in the proposed contract?
  6. What is the significance of the increase to the HEO/CLT professional development fund?
  7. Why is 7.5% being deducted from the professional development funds for administrative costs?

Adjunct Pay and Workload

  1. Can you explain how adjunct faculty pay would be increased if the contract is ratified?
  2. Why did we focus on the minimum adjunct pay?
  3. What does the reference to adjunct office hours being “formalized” mean?
  4. What if I don’t have an office in which to hold office hours?
  5. What are the “professional development hours,” and do they apply to all teaching adjuncts?
  6. Can the college designate some or all of my paid office hours for purposes other than meeting with students?
  7. Is there any change in the “9/6 rule” that governs adjuncts’ course loads? 
  8. Why do certain adjuncts receive the final 2% salary increase rather than moving to the single rate?
  9. Have we given up on achieving $7K?

 

Salary Increases

1. If the proposed contract is ratified, how much would my salary increase?

Salary and hourly rates would increase by 10.41% by the end of the contract, through five

2% increases:

  • 10/1/18       2%
  • 10/31/19     2% compounded
  • 11/15/20     2% compounded
  • 11/15/21     2% compounded
  • 11/1/22       2% compounded

If the contract is ratified, the 12,000 teaching adjuncts and the 3,000 full-time employees in certain lower-paid titles will receive additional increases based on the principles of equity and lifting the salary floor for all.

Those in teaching adjunct and hourly professorial titles will see a substantial additional increase in pay at the start of next semester, when they will begin to be responsible for and paid for weekly office hours.  In general, these titles will not receive the last 2% increase, because they will be advanced to a new hourly rate based on a single rate of pay per course per title on August 25, 2022, the first day of the Fall 2022 semester. (See Sections II through IV of the Memorandum of Agreement, as well as answers to additional FAQs and How the Increases in Adjunct Pay Would Work.)

The dates of the across-the-board increases were agreed to as part of the overall economic framework.  The union’s position was that there must be an increase for every year of the contract, and we achieved that, even though CUNY management originally proposed a delay of more than a year and a half before the first increase.

The proposed agreement also includes equity increases in salary rates for 3,000 employees in lower-paid full-time titles (CLT titles, Assistant to HEO, and Lecturer and related titles).  See below.

 

2. Is there any retroactive pay in the proposed agreement? 

Yes, and we had to push hard to win it.CUNY management’s initial offer included no back-pay and a delay of more than a year and a half before any increases would be paid, but the PSC refused to accept a contract without retroactive increases for 2018 and 2019.After intense negotiations, we won an agreement that includes an increase in every year of the contract and retroactive increases for everyone represented by the PSC who was on payroll on October 1, 2018 or later and everyone who was on payroll on October 31, 2019 or later (including those who have since retired or left CUNY).

Back-pay is the difference between what you were actually paid and what you would have been paid if the new contractual higher rates had been in place at the time.As an example, for someone earning a salary of $50,000 and on payroll for both increases, back-pay will be between $1,500 and $2,000, depending on when it is paid.Back-pay is taxed and is subject to the same payroll deductions as your regular paycheck.Some members may want to consult a tax professional for more information about the income tax implications.

Examples: The dollar amounts in these examples are estimates based on the salary schedules posted elsewhere on the PSC website. The examples for full-time titles assume that the employee was employed for the entire retroactive pay period starting 10/1/18 and that retroactive pay will be paid on 3/1/20.  If it is paid later, the amounts will be higher.  A date for payment of retroactive increases will be determined by CUNY if the contract is ratified.

