The June meeting of the CCU will be held this Friday.

When: Friday, June 24, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Where: CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5414.

The struggle against adjunct layoffs is a crucial topic for this meeting. Adjunct activists have made this a hot issue at the last two PSC Delegate Assemblies. At last night’s DA, Barbara Bowen gave some figures on the adjunct budget at different campuses. Comparing fiscal 2010 with 2011, at some community colleges, the adjunct budget has gone up, although at BMCC it is down 11%. At four-year CUNY colleges, there are significant cuts to the adjunct budget: 5.2% at Baruch, 7.9% at Hunter, 9.2% at Lehman, 14.5% at Medgar Evers, 19.3% at York. Of course this is linked to rising class sizes (for full-time as well as “part-time” teaching staff.)

In contrast to the low-key approach the union leadership is taking, several of us called for a real mobilization now to do everything possible to save adjunct jobs. Carl and others of us proposed making this topic central at the CUNY Board of Trustees meeting being held this Monday at Hostos. At this point, it is not clear whether the union will confine itself to testifying at the BoT meeting, or whether it will organize an actual protest too.

If you have information about adjunct layoffs on your campus, please write us at and also make sure to come to the CCU meeting next Friday!

Other topics for next Friday’s CCU meeting will doubtless include updates on the defense of Ajamu Sankofa and Jill Humphries; NYC labor protests; plans for the Fall; CCU communications; further discussion of the CUNY Diversity Study and our role in challenging CUNY’s paucity of African American and Latino Ph.D. students, among other issues.

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The Advance

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Next Meeting on May 27

CUNY Contingents Unite will hold its monthly meeting on Friday, May 27.

When: Friday, May 27, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Where: Room 5414
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave. (at 34th St.)

Please attend!

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CCU Meeting – April 29th

CUNY Contingents Unite will hold its monthly meeting next Friday.

when: Friday, April 29, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
where: Room 5489
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave. (at 34th St.)

Please Come!

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CCU, P.O. Box 286248, New York, NY 10128 

William P. Kelly, Ph.D.
President, Graduate Center
City University of New York
101 West 31st Street
New York, NY 10001

[March 30, 2011]

Dear Dr. Kelly:

I am writing to inquire about a situation of great concern to CUNY Contingents Unite (CCU), an organization that works to defend the interests of contingent faculty and other members of the most vulnerable sectors of the labor system at the City University of New York.

This letter was mandated by our organization’s March 25 membership meeting.
It has come to our attention that Stuart H. Adams, Jr., J.D. (aka Ajamu Sankofa), a member of the CCU’s Coordinating Committee, has been non-reappointed (dismissed) from his position as Urban Leadership Coordinator / Higher Education Assistant at the Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies. Effective July 1 of this year, he is to lose the position he has held since May 2007 at the Murphy Institute, which is part of CUNY’s School of Professional Studies.

Mr. Sankofa’s notice of non-reappointment came shortly after the termination of another leading African American staff member at the Murphy Institute: Dr. Jill Humphries, Urban Studies Program Manager / Higher Education Associate. Dr. Humphries, hired in mid-2010, was suspended and then terminated in early January 2011.

Our particular interest and concern regarding this matter stem from several factors, among them:

1) As noted above, Mr. Sankofa is an elected officer of CUNY Contingents Unite.
2) The objectives of our organization include attaining “real job security and due process for HEOs” (Higher Education Officers). Both Dr. Humphries and Mr. Sankofa are members of the HEO job category.
3) The CCU is committed to helping overcome “the racial stratification in employment at CUNY,” as the situation has rightly been characterized by the Professional Staff Congress. As active members of our union, we are alarmed that, in the words of the PSC Clarion (September 2009), “[t]he higher up one goes in the hierarchy of job titles – in terms of pay, presitige, authority and job security – the whiter the composition of the workforce.”
Thus, we are deeply concerned at the dismissal of two prominent, widely respected and highly placed African American staff members, trade unionists and community activists from a CUNY institute whose stated mission is to offer “educational opportunities to union members to meet their career advancement and personal growth needs” and serve as “an academic resource on issues of concern to the labor movement.”
We look forward to your early response to the concerns expressed in this letter regarding the dismissal of Jill Humphries and Ajamu Sankofa.


S. Sándor John, Ph.D.
for the Coordinating Committee
CUNY Contingents Unite

Matthew Goldstein, Ph.D.
Chancellor, City University of New York
535 East 80th Street
New York, NY 10075

Jay Hershenson
Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations and
Secretary of the Board of Trustees
City University of New York
Office of the Chancellor
535 East 80th Street
New York, NY 10075

John Mogulescu
Senior University Dean of Academic Affairs
Dean of the CUNY School of Professional Studies
101 West 31st Street
New York, NY 10001

Ydanis A. Rodriguez
Councilman, District 10
Chair, Committee on Higher Education
New York City Council
618 West 17th Street, Ground Floor
New York, NY 10033

Deborah J. Glick
Chair, Higher Education Committee
New York State Assembly
853 Broadway, Suite 1518
New York, NY 10003

Herman Farrell, Jr.
Chair, Finance and Ways and Means Committee
New York State Assembly
2541-55 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.
New York, NY 10039

Barbara Bowen, Ph.D.
President, Professional Staff Congress
61 Broadway, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10006

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Meeting – Friday March 25th

The monthly meeting of CUNY Contingents Unite will be held next Friday.

When: Friday, March 25, from 4:00 p.m. to approximately 5:30 p.m.

Where: Room 5414 of the CUNY Graduate Center.

There is a lot to talk about — please attend and bring a friend!

A proposed agenda will be distributed at the meeting, but points will no doubt include:

- Organizing in support of our demands. Among relevant topics here are: mobilizing contingents to attend the special PSC Delegate Assembly (March 31) which has been called to “discuss contract campaign strategy”; CCU preparations for the May 5 PSC contract campaign rally; return visits to campuses to discuss the CCU’s demands.

- Updates on the fight against layoffs.

- Wisconsin; struggles for union rights and in defense of public education; Cuomo/Bloomberg attack on teachers and public workers; new planned cuts to CUNY’s budget.

- HEO issues and rampant management bullying in the workplace.

- Preliminary report of the workgroup on the official union “contract agenda” and the CCU’s demands.

- Committee reports.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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CCU Meeting – February 25

CUNY Contingents Unite will hold its monthly meeting next Friday.

When: Friday, February 25, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:45
Where: Room 5409 of the CUNY Graduate Center.

Please attend and bring a friend/colleague.

A proposed agenda will be prepared later, but topics of discussion will doubtless include the layoffs situation (including a resolution on this that the First Friday group is circulating), reports on the mass resistance in Wisconsin (and now Ohio) against the assault on public workers, new proposed cuts to CUNY, academic freedom, HEO issues, the campaign for our 4 demands, and convening a working group for further analysis of the official union “bargaining agenda.”

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