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Notes From the Last Two Chapter Meetings

Below you will find notes from our previous two chapter meetings (on October 24th and December 1st). The notes from the October meeting are specifically on the take-aways from the small group breakout session where members talked about what they hope to see in the next CUNY/PSC contract; the notes from December are a summary of meeting in its entirety, and the discussion of several documents discussed.

A big thank you to Chloe Asselin (Urban Education) for both!

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Graduate Center PSC chapter member Contract Demands (October 24th meeting)

  • Free tuition as part of contract
  • Tuition remission for kids of PSC members
  • Disclosure of administrative pay
  • Cap number of online courses
    • make sure professors teaching online get same pay, benefits, etc.
  • Adjuncts
    • $7000/class
    • Paid office hours
    • Lecture salaries as comparable rate- proportional pay to time worked
    • Multiyear contracts
    • Fixed ratio of adjuncts to full-time faculty/cap number of adjuncts
    • Flat sum raise as non-negotiable
  • Graduate Assistants
    • Fluid transitions between graduate assistants and adjuncts in salary steps. GA work should count as adjunct step increases starting at step 2
    • Graduate students have a promotional option to get full-time jobs
    • Cap on class size
    • Language needed around TAships- “excessive workload” is vague
    • Formalize preservation of raises for GAs so that stipends are included in bargaining
    • Pedagogy skills before entering classroom
  • HEOs
    • Transparency in the reclassification process
    • Equal pay for equal jobs for HEOs when new contract negotiated
    • Possibility to work from home under certain circumstances such as medical ones
    • Authority in shaping funding, awards, recognition, representation in different kinds of decision-making
    • Replenish center lines with full-time staff
  • Full-time
    • Increase number of full-time faculty lines
    • Diversity requirements
    • Course credit for teaching in summer
    • Fair share of external research grants
    • Make refusal to fill open lines from retirement, etc. grievable
    • Protect tenure

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Meeting notes from December 1st

We focused on the urgency of fighting back against the attack on labor of a Trump administration. A Trump Supreme Court will most likely vote in favor of a court case similar to “Friedrichs” making the entire country “right to work.” We presented three documents we hope the EC will endorse/pass tomorrow: CUNY as a sanctuary campus, labor against Trump, and a resolution centering adjuncts. We discussed a four-point plan that includes 1. Center the PSC’s work on CUNY Rising and on broad social and economic justice issues; 2. Place part-timer demands front and center in our contract negotiations; 3. Be prepared to strike; 4. Deepen relationships with the most progressive and powerful elements of the NYC labor movement.

Action steps for PSC based on group discussions from today’s chapter meeting:

  • Get a large group to go present adjunct resolution at the Delegate Assembly on December 15
  • Mobilize base with TWU contract fight in January. We have time in January since CUNY is on vacation. Opportunity to get GTF’s involved
  • Get members to DC for Inauguration Day protests
  • Prioritizing adjuncts in contract campaign should not just be a strategic issue about next “Friedrichs”. Should happen no matter what
    • Urgency of signing up adjuncts right now to build adjunct power. Need more adjunct members
  • We need clearer vision and concrete steps
    • Create Strike Committee now
  • Leverage of public campaign.
    • Part of public campaign power was SAV
    • Connect civil rights with labor rights
    • Public campaign about how CUNY provides for NYC. We train police, teachers, fire fighters
  • Internal educational work to build participation and engagement
    • Meetings between full-timers and part-timers. Meetings with students and faculty on different campuses
    • Commitment to organize adjuncts on each campus and provide educational resources to build solidarity
    • Use issues to do more one-on-one organizing similar to SAV. Train members to talk to other members and make connections between issues. Fight for contract is tied to broader issues around CUNY
    • Because we have many new members, we need more information provided to members on CUNY Rising, on last contract- what was successful or not, and explain acronyms
    • Highlight places of success for adjuncts and full-time faculty. Bring activists from locations to GC to discuss goals and how they achieved them. Adjust for CUNY and NY
  • Create meaningful solidarity between different tiers of the workforce and with our students
  • Stronger language in Sanctuary statement. Ban ICE, surveillance, police on CUNY campuses
    • PSC commitment to action if CUNY doesn’t respect sanctuary
  • CUNY Rising- build committees on each campus to have more conversations
    • More about CUNY Rising and fact that it is student centered. How does union respond to student movements? How does union contribute to student movements?
  • Larger labor movement in city. What are they doing and how is PSC participating?
  • Use PSC meetings to make concrete demands.
  • Language of 4-point plan should include race and inclusivity and include sanctuary campus language
  • Academic freedom needs to be part of the discussion
  • Build coalitions with K-12 teachers across states (PA and NJ)
  • Reach out to alumni. Alumni support CUNY and the union.
  • Litigation
  • Have members participate as much as possible in next contract fight. Have members participate in creation and prioritization of demands

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