  1. For an Associate Professor (or HE Associate) who was on the $84,768 salary step from the 4/20/17 salary schedule at the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester, the annual salary goes up by 2% on 10/1/18 ( to $86,372 annually). She is owed 3/12 of the difference in the annual amounts for October through December ($423). On 1/1/19, she went up a salary step to $87,495, which went up by 2% to $89,245. So she is owed 10/12 of the difference for January through October 2019 ($1,458). On 10/31/19, that step goes up by another 2% (to $91,030), so the difference between the new salary rate and the one she was paid is $589 for the two months until 1/1/20, when she will go up another step, which will be 4.04% higher than the 4/20/17 salary step amount. The two-month value of that difference (for Jan. & Feb.) is $612, so the estimated retroactive pay due (before taxes and deductions) totals $3,083.
  2.  For a Higher Education Officer (or full Professor) who was on the $101,043 salary step from the 4/20/17 salary schedule at the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester, the annual salary goes up by 2% on 10/1/18 ( to $103,064 annually). He is owed 3/12 of the difference in the annual amounts for October through December ($505). On 1/1/19, he went up a salary step to $104,461, which step went up by 2% to $106,550. So he is owed 10/12 of the difference for January through October 2019 ($1,741). On 10/31/19, that step goes up by another 2% (to $108,681), so the difference between the new salary rate and the one he was paid is $703 for the two months until 1/1/20, when he will go up another step, which will be 4.04% higher than the 4/20/17 salary step amount. The two-month value of that difference is $732, so the estimated retroactive pay due (before taxes and deductions) totals $3,681.
  3. For a CLT on the $55,642 salary step, the formula works similarly, except that on 1/1/20 the salary step to which the CLT moves is $2,500 higher than before because of the equity increase (see below). For a CLT at the 4/20/17 annual salary of $55,642 on 9/30/18, the salary will have increased by 2% on 10/1/18 to $56,755. Three-twelfths (for October through December 2018) of the difference is $278. He moved to the next higher step on 1/1/19, $57,281, which was increased by 2% on 10/1/18. Ten-twelfths of the difference (January through October 2019) is $955. That salary rate increases by another 2% on 10/31/19 to $59,595. The difference between the new rate and the rate he was paid for the 2 months between 10/31/19 and 12/31/19 is $386. On 1/1/20, the CLT moves to the next higher salary step which, in addition to the two 2% increases, is now $2,500 more because of the equity increase effective on that date, and equals an annual salary of $63,801 (over $8,000 more than his annual salary before the first increase of this contract). The two-month value of both the step increase and the equity increase on 1/1/20 is $814, so the estimated retroactive pay due (before taxes and deductions) totals $2,433. 

These are approximate amounts because CUNY calculates retroactive pay based on days, not months.

  1. For adjunct titles, if you know how many hours you have been paid for each semester (including winter and summer session) worked, you should be able to estimate your back pay. The increases come during the middle of a semester, so the calculations are a little tricky. An adjunct lecturer who started at CUNY during fall 2018 at the minimum hourly rate will be owed $1.43 per hour ($73.02 minus $71.59) in back pay for all hours paid, starting 10/1/2018, when the first 2% increase takes effect,  until the date of the next 2% increase, 10/31/19. (Approximately 10.5 weeks of the fall 2018 semester, winter 2019, spring 2019 semester, summer 2019 and the first 8.5 weeks of the fall 2019 semester) The same adjunct lecturer will be owed $2.89 per paid hour ($74.48 minus $71.59) for 6.5 weeks of the fall 2019 semester, following the 10/31/19 increase, winter 2020 session and however many weeks in the spring 2020 semester until the higher pay rate is reflected in the regular paycheck. The total back pay is the sum of these two amounts.

Find the proposed adjunct pay rate for each title and each contractual increase. For those in different adjunct titles or on different steps, find your current hourly rate in the leftmost column, headed 4/20/17, and calculate the rate differences and multiply them by the hours for which you were paid, as described above.

For adjuncts with a step increase during the back pay period, the calculations are more complicated. Consider a non-teaching adjunct III at the minimum pay rate of $48.72 who received a step increase on July 1, 2019. That person would be owed estimated back pay of $0.97 per hour ($49.69 minus $48.72) for hours paid between 10/1/2018 and 6/30/2019. Then, after the 7/1/2019 step increase, that person would be owed $1.01 per hour ($51.69 minus $50.68) for hours paid at the new step between 7/1/2019 and 10/30/2019. Finally, that person would be owed $2.05 per hour ($52.73 minus $50.68) for hours paid between 10/31/2019, the date of the next 2% increase, and the date the higher pay rate is reflected in the regular pay check. The total back pay is the sum of these three amounts.

