Please join us at the first CUNY Contingents Unite meeting of the new semester:

When: next Friday, January 28, 4:00 p.m. (until 5:30 or 6:00 p.m.)

Where: CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5417

A draft proposed agenda will be announced. It will undoubtedly include items on the continuing struggle against layoffs; the campaign for our 4 contract demands; the escalating attacks on public employees and our unions; the situation at Medgar Evers College; and other points.

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This coming Friday, our monthly CCU meeting will address issues that are having a big impact on CUNY’s contingent majority.

Over the past weeks, the CCU has been intensively organizing in the fight to stop adjunct layoffs and the formation of new “jumbo” classes. Much of this work has centered on Baruch College, where the administration opened an offensive for the formation of new jumbo sections of up to 114 students, explicitly linking this to widespread adjunct layoffs. We have organized a series of meetings there, involving “part-time” as well as full-time faculty, department chairs and the campus PSC chapter chair. (The next one will be held this Tuesday, 3:00-4:30 in Room 8-210 of Baruch’s vertical campus building at 55 Lexington.)

In this work, we have already shown that our organizing efforts can make a real difference; the collective effort we’ve helped mobilize is having some significant results. (Details on this are contained in reports being posted to the CCU-Discussion list.)

But more needs to be done. Your participation is a vital part of this effort. While Baruch may have been the “test campus,” similar threats loom at Medgar Evers other CUNY campuses, at the same time as students are being hit with new tuition hikes.

These and related issues will be a crucial part of what we discuss in the last general CCU meeting of the year.

When: this coming Friday, December 17, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Where: CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5409
(365 Fifth Ave. at 34th St.)


Please attend — bring friends and colleagues!

We need to map out our next steps in this struggle, together with the fight for our 4 demands for the union contract, CCU communications, HEO issues and other tasks. There will also be a report on the PSC Delegate Assembly that will be held the day before our meeting. (Please note: last month’s CCU meeting voted to have a presence at the 12/16 DA as part of the effort to press for our demands.)

Looking forward to seeing you at Friday’s CCU meeting!

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Adjuncts, grad students, HEOs, Continuing Ed…

What next for CUNY’s contingent majority?

CUNY contingent workers won’t take “NO” for an answer to our demands

We invite you to attend the next meeting of CUNY Contingents Unite

to discuss our next steps and how to organize for what we need and deserve.

Friday, November 19, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5409

(365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street)

SUPPORT THE 4 DEMANDS:

CUNY’s two-tier labor system has caused growing inequality, and negatively affects all of us
who work and study at the City University of New York. We support the following demands and
call on the PSC to adopt them for the upcoming contract campaign.

1) Minimum three-year contracts for adjuncts, with documented reasons for non-reappointment
and a system of seniority.
2) Wage increase of $30 per credit hour for adjuncts; equivalent for grad fellows and other
contingent titles. Step raises every year.
3) Comprehensive employer-paid health insurance on par with municipal workers for all
contingent employees.
4) Promotional series, real job security and due process for HEOs.

For more information: cunycontingents@gmail.com

Labor donated

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Dear CUNY Contingents Unite members and friends:

As you know, the union contract covering us all expired on October 19.
Now, well over 1100 people have signed the petition in support of
contingent workers’ 4 demands* for the union contract fight.

Last Friday, the CCU and Adjunct Project held a very successful joint
meeting/forum in support of the 4 demands. The enthusiastic crowd of 50
adjuncts, grad students who teach for CUNY, HEOs and other contingent
workers reaffirmed support for our 4 demands, vowed to fight for them,
and discussed our next tasks in this campaign.

This Thursday, November 4, the Professional Staff Congress is holding a
meeting of its Delegate Assembly, the body of delegates elected from
each union chapter, to vote on a “bargaining agenda” for the new
contract.

CCU members, together with members of the Adjunct Project and other
contingent rights activists, will be going to this meeting to push for
our demands. Some of us are elected union delegates. Many others are
not, but will be mobilizing to make the needs of contingent CUNY workers
felt at this crucial moment. Any union member can attend the meeting.

Please come with us to the union Delegate Assembly! Among other things,
we need people to help leaflet as delegates and observers are coming in.
But above all, your presence is an important part of this mobilization.

When: This Thursday, November 4, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Where: UFT Building, 52 Broadway, 19th floor.

This is very close to the Wall Street station on the 4 and 5 train, as
well as many other subway stations. (The UFT building is just across the
street from the PSC’s own offices. The PSC leadership announced that the
DA will be held at 52 Broadway this time to accommodate larger
attendance.)

