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The Graduate Center, CUNY as a Sanctuary Campus

Put your name on this letter calling for Chancellor Milliken and President Robinson to make the Graduate Center a sanctuary campus! We will be discussing this as a chapter-wide resolution at the December 1st chapter meeting.

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.

Joint Statement: Labor Against Trump

The election of Donald Trump to the highest office of government will be a disaster for the labor movement in the United States. Throughout the election season Trump campaigned on a far right wing platform of bigotry and xenophobia. Now that he is set to move in to the White House and Republicans control both houses of Congress, we can expect profound and sustained attacks on our union organizations and our communities.

As members of the labor movement, we have a special responsibility to stand against the policies and rhetoric of a Trump administration. The US working class is made up of people of all colors, religions and identities. Our unions are some of the most diverse institutions in the United States, and Trump would preside over attacks on the groups and communities that our members and their families are a part of.

Workers from Mexico, China, the Philippines or anywhere else are not our enemies and they are not responsible for the loss of union jobs in the United States. It is Wall Street and the corporate elites who are to blame. Collaborating with a Trump presidency and partnering with powerful corporations in an effort to bring back jobs will not make our movement stronger. Those who voted for Donald Trump will be given a dose of bitter medicine when they learn that his presidency will not put American workers first, but instead the interests of the 1%. We cannot allow Trump’s right wing appeals to workers to go unchallenged. Organized labor must unite and provide an alternative to scapegoating through fighting to defend workers’ living standards and putting forward a politics of solidarity. And our unions must organize the unorganized to bring millions more workers into the fold of the labor movement.

Now is the time for our unions to take action and begin to prepare for right to work legislation, legal attacks, and continuing employer demands for give-backs. Rather than give Trump an olive branch or offers of conciliation, our unions should come out swinging on day 1 of the new administration. Donald Trump lost the popular vote, and enjoys no mandate to rule. It is our duty to demonstrate to the world that we will fight back against Trump’s agenda, and to lend our resources to local battles against manifestations of this profoundly anti-worker onslaught.

We call on all unions to join us in Labor Against Trump contingents at any demonstrations or actions across the county on Inauguration Day, including in Washington DC. Our unions will also work locally to oppose Trump’s agenda, defend the communities he intends to attack, and join forces with those who call for solidarity rather than fear and division.

 

*Note: the chapter will be discussing whether to adopt this at the December 1st chapter meeting.

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