NOTE: An adjunct in a teaching or non-teaching title (including adjunct CLTs and EOC adjuncts) who, on July 1st of any year has served 6 semesters University-wide over a period of the preceding three years (including summer sessions) shall be moved to the next higher pay step in the title on July 1st, if s/he has not moved up a pay step during that 3-year period. (Substitute service during that period counts as continuous adjunct service.)

 

3. If the contract is ratified, when would I actually get my higher pay and back-pay?  I hear there was a long delay for DC37 members at CUNY.

The PSC bargaining team repeatedly expressed to CUNY management that increases must be implemented—and retroactive pay paid—as promptly as possible. CUNY management has not yet announced dates.    The Chancellor’s Office has confirmed, however, that if the contract is ratified, payment for the new additional adjunct office hours will be included in adjuncts’ regular paychecks starting with the beginning of next semester.  After the last contract was settled, the PSC had to press CUNY hard for timely payment, and they still took five months to pay. The union leadership has already met with the Chancellor’s Office on the issue and has designated a team of officers and staff prepared to focus as soon as a contract is ratified on ensuring that the CUNY administration moves with dispatch to get raises paid.  If necessary, the PSC will campaign to press the Board of Trustees to provide enough resources to ensure prompt payment.

 

4. What is meant by “equity increases” and who will receive them?

Equity increases are increases in pay in addition to the “across-the-board” raises.  One of the major economic victories of the proposed contract is that it provides equity increases in salary for lower-paid full-time employees as well as the major gain for teaching adjuncts. Management initially took the position that there could be no equity increases for full-time employees if there was to be a significant adjunct increase. The union prevailed.

If the proposed contract is ratified, about 3,000 colleagues in full-time titles will receive salary increases on base in addition to the annual 2% raises.  The equity increases, all of which will be applied to every step of the given salary schedule, are as follows:

  • Full-time CLT titles, effective January 1, 2020:
  • $2,500 for CLTs
  • $2,000 for Senior CLTs
  • $1,500 for Chief CLTs
  • Assistants to HEO, effective February 1, 2021: $1,000
  • Lecturers, Lecturers Doctoral Schedule, CLIP and CUNY Start Instructors, and EOC Lecturers, effective April 1, 2021: $1,500

The different dates for equity increases are part of the overall economic framework of the agreement.

There are are several other important equity gains in the proposed contract, notably the provisions for graduate employees and the increases to the professional development grant funds for HEOs, CLTs, Adjuncts and Continuing Ed faculty. 

The other major equity increase in the proposed contract is the increase in support for the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund.  Benefit enhancements have a significant equity effect because the out-of-pocket costs saved represent a larger savings relative to income for lower-paid workers than for higher-paid workers.  For instance, if everyone who buys new glasses using the Welfare Fund program saves $400, the savings represents 0.5% of total annual income for the person earning $80,000 a year but fully 1% of annual income for that year for the person earning $40,000 a year. 

The proposed contract also incorporates an agreement between the City of New York and a coalition of municipal unions, including the PSC, to maintain the increasingly rare option of premium-free health insurance.  The option of premium-free health insurance also contributes to equity between the higher- and lower-paid. 

 

5. How do our proposed raises compare to those of other state and city employees in this round of bargaining?

The “pattern” of raises for NY State and City employees in this round of bargaining has been 2% per year.  The 2% “across-the-board” (applicable to all pay rates) raises in the proposed PSC contract are consistent with the “pattern”—the economic construct city and state governments normally apply to all union contracts. Individual unions negotiated slight variations in year-to-year percentages. (For example, DC 37 negotiated one 3% raise, but it covers a period of a year and a half.) The current 2% collective bargaining pattern is projected to keep pace with inflation, but it does not break with austerity funding for the public sector.