If you are able to do so, attend the pre-DA discussion, which will begin
at 4:30 p.m. at the Burger King, 106 Liberty Street (corner of Liberty
St. and Trinity Place, 3 blocks south of Fulton, one block west of
Broadway). We will be evaluating the PSC leadership’s own proposal for
contract demands, which they decided on last week but are only releasing
tonight. (Many of us have been calling for the leadership’s demands to
be publicized and discussed much earlier so there could be a significant
period of debate and discussion.)

Some of us will also be gathering tonight (Wednesday) at 7:00 p.m. in
Room 5409 of the Graduate Center to begin that process of evaluation and
hammer out some of the final plans for tomorrow’s mobilization; all CCU
members are welcome to attend this discussion as well.

Sándor John

member, CCU Coordinating Committee

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Our next meeting is on Friday, November 19, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m., in Room 5409 of the Graduate Center.

Please, Come! 

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The following article by Rosalind Petchesky, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, just appeared as an opinion piece in the newly launched newsletter of the Hunter chapter of the PSC, Hunter Union Voice (Sept.-Oct. 2010). Ros Petchesky is widely known for her work on reproductive rights, gender and sexuality, globalization and human rights, and transnational social movements.

THREE REASONS WHY ALL FULL-TIME, TENURE-TRACK FACULTY IN THE PSC SHOULD SUPPORT CUNY CONTINGENTS UNITE – An Open Letter to My Full-Time Colleagues from Ros Petchesky, Distinguished Professor

Because the two-tier labor system in public higher education weakens and destabilizes working conditions for us all.

As long as management can be assured of a very huge, vulnerable contingent work force willing—or, more accurately, compelled—to work for a pittance of the value they create, it can resist the demands of full-time union members for improvements in our working conditions, following a corporate model in which more and more of the work force is pushed into contingency and a sense of vulnerability.  This is doubly true in a period, like now, of severe economic crisis, retrenchment, and high unemployment.  It is a structural problem that affects us all by arming management with the economics of job scarcity and the politics of fear.  Divide and conquer is real—we do have material privileges and gain a dubious sense of superiority as full-timers and tenured employees.  But in the long run that division is a veneer that covers the structural and financial imbalances that contaminate the two-tier system at every level and weaken us all.

Because CUNY Contingents Unite represents one of the most forward-looking elements in the academy and in the labor movement.

Adjuncts and all contingent CUNY workers are those whose marginalized position within the system and clear vision (double consciousness) of its cracks have the greatest potential to bring real, structural change to our institution and to radicalize the collective bargaining process.  Their four key demands[1] , if met, would not only institutionalize equality in the system but would also transform the political economy of public higher education and help to reverse the conditions of general instability and insecurity I just described (see #1).  Unity between full-timers and part-timers in fighting for a fair contract will give our union unprecedented strength—of both numbers and moral and political clarity.  “CUNY Contingents and Full-Timers Unite” as an organizing strategy just makes good sense.

Because it’s the right thing to do.

Every day we teach and work in conditions that hyper-exploit over one-half of our colleagues, asking them to make the same commitment of intellectual energy, devotion to students, and professional rigor that we do, at a tiny fraction of the pay and without commensurate benefits, job security or respect.  This is a form of peonage.  It corrupts our work environment and compromises the very principles of morality and justice that public higher education is supposed to stand for; and it makes every one of us complicit in a foul, unjust system.  It has to stop; WE have to stop it.

I urge all my colleagues to get behind the demands of CCU, including advancing the recent gain around winter session pay for adjuncts to include summer session and to become a permanent reform, not just a one-time reward.  These demands should be the number one priority of our delegates at the bargaining table in this round of contract negotiations, uppermost in our collective vision, and deeply embedded in our sense of who we are as educators and union members.

In solidarity,

Ros Petchesky

Distinguished Professor of Political Science

Hunter College & the Graduate Center

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Adjuncts, grad students, HEOs, all contingents

COME TO A MEETING/FORUM to discuss the situation of

CUNY’s “contingent majority,” what we demand, and how to fight for it.

We’re who’s working at CUNY…
and things can’t go on like this any more.

CUNY contract fight has begun

two-tier labor system must go

When: Friday, October 29, 4:00-5:30 p.m.

Where: CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5409
(365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street)

SUPPORT THE 4 DEMANDS:

CUNY’s two-tier labor system has caused growing inequality, and negatively affects all of us who work and study at the City University of New York. We support the following demands and call on the PSC to adopt them for the upcoming contract campaign.

1) Minimum three-year contracts for adjuncts, with documented reasons for non-reappointment and a system of seniority.
2) Wage increase of $30 per credit hour for adjuncts; equivalent for grad fellows and other contingent titles. Step raises every year.
3) Comprehensive employer-paid health insurance on par with municipal workers for all contingent employees.
4) Promotional series, real job security and due process for HEOs.

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