DELEGATE ASSEMBLY APPROVES DUES CHANGE FOR PART TIMERS

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NEWS BULLETIN

APRIL 2001

 

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On February 22, the PSC’s Delegate Assembly (DA) voted overwhelmingly to restructure the dues/fees schedule for part-timers. The delegates accepted the recommendation of the Executive Council to eliminate the flat rate $139 dues for part-timers, and replace it with dues/fees equaling one percent of gross CUNY income.

The move came after months of exhaustive research by the DA Finance Committee, a dues structure subcommittee and an ad hoc committee of PSC officers and several adjuncts, the one percent proposal was offered to the Executive Council with the unanimous endorsement of the DA Adjunct Affairs Committee.

The proportional dues structure was chosen for a number of reasons. Most important, the PSC desired a fair and equitable dues structure, one that was more in line with comparable academic labor unions. For example, the PSC’s sister union, the United University Professions (UUP) of SUNY, also has a percentage dues structure.

Another factor was the coming implementation of “agency fee” for part-timers at CUNY. Full-timers who choose not to join the PSC have long paid an agency fee in lieu of union dues, to cover the costs incurred by the union in representing their interests. Agency fee will soon be put into effect for part-timers as well, and the City and State could not guarantee that they had the capacity to stop multiple deductions from being taken from adjuncts working at more than one campus.

With the one percent structure, all part-timer members of the bargaining unit will have one percent deducted from all CUNY paychecks. For most adjuncts, this will amount to approximately $23 to $30 per course. If an adjunct joins the PSC, the one percent will count as dues, and will entitle the member to all the rights and privileges of membership (such as the rights to vote in union elections and on the contract, and to run for PSC office). For adjuncts who opt not to join the PSC, the one percent would count as agency fees—essentially reimbursing the union for representing these adjuncts in grievances, negotiating a contract on their behalf, and so on.

The PSC has already been seeing its numbers grow over the past several months. “With our new ‘Strength in Numbers’ campaign, I think even more adjuncts will see the importance and value in joining the PSC,” said Eric Marshall, PSC Vice President for Part-time Personnel. “We hope part-timers will choose to pay their one percent as union dues rather than as agency fees, and we urge them to become active participants in their union.”

The Finance Committee determined that this change to one percent would be essentially income-neutral for the PSC, which is what was desired. Moreover, at one percent, data indicate, approximately two-thirds of all current part-timer PSC members will see their dues either decrease or remain constant. The February 22 meeting—a special session of the DA called expressly to consider the dues change, as mandated by the PSC’s constitution—also voted to explore the possibility of similarly restructuring full-timer dues on a percentage basis.