This is a repost of an email sent out to PSC members and adjuncts earlier today:
Welcome back! As the fall semester begins, we wanted to reach out to you with some updates about the current contract negotiations and to encourage you to join us in the struggle to win a good contract for all PSC members that includes a minimum $7K per three-credit course for adjunct faculty.
As many of you may know, our contract expired nearly two years ago. Our union’s elected bargaining team has since failed to secure any increase in funding from either the CIty or the State, and current funding levels do not even keep pace with inflation—much less the cost of $7K per course for adjuncts. So now our union is stuck fighting for crumbs from an ever-shrinking pie to bring our wages closer to parity with full-time lecturers.
Unfortunately, instead of calling on the full power of the membership to keep the pressure on Albany, PSC-CUNY leaders have urged us to sit back and wait for the bargaining team to do its work. Meanwhile, the leadership have been silent on the recently approved tuition hikes that management claimed were needed to pay for our contract demands. While we don’t know what’s being discussed in the closed-door bargaining sessions, many of us fear a compromise that will not get us to $7K and may even deepen the two-tier system by expanding pay gaps among different categories of adjuncts, dividing our union even further. Since PSC-CUNY has declined to bargain over class sizes, we are also concerned that framing any increase for adjuncts around productivity, as the bargaining team has done, opens the door to making us work more, when we are already working far more than the hours we are paid for.
We know that a strike is a big undertaking, especially when the Taylor Law threatens us with serious penalties, but we also know that until we really stand up together to fight for a fully-funded CUNY and a fair contract, the budget will keep getting slashed and our working conditions—which are our students’ learning conditions—will keep getting worse.
$7K or Strike is currently mobilizing for a series of special chapter meetings and town halls over the coming weeks to discuss the contract crisis and to put forward resolutions calling for a strike authorization campaign.
We need your help to make this happen. In order to make quorum, we will need every adjunct who supports going on strike for $7K to be at their chapter meetings ready to vote yes.
To get involved, contact your campus steward or $7K or Strike.
And please join the $7K or Strike contingent at this year’s Labor Day Parade, this Saturday, September 7, to promote a strike authorization campaign and to build solidarity with rank-and-file members of other unions. Meet us at 10am with the PSC contingent on 44th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. Look for the $7K or Strike t-shirts. The parade is scheduled to start moving at 10:15am.
In Solidarity and Struggle,
$7K or Strike!
One thought on “Fall is here and still no contract!”
Two problems here:
1) You are criticizing the New Caucus for not mobilizing the membership for…lobbying in Albany. This is reformist. What happened to CCU’s “march and rally, outreaching to the NYC working class? Y’all have voted for this proposal at C.A.M. meetings: and praised it on the Campaign for 7KOS website. But instead of solidly supporting it, now you see it, and now you don’t.
2) Instead of supporting our march and rally/outreach idea, you are, rather absurdly, counterpoising the idea of a strike authorization vote, at this time. This is obviously not the time for such a vote. You couldn’t even get more than three members of the Campaign out for the Labor Day parade to mobilize for it, by my count! Let alone gain the support of adjuncts, living hand to mouth, as well as the more cautious, privileged, and conservative full timers. A march and rally, however, would probably gain support from lots of faculty. As opposed to a strike right now, on dubious grounds, what do they have to lose from going to a march and rally, and building support for it from other NYC workforces!? A strike will not be even possible until we get a (probably rotten) contract proposal, AND we get the support of the NYC working class for it, AND we manage to vote down such a proposal. In ultra-Left fashion that is making you look ridiculous, and delegitimizing the Left, you are getting way out in front of the actual situation here. Play it like a checkers, chess, or tennis game. You need to wait until our opponents make their move, before we “strike!”