Minutes from chapter’s Executive Committee Meeting – 2/1/2018
- Discussion: “Taking Stock & Moving Forward” – 40 min – everyone
- What have we been doing well? What haven’t we been doing that we need to start doing?
- What are other groups doing around campus? How do we link up?
- What are this semester’s immediate goals & strategies for the contract campaign? The budget campaign? The membership campaign?
- Updates & reflections on working groups: HEO, stewards, GC chapter meeting planning, internal organizing?, Science Fellows
- Science Fellows want to meet with PSC officer as next step to explain unique set of probs faced by Science Fellows & brainstorm how to deal with Research Foundation
- HEO committee: spreading info about salary differentials, recommitments, getting info from HR about new hires, will show up at HEOs orientations
- Decentralization of work has had positive & negative outcomes
- Negative: lack of communication about events
- Solidarity committee merged into wider/fluid working group around campaign to reinstate Marisa Holmes, supporting Chelsea Manning & Oscar Lopez Rivera → drew in more 1st year involvement
- Internal organizing/membership: signed up a lot of new members in beginning of semester, but momentum has not continued throughout semester
- How to make membership/recommitment campaign exciting?
- Tag-teaming with 2 people
- Not ideal to ask activists to figure out fee payer’s schedules
- Phone-banking rather than walk-arounds
- Competition among departments
- Generally easier to sign up fee payers than re-commitments, but fee payers should be priority before Janus
- “Recommitment” on part of stewards needed
- Most difficult to get excitement around collecting cards
- Explore floor-wide meetings rather than department meetings
- Do we have updated fee payer list?
- Get student lists from APOs? Do classroom visits
- Hard to find new ppl in new depts → focus internal organizing on departments with lowest coverage
- Keep asks small & specific
- Map the faculty!
- Classroom visits are best for sharing events, not necessarily getting membership sign-ups
- How to make membership/recommitment campaign exciting?
- Let’s regularize steward involvement in EC or at least increase communication between EC & stewards
- Adjunct organizing has also become coalitional in nature at chapter level & has regular meetings focus on building for specific actions
- PSC organizers have mapped out class times by using CUNY 1st → catching adjuncts after they teach is a good method
- Updating & following up on Spring semester chapter organizing plan – 25 min – everyone
- Need to come up with organizing plan for ASRC
- EC attendance spreadsheet – 5 min – Anh
- Membership data management, communications & protecting privacy – 10 min – Marc
- PSC uses Constant Contact to manage member data → should check to see what is in contract between PSC & Constant Contact as to what Constant Contact can do with our info → Marc will check in with Naomi Z. about this contract
- We need to invest in integrated, streamlined database BEFORE Janus → get working group to investigate options → Marc will ask Naomi Z.
- UPDATE EC ON EVENTS – 5 min – Gerry
- Plans or resolutions for next DA meeting on Feb. 15 – 5 min – everyone
- Marc’s resolution on implementing pilot adjunct seniority system → is DA the best space? Or just start organizing with buy-in from PSC Vice Presidents? Or could be a CAP project?
- PSC has attempted seniority syst organizing in past → need to ask to Steve London
A note from the chapter officers on this important issue for Graduate Assistants:
We want to report to you about an important contractual grievance, now in the works, which may affect all Graduate Assistants. There is important information in this email, but if you’re very busy and you are currently a WAC fellow, please prioritize filling out this 3 minute survey.
Fifth-year Writing-Across-the-Curriculum (WAC) Fellows received Graduate Assistant B appointment letters last Spring for service in the 2017-2018 academic year. In the PSC-CUNY contract, the GA-B title, workload is capped at 120 teaching hours or 225 non-teaching hours for the year (225/30 weeks = 7.5 non-teaching hours per week). However, WAC Fellows generally put in 15 hours of work per week. In the Fall, the PSC Graduate Center chapter filed a grievance seeking to reduce the workload of WAC Fellows to 7.5 hours per week since that is the GA-B non-teaching workload.
The Graduate Center administration has responded with what can only be considered threats to 1st – 4th year GAs with Teaching Fellowships. The administration threatens that beginning next year, they will appoint 5th year GAs to the GA-A title (which allows an average of up to 15 hours per week of work, for roughly double the salary), yet they will reduce the stipend component of the fellowship, cancelling out the value of the higher GA-A salary. Moreover, the administration threatens to enforce a contract provision that bars GA-As from working elsewhere in the CUNY system (mainly, teaching additional classes as Adjuncts), which is in no one’s interest. We perceive these threats to be punitive, retaliatory and possibly illegal.
While we pursue contractual and legal channels (which by their nature, may yield uncertain outcomes), we also must bring pressure to bear on CUNY and the GC administration. As a first step, if you are a current WAC fellow, please take 3 minutes to fill out this survey that will make our grievance stronger, and please don’t hesitate to reply to this email with questions or concerns! We will be in touch soon.
The Professional Staff Congress, AFT Local 2334, is a progressive, activist union representing 28,000 faculty and staff at The City University of New York. The PSC is seeking to hire one or more experienced individuals who will increase the union’s effectiveness in enforcing contracts and expanding the reach of academic labor unionism through working with the diverse instructional staff PSC represents. These are professional, unionized positions.
Responsibilities: With some latitude for independent decision-making under the direction of the Director of Contract Enforcement, administers the collective bargaining agreement for the CUNY instructional staff represented by PSC and is responsible for implementation of the policies and procedures of the established grievance process:
- Investigates, prepares and presents grievances at step one and step two; negotiates settlement agreements with management representatives at CUNY;
- Works with chapter leadership on contract enforcement and labor-management issues affecting faculty and professional staff and on implementation of strategies for enforcement of complex and cross-campus contractual issues
- Maintains an effective system of follow up on member inquiries, workplace issues and grievances with staff and member grievance counselors, including digital reporting;
- Oversees rank and file grievance representatives who respond to member inquiries and in building worksite participation, and educating and organizing around contractual rights and grievances and using electronic databases;
- Assists with the implementation of grievance counselor training,
- Researches, analyzes and prepares reports on contract enforcement issues;
- Other duties as assigned.
- Demonstrated commitment to progressive trade unionism;
- 5-10 years’ experience or more as a union grievance representative or union-side labor lawyer and demonstrated ability to interpret and administer collective bargaining agreements; experience in higher education and in negotiating grievance settlement agreements is a plus;
- Demonstrated experience working with union staff and activists;
- Demonstrated organizing experience and ability to work in a team environment;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; experience working with databases;
- Excellent organizational skills and ability to pay attention to details;
- Experience communicating and working with a diverse constituency;
Education & Experience Requirements:
- Baccalaureate; more advanced degree in labor and industrial relations or law is a plus;
- At least 5-10 years’ experience in higher education or public sector labor relations,
- Knowledge of standard office computer software;
- 3 full-time employment references.
Compensation: Competitive salary, based on experience; excellent benefit package
The Professional Staff Congress is an equal opportunity employer.
Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.
Application deadline: March 2, 2018 or until position filled
Send cover letter and resume to:
Barbara Gabriel, Professional Staff Congress
61 Broadway, 15th floor
New York, NY 10006
Telephone: 212-354-1252 Fax: 212-302-7815 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org