Another source of variation is the additional funding for “equity increases,” which was agreed to by both the City and State, but with the proviso that these amounts would not be applied to the across-the-board increases. For example, in their contract with SUNY, UUP negotiated a modest additional percentage to address inequities arising from compression of full-time salaries. (Their contract does not have salary step schedules.) DC 37 negotiated a small additional percentage from the City and CUNY to address salary inequities and provide funds to maintain benefits. Increased funding for welfare funds is also part of most public employee contracts in this round. 

The area in which the proposed PSC contract differs dramatically from those negotiated by other unions is in the approach to pay for adjunct faculty.  The PSC succeeded in negotiating significant increases in pay rates for adjuncts for time spent in weekly office hours with students and other professional responsibilities.    

 

6. Did we agree to any concessions or give-backs?

No. The CUNY administration made many demands for give-backs—such as giving up job security for certain positions or reducing summer annual leave for full-time faculty—but because union members gave the bargaining team the support needed to take a firm stand, we were able to make substantial gains while resisting concessionary demands.

The management demands we did accept as part of getting to an agreement on our demands include a pilot program to allow colleges to pay “stipends” to full-time faculty for special projects such as developing new online programs; a provision to restructure junior faculty reassigned time as a result of the reduced course load; a pilot program allowing tenured full-time faculty in specific year-round master’s programs at Baruch to teach part of their annual course load in the summer; and two adjustments to accommodate evaluation of full-time faculty who teach the majority of their courses in a department or program other than the one to which they are appointed. Language concerning these provisions can be found in the MOA on the PSC website.

 

HEO and CLT Issues

7. What improvements were made to the HEO salary differential?

In this round of bargaining we won two important demands related to the HEO salary differential. The first responds to some colleges’ claims of budget limitations and the second assures that the process will move forward expeditiously at all colleges.

Supplementary funds will be provided to each college to eliminate budgetary reasons for being unable to approve differentials for eligible employees. For each year of the contract, funds will be made available to each college based upon the number of HEOs who are eligible for the differential at that college. Given the availability of substantial new funds, we hope that there will be an increase in applications and an increase in differentials awarded.

Additionally, although applications may still be submitted and approved at any time of the year, there is now a contractual timetable for final approvals to be made at least twice a year. HEOs who submit their application to HR by January 1 shall receive notification of the President’s decision no later than June 30; those who submit applications by July 1 shall receive notification of the President’s decision no later than January 15.

 

8. Why were Assistants to HEO singled out among HEOs for the equity salary increase? 

The Assistant to HEO (aHEO) is the lowest-paid title in the Higher Education Officer series and the only one whose salary schedule is not comparable to a title in the professorial series. The salaries of full HEOs are the same as those of full professors, the salaries of HEO Associates are the same as those of Associate Professors and the same is true for HEO Assistants and Assistant Professors. This structure is not common in higher education and is beneficial to HEOs and unites us with faculty as members of CUNY’s instructional staff. For decades the PSC has defended pay parity of teaching and non-teaching professional staff titles. The Assistant to HEO is lower paid than any professorial rank; it has a current starting salary of $39,282 at the lowest step. Employees in the aHEO title are critical to the effective administration of many CUNY offices, and employees often are not reclassified to higher-paid titles. Therefore, the union proposed, and CUNY agreed, to add $1,000 to each step of the aHEO salary schedule effective February 1, 2021, in addition to the across-the-board salary increases.

 

9. Why did the union propose higher equity increases for the CLT titles?

The College Lab Technician (CLT) series titles are among the lowest paid full-time titles in the PSC’s bargaining unit. The duties and responsibilities assigned to CLTs have expanded in breadth and complexity over the decades. CLTs work in partnership with faculty, librarians, researchers, counselors and administrators to provide technological support for the education of students and for research. Although CLT appointments are tenure-track positions under the New York State Education Law, promotional opportunities are limited. In past contracts, the union won equity raises, salary increases for advanced degrees, access to professional development grants and raises on the top salary step. The new proposed contract provides additional “equity” raises to all three titles: College Lab Technician: $2,500; Senior College Lab Technician: $2,000; Chief College Lab Technician: $1,500. These raises are in addition to the across-the-board salary increases that all full-time PSC-represented CUNY employees will receive, and if the proposed contract is ratified, they will begin almost immediately: January 1, 2020.

