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May 29, 2007

Push for Full Pay for Finals Week Escalates

Last week—finals week, for which five CUNY colleges refuse to pay their adjuncts their full pay—the “campaign of outrage” took its demand directly to the doorsteps of four of the five college presidents. With creative signs, chants and flyers for students and the public, dozens of PSC members demonstrated outside the administrative buildings at Baruch, Bronx CC, College of Staten Island and Queensborough; and afterwards delivered 2,000 petition signatures to each president’s office. At Queensborough, President Eduardo Martí came down personally to accept the petitions and discuss the issue; at Baruch, a delegation met with the president’s chief of staff. News coverage included Channel 12, the Norwood News, and this article from The Chief.

Join us for the fifth and final stop on the “outraged” tour of the colleges that shortchange adjuncts for the 15th week of the semester: Thursday, May 31, 2:00 - 3:30pm, Kingsborough Community College, Administration Building A (click here for directions and a campus map).

Click here for photos from last week’s demonstrations. For more information on the issue behind the campaign of outrage, see the “part-timers” section of the PSC website.

Bargaining Report

Union negotiators met on Friday with management in the latest bargaining session.  Management’s representatives began by reiterating that they shared the PSC’s commitment to trying to settle the next contract before the expiration of the current one in September 2007. The PSC presented its demands on management rights and job security for CUNY’s longest-serving adjuncts, and called for further discussion of CUNY’s increasing use of part-time positions among professional staff.  CUNY employs a growing number—well over 1,000—of part-timers in professional staff positions.  The session also included management’s initial presentation of demands, starting with a call for department chairs to be removed from the union.  That demand met with stiff opposition from the union.

The number of rank-and-file observers at negotiating sessions continues to grow.  Now that classes for many faculty have ended, there may be an opportunity to observe your union negotiating team—and CUNY’s—at work.  Contact Cheshire Frager at cfrager@pscmail.org to attend the session on Friday, June 1 from 2:00 to 5:00pm.

Over 1,200 PSC members have signed the statement supporting the PSC’s bargaining agenda to create a university that provides the salaries and conditions we need to do our jobs. Read the statement here and add your name.

My Five Training this Thursday

There will be a training for My Five organizers and those thinking about becoming part of the network this Thursday, May 31, at 5:30pm at the union office. For more information about the My Five Network or to sign up and join, click here.

Legislative Issue in Focus: Unemployment Insurance for Adjuncts

One of the PSC’s legislative priorities on the state level is a bill that would give CUNY and SUNY teaching adjuncts the right to collect unemployment insurance when they receive a contingent letter of appointment for the next semester. Unemployment insurance is supposed to cover workers during times of unemployment when they have no income, yet adjuncts are often barred from receiving it because the contingent letters count as a “reasonable assurance” of continuous employment under current law, even though in practice these letters provide no such assurance at all. You can send a letter to your state legislators right now urging them to support this bill by visitng the “Act Now” section of the website.

De-Fund the War

After a spirited rally and picket line last Thursday, the PSC delivered 1,200 petitions to Senator Hillary Clinton's office calling for de-funding the war, immediate withdrawal, full veterans' benefits, redirecting tax dollars and money for reconstruction under Iraqi control. The petition was part of a national campaign by U.S. Labor Against the War , an organization of 180 union locals and several state federations and municipal labor coalitions representing over four million trade unionists. Later that day, Senator Clinton became one of 14 senators to vote against supplemental funding for the war requested by the Bush administration (four Democratic presidential candidates in Congress voted against the supplemental funding: Clinton, Dodd, Kucinich and Obama; a fifth, Biden, voted for it. ) Click here for photos from the demonstration and more on the union’s peace and justice work. Click here for the Chief's coverage of the event.

What Movies do You Want to see Next Year?

The Labor Goes to the Movies committee is currently planning the line-up of films for next year. The committee is always open to suggestions; interested members are invited to join the planning discussions.  The next planning meeting is this Friday, June 1 at 3:00om at the PSC.

“Congratulations to all of our students who are graduating this week and in the weeks to come.  I also send best wishes to faculty, who are redirecting themselves to research, and to staff, many of whom are using the professional development funds negotiated by the union to support their own work this summer.  The PSC doesn’t slow down over the summer, either: expect to hear news of intensive work at the bargaining table, on legislation and on organizing.”   ~Barbara Bowen, President