News & Events

Union, Lawmakers, Experts Demand that CUNY Delay In-Person Activities until Buildings are Proven Safe, Including CUNY’s only K-12 School

Reopening Plans Must Guarantee Adequate Ventilation

From: Barbara Bowen 8/20/20

Re: Options for Deferring CCE and Sabbaticals

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this message finds you in good health.  As the PSC continues to press the CUNY administration on such major issues as increased class size, safety in reopening and reversal of adjunct layoffs, the union has also been negotiating agreements on other issues that affect the faculty and staff.

I’m writing about two agreements reached this week to address concerns faculty have raised about disruptions caused by the pandemic.  The texts of the agreements are included at the end of this letter.  Signed copies will be posted on the PSC website.

·      Sabbaticals:  The first agreement provides for faculty who, because of circumstances related to the pandemic, wish to defer or decline a sabbatical scheduled for the 2020-2021 academic year....

·      Schedule of CCE for Lecturers: The second agreement is an option for Lecturers who wish to defer consideration for the Certificate of Continuous Employment (CCE). ...

In the last contract round, the PSC won four semesters of Level 3 tuition remission for graduate students who have completed ten semesters of enrollment. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you get this benefit.

RSVP for the prep session Wed., July 22, 6:30 PM

PSC is continuing the fight to protect the annual leave you have earned. President Barbara Bowen sent a letter to all to college HR offices and labor designees reminding them of their obligation to enable employees to use the annual leave time to which they are entitled. That time includes accrued leave in excess of the 45-day cap, which must be used by August 31.

The PSC has designated Thursday, July 23, as Own Your Annual Leave Day. On that day, we will ask all PSC members who are in danger of losing annual leave days on August 31 to make your request to your supervisor to take the days you have earned. By making the requests together on the same day we amplify our power and show CUNY management how determined we are to assert our rights.

Workers are still on-site


While CUNY classes shifted to “distance learning” and most other work finally went remote during March, hundreds of essential workers still report to CUNY, even if occasionally. They cut the checks, patrol the campus, clean and maintain the buildings, staff the food pantries and take care of thousands of lab animals. PSC members and other workers who are doing essential work on campus are taking creative measures to keep on-site CUNY services safe, and they are doing whatever they can to reduce the time they spend physically on campus. And outside of CUNY, many CUNY faculty and staff work other jobs where they are doing essential work.

CUNY’s “essential” workers said they are mission-driven, committed to the work they do and the students they serve. Some of these workers spoke to Clarion Associate Editor Shomial Ahmad about the important work they do on campus.

The PSC filed a major lawsuit against CUNY seeking an injunction against the layoffs.

Before saying more about the legal action and the union’s collective protest actions ahead, I want to extend deep solidarity to anyone reading this message who has received a notice of non-reappointment. 4,000 of your colleagues in the full-time and part-time staff and faculty immediately signed a petition supporting you, and your union will continue to fight. If you have received a notice of non-reappointment, please let us know right away so PSC staff can be in touch with you. And I urge you to apply immediately for Unemployment Insurance. I also send support to the department chairs who did everything they could to support the adjuncts in their department but were thwarted by central directives.

The layoff crisis the union has been anticipating has begun. It is a crisis for all of us, whether we are full-time or part-time, faculty or staff, because it reveals CUNY management’s willingness to treat employees as disposable and to betray the mission of the University.

It is unconscionable that a public university serving the city’s most vulnerable population would jettison its most vulnerable workers in the middle of a pandemic and a recession. The CUNY administration is exploiting the contingent labor system to make what are expected to be deep cuts in the University’s workforce.

The deadline for informing adjuncts about whether they will be employed next semester is this Tuesday. The PSC has received notice from CUNY that 422 adjuncts currently covered by adjunct health insurance will lose their eligibility for health insurance for the fall 2020 semester as a result of a reduction in hours or a non-reappointment. 422 is a devastating number, but it represents only the adjuncts who are currently on health insurance through the NYC plan and are expected to lose it in the fall. The total number of adjunct layoffs on Tuesday could be hundreds or even thousands more.

Cutting hundreds or thousands of employees is not business as usual. It is an attack on all of us as PSC members and on the students we serve. That’s why we need every member to be part of this fight.

NYC Electeds Urge CUNY Management to Defend CUNY, Not Find Ways to Dismantle it

Legislators and Council Members Speak Out against Planned Layoffs of Adjuncts, Urge Transparency about Use of $132M in Federal Stimulus Money and Requirement to Protect Jobs

New York elected officials, including NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, two borough presidents, the chair of the NYS Senate Finance Committee and the Higher Education Chairs of the NYS Senate and Assembly and the City Council have signed a letter addressed to Chairperson of the CUNY Board of Trustees William C. Thompson, Jr and CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez expressing concern about the University’s plans for mass layoffs of adjunct faculty and staff in the next five days. Sixty-nine lawmakers endorsed the letter, 17 State Senators, 33 Assemblymembers and 15 City Councilmembers.

“New York must not turn its back on CUNY now,” the letter says. “We call on you, as leaders of the City University system, to be a voice against the destruction of CUNY. We ask you to defend
CUNY at this critical moment in history, not find ways to dismantle it.”

The PSC office will be closed Friday, June 19 in recognition of the Juneteenth holiday.

Here are some events and resources to celebrate and honor Black freedom and Black resistance:

New York NY Defend Black Lives Vigil, 8PM. RSVP for this in-person event.

Juneteenth Virtual Block Party, 12PM, RSVP for this online event.

The JusticeforGeorgeNYC Instagram account is a source for centralized information and updates on #JusticeForGeorge and #BlackLivesMatter protests and actions in NYC. It has an extensive list of Juneteenth events.

Schomburg Center Black Liberation Reading List

To: All full-time faculty and teaching adjuncts
From: Renee Lasher (

We wanted you to be aware of the actions we are taking regarding the online teaching training that is being offered during annual leave. This impacts all of our teaching faculty, and we are fighting to protect your rights on two fronts, by making demands directly to CUNY leadership and filing grievances at the college level for violations of multiple provisions of the contract.