 

10. How much will a typical full-time CLT salary increase over the life of the proposed contract? 

Over the 63 months of the contract, starting 12/1/2017, CLT salaries will increase significantly:

  • The bottom step of the CLT schedule will increase by $6,882, an increase of 17%. 
  • The top step of the CLT schedule will go up by $9,419, a 14.5% increase. 
  • The bottom step of the Senior CLT schedule will go up by $7,181, or 15%.
  • The top step of the Senior CLT schedule will increase by $9,581, or 13%. 
  • The bottom step of the Chief CLT schedule will increase by $7,315, or 13%.
  • The top step of the Chief CLT schedule will go up by $10,710, or 12%.

Note that these calculations include the five 2% increases. And, employees, other than those at the top of the schedules will also see salary step increases during the period which will enhance the value of their increases even more.

 

11. Are there any gains for Adjunct CLTs in the proposed contract?

Yes.  Adjunct CLTs, like all workers covered by the agreement, will see salary increases of more than 10% over the life of the contract and retroactive pay for which they are eligible. They will also benefit when paid family leave is implemented, following the work of a committee established in the proposed contract.  And as a group that may experience workplace bullying, adjunct CLTs will benefit from the gains both labor and management seek to make in a joint campaign against bullying in the workplace.  In addition, eligibility for Professional Development Fund grants for adjunct CLTs has been based on hours of work per week. To avoid losing eligibility because of a shortfall of hours worked in one week, hours of work for adjunct CLTs will now be averaged over the semester.

These are real gains, but further gains must continue to be made, especially as management continues to increase the number of adjunct CLTs relative to full-time CLTs. 

 

12. What is the significance of the increase to the HEO/CLT Professional Development Fund, and who is eligible to apply?

The HEO-CLT Professional Development Fund was won as part of the 2000-02 PSC collective bargaining agreement and was the first time CUNY HEOs and CLTs were granted unique support for academic and professional pursuits. In each academic year since 2003-04, approximately $500,000 per year has been distributed via grants of up to $3,000 to applicants from campuses University-wide in the Higher Education Officer and College Laboratory Technician series (including adjunct CLTs), as well as CLIP and CUNY Start instructors, and EOC Lecturers. Each year more and more employees seek grants. In this contract, available funding will be expanded by an additional $500,000 per year, and non-teaching adjuncts will be able to apply for grants if they meet the eligibility criteria. Annual funding for these grants will reach more than a million dollars if the contract is ratified.

 

13. Why is 7.5% being deducted from the Professional Development Fund for administrative costs?

Grant funds typically include a deduction of a certain amount to cover the cost of administering the program.Some programs administered by the CUNY Research Foundation, for example, require a 10% deduction for administrative costs.When the HEO/CLT and Adjunct Professional Development Funds were created, CUNY management insisted that all administrative work be performed by the PSC, and little or no funding for administrative costs was provided.Now that both programs are well established and entail processing hundreds of applications a year, the union and management agreed that a modest amount, 7.5% of total funds, could be deducted annually to cover the PSC staff costs.The deduction will come directly to the PSC from the total allocation; it will not be taken from individual grants.

 

Adjunct Pay and Workload

14. Can you explain how adjunct faculty pay would be increased if the contract is ratified?

Yes. The proposed increases in adjunct pay are explained in detail in “How the Increases in Adjunct Pay Would Work.”

 

15. Why did we focus on the minimum adjunct pay?

Since the first contract negotiated by the current union leadership, our union has named equity pay for adjuncts as an important goal.Contract by contract, the PSC has made important incremental gains for adjuncts, but until the current proposed contract we had not been able to make a major dent in the system of adjunct pay.

Previous contracts added some paid professional hours for adjuncts, higher increases to the top steps of the adjunct salary schedules, and a fund for adjunct professional development grants.In the last contract, we significantly challenged the exploitation of adjunct labor with provisions for health insurance and multi-year contracts for eligible adjuncts. As a result, more than 2,500 adjunct faculty are now on secure three-year appointments, and the health insurance the union won for eligible adjuncts has a value of more than $10,000 per year.

