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.