Adjunct 3-Year Appointment Settlement Agreements

Updated: April 29, 2019
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PSC recently reached agreement with the CUNY administration to settle two class action grievances concerning implementation of the three-year adjunct appointments. Both are victories for the union.

Jumbo Courses

The settlement on jumbo courses applies only to colleges that have an existing practice of paying and awarding workload credit to adjuncts who teach unusually large courses, typically called "jumbo courses." Starting with three-year appointments to be made this May for the 2019-2020 academic year, colleges that normally pay adjuncts for additional hours for teaching extra-large or jumbo courses will now be required to count the additional hours when calculating eligibility for consideration for a three-year appointment. (See paragraph 3 in the settlement agreement.)

Courses Taught in Programs rather than Departments

The settlement on courses offered by programs affects every college. It answers the question of whether a course taught by an adjunct in a program will be counted toward eligibility for consideration for a three-year appointment by a department.

The question is answered differently depending on the practice in the college. Appendix B to the settlement agreement states how courses taught in programs will be handled by each college. 

Colleges handle the relationship between programs and departments in different ways, depending largely on how connected the courses and appointments in the relevant programs are to courses and appointments in departments. In some cases, every course taught by an adjunct in a program will count toward eligibility for review by a department for the three-year appointment. In others, colleges have required that adjuncts must have taught at least one course per semester in the department during the eligibility period in order to be reviewed by that department for the three-year appointment. Please consult the list for your college.

The union had hoped to include every adjunct teaching in every program on the same straightforward terms, but we had to negotiate over every program at every college. Several colleges were resistant to including courses taught in programs at all, and reaching this settlement has taken nearly two years.

Because of the long time it took to negotiate the settlement, the agreement also provides that adjuncts who would have been eligible for consideration for a three-year appointment last May if the new language had been in effect will be eligible for consideration this May, for a three-year appointment starting in the fall 2019 semester, regardless of whether they maintained eligibility this year. (See paragraph 5.)

The settlements do not change any other provisions of the three-year appointment program, including the notification date of May 15.