This afternoon, Brooklyn College became the seventh PSC chapter to vote YES on the “$7k or strike” resolution. The resolution passed easily, with only two abstentions. It was the largest chapter meeting of the semester, with attendance hovering around 80 people. With only a week of tabling and flyering, organizers were able to reach a large number of adjuncts who were eager to turn out and speak in favor of building a strike movement behind the $7k demand. Full-timers and undergraduate students at the meeting also voiced their support for a militant approach to contract negotiations. The meeting took place in an atmosphere of solidarity. People cheered and clapped after interventions in support of the resolution, and few expressed reservations. A faculty member in attendance even asked the crowd whether someone who opposes the resolution could explain why they do, because she couldn’t imagine what their arguments might be. But there was no one there who opposed the idea of a strike for $7k. It seems there is far less cynicism and apathy among the PSC rank and file than the leadership believes.
In an inspiring show of cross-title solidarity, three amendments were introduced by full-timers to strengthen the resolution and make it more actionable. A professor of political science added language that made explicit the resolve of the chapter to take on the difficult work of building a strike. A professor of computer science suggested adding a pledge clause according to which each person in attendance would promise to bring a colleague to the next meeting. And a professor of history amended the language in the resolution to reflect the fact that $7k per course is still only barely a living wage, a useful reminder of the moral obligation we have to fight for this demand.
The meeting was invigorating. With seven campuses on board, it is time to take concrete next steps toward building a strike movement. This is only the beginning.