Speech by CUNY Contingents Unite and Class Struggle Education Workers activist

The following is a speech by CUNY Contingents Unite and Class Struggle Education Workers activist Portia Seddon at the November 19 mass meeting of the Professional Staff Congress (CUNY faculty/staff union). The meeting was held at Cooper Union, whose Great Hall was packed with what the union estimates at 900 people.

While the meeting was carefully stage-managed by the union bureaucracy, there was loud and genuine enthusiasm from the audience for the strike authorization vote that the PSC leadership has announced will be held in the spring.

CUNY Contingents Unite activists distributed a special issue of the CCU newsletter, The Advance (see below), to the entire audience. The discussion period was a scant 30 minutes, with an farcical 1-minute limit per speaker, very strictly enforced. The CCU had two speakers from the floor, the first of whom called not only for a massive “yes” vote on strike authorization but actually preparing a strike, and mobilizing the power of the NYC labor movement, together with large numbers of students, to rip up the Taylor Law (which declares job actions by public employees in new York State to be “illegal”). He made a motion (blithely ignored by the chair) that a strike preparation committee be elected then and there.

The second CCU speaker highlighted the stakes for adjuncts, and the call for “a real strike.” We need to “organize to actually go on strike,” she emphasized, “and we’re not going to be able to do that without organizing adjuncts…the basis of CUNY labor.” Denouncing the fact that the last contract “deepened the inequalities between ‘full-timers’ and adjuncts,” she emphasized our demands for an end to adjunct poverty, for real job security and health insurance for all. Her call to smash the Taylor Law, and to “win a contract that doesn’t sell out adjuncts,” was met with widespread cheers and enthusiastic applause.

Her speech can be seen here:

http://1drv.ms/1X38R45

 CCU-Advance-Nov-2015 copy CCU-Advance-Nov-2015 copy2

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CCU Event: Forum/discussion on adjunct poverty

09122015 adjunct forum flier.doc copy

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November 2015 Advance

CCU-Advance-Nov-2015 copy

CCU-Advance-Nov-2015 copy2

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Come to the September CUNY Contingents Unite meeting

When: Friday, September 25th, 4:00 p.m.

Where: Room 5489, CUNY Graduate Center (365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street)

This first CCU meeting of the Fall semester is an important opportunity to discuss the situation of adjuncts, teaching grad students, Continuing Ed, CLIP and CUNY Start teachers, HEOs and other members of CUNY’s contingent majority.
Topics will doubtless include:
– Union contract campaign. The PSC leadership has announced “an escalating series of actions” in the contract campaign. A key discussion at the CCU meeting will be on organizing to fight for the urgent, unpostponable needs of the underpaid, overworked, disrespected, disenfranchised and messed-over contingent majority at CUNY.
– Our fight for $7K/course, job security and seniority rights- Related organizing efforts.
– HEO, TA and teaching fellow issues
– Solidarity: brief report on Seattle teachers strike; events commemorating one-year anniversary of the massacre of teachers college students in Mexico;
– Your issues and concerns(a proposed agenda will be distributed at the meeting)
Please attend, and bring friends and colleagues.
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May 2015 Meeting

Come to the May CUNY Contingents Unite meeting

When: Friday, May 29th, 4:00 p.m.
Where: Room 5489, CUNY Graduate Center (365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street)
 
This last meeting of the Spring is an important opportunity to discuss the situation of adjuncts and other contingent employees in the light of the semester’s experience and our current situation. 
 
Topics will doubtless include:
 
– Reports/discussion on recent and current adjunct organizing efforts
– Union contract stalemate, PSC’s economic offer
– Our fight for $7K/course, job security and seniority rights
– HEO, TA and teaching fellow issues
– Your issues and concerns
(a proposed agenda will be distributed at the meeting)
 
Please attend, and bring friends and colleagues.
 
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March 2015 Meeting

Come to the March CUNY Contingents Unite meeting
When: This Friday, March 27th, 4:00 p.m.
Where: Room 5489, CUNY Graduate Center (365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street)
 
Topics will doubtless include:
 
– Plans for adjunct/contingent presence, emphasizing our demands, at the PSC rally on Tuesday
– Union contract stalemate
– Adjunct and TA strikes at University of Toronto and York University (Canada)
– Our fight for job security and seniority rights
– Further discussion on 9/6
– HEO, TA and teaching fellow issues
– Solidarity: updates on New Mexico and Colorado student protests, Boston bus drivers, Bronx restaurant workers, Quebec student protests
– Your issues and concerns
(a proposed agenda will be distributed at the meeting)
 
Please attend, and bring friends and colleagues.
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February 2015 Meeting

Come to the February CUNY Contingents Unite meeting
When: Friday, February 27th, 4:00 p.m.
Where: Room 5489, CUNY Graduate Center (365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street)
Topics will doubtless include:
– Report on current adjunct rights activities here and nationwide
– Updates on union contract negotiations
– Analysis of how adjunct health plan is going
– Our fight for job security and seniority rights
– Update on Public Service Loan Forgiveness
– HEO, TA and teaching fellow issues
– Update on oil workers strike, West Coast longshore showdown, Bronx restaurant workers
– Your issues and concerns
(a proposed agenda will be distributed at the meeting)
Please attend, and bring friends and colleagues.
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