As bargaining for the current contract approached, the union leadership saw an opportunity to address the whole system of adjunct pay and to focus on the minimum.Occupy Wall Street forced a national discussion of economic inequality, and the discussion was heightened by the 2016 campaign of Bernie Sanders and by international uprisings against inequality.In 2018 New York State enacted a minimum wage of $15 an hour, the result of years of campaigning and pressure by workers and their unions. Recent higher education contracts had provided adjunct pay thousands of dollars higher than pay at CUNY, national organizations were recommending new higher minimums per adjunct course, and PSC members had shown in the last round of bargaining that we were unafraid to consider a strike.Union activists and leaders believed that this round of bargaining represented our best chance to crack the poverty-wage system for CUNY adjuncts—even though doing so would require achieving raises far higher than those typically enforced in public-sector bargaining.

More than half of all undergraduate courses at the University are taught by adjuncts, who have historically been paid a fraction of what they deserve. And among adjunct faculty, about 70% are in the entry-level title, Adjunct Lecturer.A large percentage of Adjunct Lecturers are on the bottom salary step. Raising the minimum would mean raising all adjunct faculty salaries and would deliver a blow to the premise of that austerity wages are acceptable at CUNY.

While there is still work to do to end unequal pay at CUNY, the proposed contract raises the minimum adjunct salary to $5,500, amounting to an increase of 71% over the current minimum of $3,222. Another 20% of adjuncts are Adjunct Assistant Professors, and the increase to $6,000 per 3-contact-hour course is a 64% increase from the minimum for that title. Raising the floor of adjunct pay is an important movement towards our goal of ending the exploitative two-tier faculty structure. The increases also narrow the gap between full-time and part-time faculty pay and should incentivize the colleges to create more full-time lines into which adjunct faculty can be appointed.

With a union-wide focus on significant improvements in adjunct pay, more adjuncts may come to understand their eligibility for step increases and seek them before Fall 2022, when the single rates for each adjunct title are applied, and faculty chapters may increase opportunities for promotion to higher adjunct titles by seeking greater transparency from the colleges on the procedures and criteria for promotion.

 

16. What does the reference to adjunct office hours being “formalized” mean?

Departments formalize office hours for full-time faculty in different ways: some require that hours be listed on the syllabus, others that they be reported to the administrative staff of the department, others that they be posted on office doors—or some combination of these methods.  Starting with the Spring 2020 semester, department chairs will also be asked to direct how office hours by part-time faculty will be formalized; that is, made known to students and the department administration.  The union’s expectation is that the same procedures that apply for full-time faculty will apply for adjuncts.

For more information about the new adjunct office hours, please see “How the Increases in Adjunct Pay Would Work.”

 

17. What if I don’t have an office in which to hold office hours?

The new provision should be a spur to the CUNY administration and college administrations to provide adjuncts with offices.Although the union bargaining team pressed hard in negotiations to allow some adjunct office hours to be conducted remotely, University management, as well as the City Office of Labor Relations, was adamant that office hours must be held on campus.The bargaining team is well aware that many adjuncts do not currently have an office or are crammed into a single “office” in such large numbers that the space cannot reasonably function as an individual office.

Between now and the start of the Spring 2020 semester, when the paid office hours begin, the union leadership will work with department chairs and the CUNY administration to identify office spaces for adjuncts.If no other provision is made for you to have a space for a weekly office hour, you may have to list on your syllabus that your office hours will be held in the cafeteria or hallway. But colleges can and should find creative solutions using conference rooms and other spaces.Many full-time faculty who have fought hard for adjunct equity may welcome having an adjunct colleague use their office for certain hours.College management can be asked to open little-used space in executive conference rooms at certain hours for adjuncts.At its best, this provision will force management to reimagine the University’s physical space in ways that acknowledge the reality of who teaches at CUNY.

