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Resolution in Support of CUNY Adjuncts

WHEREAS the mission of CUNY is, in part, “to maintain and expand its commitment to academic excellence and to the provision of equal access and opportunity for students, faculty and staff from all ethnic and racial groups and from both sexes. The City University is of vital importance as a vehicle for the upward mobility of the disadvantaged in the City of New York,”

WHEREAS the City University of New York (CUNY) employs some 13,000 adjuncts (according to the Professional Staff Congress [PSC], the union of CUNY faculty and staff). Adjuncts comprise 59% of the CUNY faculty but earn only 29-38% of what full-time faculty earn making them the largest section of the bargaining unit and the most oppressed;

WHEREAS adjuncts are consistently subjected to unpredictable working conditions, including but not limited to late pay, classes cancellations, lack of rehiring, disproportionate class sizes that vary by campus and department, and inadequate access to instructional resources;

WHEREAS a significant number of Graduate Center (GC) students adjunct to subsidize their graduate studies and living expenses, whether solely or in addition to graduate assistantships, especially those students who entered the GC prior to 2013;

WHEREAS the working conditions of CUNY’s adjuncts are the learning conditions of its undergraduate and graduate students;

WHEREAS the recent contract negotiations did not make adjunct equity issues the main priority;

WHEREAS a public-facing campaign for adjunct parity, in addition to being morally right, is of great strategic value to the broader PSC;

WHEREAS solidarity across the PSC is urgent with the potential threat of the country becoming “right-to-work” with a new “Friedrichs” case presented to a Trump Supreme Court.  Studies have found that “right-to-work” laws end up reducing workers’ wages and their likelihood of receiving benefits;

RESOLVED that the PSC make adjunct equity issues the main priority in the upcoming contract negotiations and have majority adjuncts as part of the bargaining team.

RESOLVED that specific demands and goals should be developed in a sustained conversation between PSC leadership and Adjunct leaders from each campus.

RESOLVED that CUNY bargain this demand in good faith, since higher, more equitable salaries for CUNY adjunct faculty benefit all, especially CUNY undergraduate students, whose learning conditions are their faculty’s working conditions.

 

*Note: as of posting, this document is still open for comments. See the Google Doc here. It will be further discussed at the December 1st chapter meeting.


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