CUNY Newsletter Contingents of Unite
Our Campaign Over the New Contract Begins!
thousands of other CUNY employees, our pay, benefits (or the lack
of them), work conditions, job stability (or the lack of it) and more
will depend on the outcome. A lot depends on how actively
and effectively we organize for what we need, for what we de‐
serve as the “contingent majority” at CUNY. In spearheading this
struggle, CUNY Contingents Unite has adopted the following four
for non‐reappointment and a system of seniority.
grad fellows and other contingent titles. Step raises every year
municipal workers for all contingent employees.
What follows is a detailed explanation of the four contract demands:
The next CUNY Contingents Unite meeting will be held Friday
September 24, at 4pm, Room 5414, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th
Avenue (at 34th Street)
reappointment and a system of seniority.
Adjunct employees should not be forced to scramble for jobs every semes‐
ter, nor should they work in constant fear of being fired. While non‐tenured em‐
ployees remain “contingent,” our demand would provide a minimum level of
protection from the vagaries of the CUNY employment system. Inspired by
recent gains contingents won in the California State University system, we are
demanding a guaranteed three‐year contract, together with an enforceable
due process system and basic seniority rules.
By specifying a “minimum” of three years, the language allows for longer
contracts and additional projections for senior adjuncts. Documented reasons for
non‐reappointment must be given, and the union must be informed of all non‐
reappointments. Wage increase of $30 per credit hour for adjuncts;
Language Association, which calls for “a salary range of $6,000 to $8,500 per course sec‐
tion, with fringe benefits and cost‐of‐livingincreases, as reason‐able minimum compen‐
sation for part‐time faculty members” (MLA Newsletter, Fall 2006). While we seek to reach
and surpass this minimum standard, our demand for the next contract means that an
adjunct lecturer at the lowest step, who currently makes $64.94/hour ($2,922/course),
would make $94.94/hr ($4,272 per course). While few adjuncts are at the top
step of the top rank, for purposes of comparison our demand means that for an adjunct
professor at the top step now making $107.04/hr ($4,817 per class), pay would rise to
$137.04/hr ($6,167 per course). Thus, adjuncts at lower ranks and lower steps would get a
larger percentage increase than their higher paid counterparts. This is deliberate, as we
aim to lessen inequality. The “equivalence” clause would assume a
2‐2 teaching load for Graduate Teaching Fellows. A GTF at the lowest level who now
makes $15,822 would see an increase of $5,200, for a total of $21,222. Step increases,
most adjuncts to reach the top step after five years of teaching.
Comprehensive employer‐paid health insurance on par with municipal workers for
all contingent employees. This language strongly implies that all
contingents (adjuncts, CETs, and graduate fellows) should be added to the city health
plan. This reflects the reality that the city health plan would be a major improve‐
ment over both the Welfare Fund plan or the current grad student plan. While gradu‐
ate students recently won coverage under NYSHIP, many would prefer the city plan if
offered a choice. The modifier “employer‐paid” is important here, since we oppose
the trend to make contingent workers pay growing premiums and/or co‐pays.
Promotional series, real job security and due process for HEOs.
HEOs need a promotional series comparable to that of full‐time faculty. Presently,
HEOs do not have real tenure. The “three negative evaluations policy” must be abol‐
ished; and in the evaluation and grievance processes the burden of proof for any
negative assertions regarding work performance must lie with management, in‐
stead of requiring the HEO to somehow disprove negative assertions made against
her or him.
The “Building Solidarity Across CUNY” article in the February, 2010 issue of The Advance,
Join the CCU!
CUNY Puts Students on Waiting List while adjuncts scramble for work
The summer issue of CUNY Matters carries the administration’s spin on a story
seats for the first time in CUNY history.” This means “Streamlining the Path for New
Applicants,” it claims. The double whammy comes underneath the headline hype, as the article re‐
ports that the administration’s objective is “to better manage the surge of students
and make CUNY more selective in the process.” In other words, they see this as a
good thing – a new opportunity to further restrict access and weaken the founda‐
tions of public higher education. For present and aspiring students, fac‐
ulty (contingent and full‐time alike) and employees throughout the university, it’s
ominous news. What is wrong with this picture: On the one hand, students are lining up to get into
CUNY, and being told to wait. On the other, large numbers of highly qualified contin‐
gent faculty are being told there are no secure jobs for them.
Not only that, the contingent faculty that teach the majority of courses are told
the call for even minimal job stability, pay we can actually survive on, and decent
conditions is some kind of pie in the sky. Meanwhile, our situation is more precari‐
ous and insecure than ever. The CUNY Matters article notes that
enrollment is expected to climb to almost 267,000 this fall, and has grown by more
than 40% since 2000 at the two‐year colleges. Yet what of those whose job it is to
teach, register, counsel and otherwise work with our vibrant, growing student
body, helping them achieve their crucial educational goals?
efforts (usually on unpaid time)–lowering the amount of attention
sive conditions and obstacles to advancement on the job.
It’s up to us to resist the spin and organize for what we and our students
need. Those lining up to study at CUNY and being stuck on a wait‐list – should be
admitted now. As our program states, the CCU stands for the restoration of
open admissions and no tuition. Class sizes should be capped at 30. Many more
full‐time jobs must be opened up for contingent faculty. And the CCU’s demands
for the upcoming PSC contract struggle acquire more urgency than ever.