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Resolution on $7k or Strike (amended and approved)

Adopted at the chapter meeting on 4/26/18

 

Whereas adjuncts make up 57% of the faculty at CUNY and teach 53% of classes, at an average rate of $3,500 per three-credit class with no compensation for research or advising, amounting to an annual salary of $28,000 for the same courseload as full-time professors, who make $47,000 at the lowest step;

Whereas adjunct poverty is detrimental to student success since adjuncts, who teach the majority of required courses, are forced to work additional jobs and consequently do not have the time they need and want to dedicate their students;

Whereas devaluing adjunct labor is the principal means of devaluing the labor of CUNY education workers across all titles;

Whereas the PSC has rightly put adjuncts at the center of the current contract campaign by demanding an adjunct minimum wage of $7,000 per three-credit course in the next contract;

Whereas $7k per course amounts to a living wage in New York City and is parity with what a full-time lecturer makes at CUNY for the same work;

Whereas $7k per course is a bigger demand than what the PSC has won in past contracts, which rarely keep pace with inflation, and thus requires more than collective bargaining supplemented by occasional demonstrations to win;

Whereas the PSC leadership has admitted in the 26 March 2018 bulletin This Week in the PSC that “the campaign to more than double adjuncts’ pay will be waged not at the bargaining table”;

Whereas the inefficacy of lobbying is exemplified by the PSC’s persistent lobbying year after year for the $200m Maintenance of Effort bill, which failed to stop Cuomo from vetoing it and failed to convince state lawmakers to override the veto despite having enough votes;

Whereas educators across the country, especially in West Virginia where striking teachers won 5% raises for all state workers, have shown the power and necessity of striking as an alternative means to achieving significant victories for workers;

Whereas the acts of striking teachers in West Virginia and elsewhere have been acts of self-care, community care, and care for students, and, analogously, a strike at CUNY would also be an act of care for ourselves, our community, and our students, whose lives are deeply impacted by our viciously low pay;

Whereas striking would be a significant step toward defeating the Taylor Law and would thus further not only our interests but also those of all public-sector unions in New York State;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the PSC assembled at the 26 April 2018 Graduate Center chapter meeting support going on strike if CUNY management does not offer $7k per course at the bargaining table.

Suggested Amendments to $7k or Strike

Whereas adjuncts make up a majority of the faculty at CUNY and also teach a majority of the classes, at a starting rate of $3,200 per three-credit class with no compensation for research or advising, with average annual compensation for an adjunct lecturer teaching a full load of 8 courses of just $28,000 compared with an average annual pay of $74,000 for a full-time lecturer with the same course load;

Whereas adjunct poverty is detrimental to student success since adjuncts, who teach the majority of lower-level courses, are forced to work additional jobs and consequently do not have the time they need and want to dedicate to their students;      

Whereas devaluing adjunct labor is the principal means of devaluing the labor of CUNY education workers across all titles;

Whereas the PSC has rightly put adjuncts at the center of the current contract campaign by demanding an adjunct minimum wage of $7,000 per three-credit course in the next contract;

Whereas $7k per course amounts to a living wage in New York City and is parity with what a full-time lecturer makes at CUNY for the same work;

Whereas $7k per course is a radically larger demand than what the PSC has won in past contracts, and thus requires more than typical collective bargaining  to win;

Whereas the PSC leadership stated in the 26 March 2018 bulletin This Week in the PSC that “the campaign to more than double adjuncts’ pay will be waged not exclusively at the bargaining table”;

Whereas the limitations of lobbying are exemplified by Cuomo’s annual veto of the Maintenance of Effort bill and the failure of state lawmakers to override the veto despite having more than enough votes;

Whereas educators across the country, especially in West Virginia where striking teachers won 5% raises for all state workers, have shown the power and necessity of militant direct action as a foundational tool for achieving significant victories for workers;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Graduate Center of the PSC assembled at the 25 April 2018 chapter meeting support escalating militant activity, up to and including a strike, if CUNY management does not offer $7k per course at the bargaining table.

Resolution on $7k or Strike

Edit: This is the text of the original proposal. For the amended and approved (at the April 24th chapter meeting) version you can click here.

Whereas adjuncts make up 57% of the faculty at CUNY and teach 53% of classes, at an average rate of $3,500 per three-credit class with no compensation for research or advising, amounting to an annual salary of $28,000 for the same courseload as full-time professors, who make $76,000 at the lowest step;

Whereas adjunct poverty is detrimental to student success since adjuncts, who teach the majority of lower-level courses, are forced to work additional jobs and consequently do not have the time they need and want to dedicate their students;

Whereas devaluing adjunct labor is the principal means of devaluing the labor of CUNY education workers across all titles;

Whereas the PSC has rightly put adjuncts at the center of the current contract campaign by demanding an adjunct minimum wage of $7,000 per three-credit course in the next contract;

Whereas $7k per course amounts to a living wage in New York City and is parity with what a full-time lecturer makes at CUNY for the same work;

Whereas $7k per course is a bigger demand than what the PSC has won in past contracts, which rarely keep pace with inflation, and thus requires more than collective bargaining supplemented by occasional demonstrations to win;

Whereas the PSC leadership has admitted in the 26 March 2018 bulletin This Week in the PSC that “the campaign to more than double adjuncts’ pay will be waged not at the bargaining table”;

Whereas the inefficacy of lobbying is exemplified by the PSC’s persistent lobbying year after year for the $200m Maintenance of Effort bill, which failed to stop Cuomo from vetoing it and failed to convince state lawmakers from overriding the veto despite having enough votes;

Whereas educators across the country, especially in West Virginia where striking teachers won 5% raises for all state workers, have shown the power and necessity of striking as an alternative means to achieving significant victories for workers;

Therefore be it resolved that the {Graduate Center Chapter of the PSC}/{members of the Graduate Center of the PSC assembled at the 25 April 2018 chapter meeting} supports going on strike if CUNY management does not offer $7k per course at the bargaining table.

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