The Graduate Center Doctoral Students’ Council endorses a strike

On March 18, 2016, the DSC passed the following resolution endorsing a strike. 

Resolution Endorsing a Strike to Ensure a Fair PSC Contract With CUNY

WHEREAS the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) is the faculty and staff union representing 25,000 CUNY workers, including Graduate Center students working as graduate assistants and as adjuncts;

WHEREAS six years have passed since the PSC’s last contract expired;

WHEREAS the PSC has been steadily bargaining for a new contract with CUNY management since June 2014;

WHEREAS the Doctoral Students’ Council (DSC) passed a resolution in December 2014 calling for a $7,000 minimum starting salary per three-credit course for CUNY adjuncts;

WHEREAS the CUNY University Student Senate, comprising delegates from all CUNY campuses, passed a resolution in September 2015 supporting “all adjuncts, especially those who are also doctoral students within CUNY, in their demands for better wages and working conditions”;

WHEREAS the DSC passed a resolution in October 2015 against five more years of tuition increases and in support of a tuition freeze and state funding of CUNY’s mandatory costs;

WHEREAS the DSC understands that wages for faculty and staff, state funding, and tuition are related;

WHEREAS CUNY management has made only a single economic offer to date, one that would have essentially amounted to a pay cut for faculty and staff, and which the PSC rejected;

WHEREAS the PSC and its members have been mobilizing for a strike-authorization vote since October 2015, which, if the vote is held and is successful, would allow the PSC to call a strike;

WHEREAS New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed, in January 2016, a $485-million cut in state funding to CUNY;

WHEREAS, also in January 2016, CUNY management declared an impasse in bargaining, noting a number of unresolved PSC demands, including salary increases for adjuncts, multiyear adjunct appointments, increased access to tuition waivers for adjuncts, and penalties for non-payment of adjuncts and graduate assistants;

WHEREAS the PSC continues to organize around a strike-authorization vote as the necessary next step in the fight for a fair contract with CUNY management, and is actively seeking public pledges of support for a “yes” vote;

WHEREAS the Adjunct Project (AP), an affiliate of the DSC, endorsed a strike as the only means to ensure a fair contract with CUNY management; and

WHEREAS the AP also endorsed organizing by other groups and coalitions across the Graduate Center and CUNY in support of a fair contract, a strike, or both, including the Alternative StrikePledge for Adjuncts and Allies, which specifically centers adjunct and student concerns; the Adjunct Message Center, which supports the demands of long-time adjuncts and conveys them to the PSC leadership; and a planned series of popular assemblies to discuss and unite demands for a transformed CUNY;

Be it RESOLVED that the DSC endorses the PSC’s strike-authorization vote;

Be it further RESOLVED that the DSC endorses the Alternative Strike Pledge for Adjuncts and Allies, the Adjunct Message Center, and the planned series of popular assemblies;

Be it further RESOLVED that the DSC endorses a strike as the only means to ensure a fair contract with CUNY management;

And be it finally RESOLVED that the DSC calls upon the PSC to establish a strike-relief fund to defray or minimize financial penalties any striking workers receive due to New York State’s Taylor Law. 

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