 

18. What are the “professional development hours,” and do they apply to all teaching adjuncts?

Professional development hours refer to the time spent on workplace programs like trainings required under state law, such as “Public Employer Violence Prevention,” “You Have a Right to Know,” and others, or other professional development as directed by the college, or for union orientation meetings conducted individually or in a group pursuant to the amended Taylor Law. The designation of professional hours ensures that adjuncts will be paid at their full hourly rate for activities that, in the past, were either unpaid or paid at the non-teaching adjunct rate by some colleges.

The professional development hours apply to all adjuncts teaching at least one contact hour. If you are teaching one or more but fewer than three contact hours per week in a single college, you will receive two professional development hours in a semester; if you are teaching at least three but fewer than six contact hours per week in a single college, three of your paid office hours in a semester may be used as professional development hours. If you are teaching at least six contact hours in a single college, up to six of your paid office hours may be designated for professional development. In all cases, professional development hours will not be paid for separately; they are already factored into your adjunct pay. See “How the Increases in Adjunct Pay Would Work” for more detail.

 

19. Can the college designate some or all of my paid office hours for purposes other than meeting with students?

No. Only the designated and limited “professional hours,” as explained above, may be used by the colleges for purposes other than being engaged in or available for student contact.Of the 15 office hours in a semester for a three-credit course, for example, no more than three may be used as “professional hours.”All other paid office hours are to be used to meet with students or be available to meet with students. One of the most important features of the proposed contract is that it recognizes the work adjuncts do one-on-one with their students and builds time with students into the adjunct faculty workload.Directives from colleges to use the time in other ways would violate both the letter and the spirit of the agreement.

 

20. Is there any change in the “9/6 rule” that governs adjuncts’ course loads? 

Article 15.2, which governs adjunct course loads, now includes the following sentence: “It is understood that paid office hours and paid professional hours for adjuncts shall not be counted toward the maximum adjunct teaching hours.”

CUNY management has repeatedly made a contract demand to change the “9/6 rule” in order to remove restrictions on its ability to hire adjuncts. The union recognizes that a relaxation of the “9/6 rule” helps perpetuate the cycle of adjunct exploitation and weakens the incentive of management to invest in full-time positions. As in past contracts, we have rejected the demand to weaken Article 15.2. The labor-based way to increase total pay is not to increase contact hours; it is to increase hourly pay and increase the number of hours per course for which adjuncts are paid.And that is exactly what we have done in this contract.

 

21. Why do certain adjuncts receive the final 2% salary increase rather than moving to the single rate?

Adjuncts in certain professional schools at CUNY—the Law, Medical and Journalism Schools, as well as the Executive programs at Baruch’s Zicklin School—are paid at higher rates than most other teaching adjuncts, just as full-time faculty at these professional schools are paid at higher rates than other full-time faculty. If the proposed contract is ratified, these adjuncts will receive the five 2% increases just as other members of the bargaining unit will.

Teaching adjuncts in all four adjunct titles who, when the single rate is applied at the start of the Fall 2022 semester are being paid an hourly rate higher than the new hourly rate derived from the single rate for their title will not be moved to the new single rates. Adjuncts on the top step of the Adjunct Lecturer, Adjunct Assistant Professor and Adjunct Associate Professor titles and those on the top three steps of the Adjunct Professor title on August 25, 2022, will be “red-circled,” in labor parlance, and will receive the fifth (final) 2% raise on November 1, 2022. Their pay will continue to be calculated based on hours worked, including office hours, multiplied by their “red-circled” hourly rate of pay.

 

22. Have we given up on achieving $7K?

Absolutely not.When the PSC approaches the next round of bargaining, we may set an even higher goal.The current proposed contract represents the biggest gain in equity in the union’s history.As far as can be determined, it provides the biggest gain in salary for the largest number of adjuncts in any contract nationwide.It delivers an increase of up to 39% almost immediately, starting next semester. But we want to aim higher.

The current proposed contract creates a path to achieving higher pay in the future.By recognizing the professionalism of adjunct work and paying adjunct faculty for work outside of the classroom, it opens the door to further gains in adjunct pay in future rounds of negotiations. The PSC’s ultimate goal continues to be the end of poverty-funding for CUNY and a university in which every worker we represent—full-time as well as part-time—is paid fairly and well.