News

Eligible Adjuncts! Avoid a Lapse in Coverage; Sign Up For Health Insurance by This Friday, Sept. 19.

The Sept. 19 enrollment deadline for CUNY’s new adjunct health insurance program is rapidly approaching. Beginning Oct. 1, 2014, the University Benefits Office will be responsible for providing health insurance through the NYC Employee Health Benefits Program to all eligible CUNY adjuncts. To avoid a lapse in coverage, eligible adjuncts—including those now receiving health insurance through the PSC/CUNY Welfare Fund—must enroll in the program via their College Benefits Officer no later than this Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Here is a link to the University Benefits Office website where forms and further information are posted.

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PSC members were some of the thousands of workers who marched this past Saturday in NYC’s 131st annual Labor Day parade. Here are photos of the PSC marchers. Click here for a larger photo gallery from the NYC Central Labor Council.

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This year’s Labor Goes to the Movies film series presents a group of films—documentary and fiction—that take the threat of apocalypse as their premise.

The Island President

The Island President (2011, US, Jon Shenk) documents the efforts of President Mohammed Nasheem of the Maldives, the lowest-lying country on the planet, to slow sea level rise by pushing for the implementation of global CO2 emissions limits. Shot mostly in 2009 and released in 2012, the film highlights the events in Copenhagen during the U.N. climate summit, with footage shot both inside the negotiations and outside in the streets. The film offers an important look at a largely unknown island nation experiencing the mortal threat of inundation consequent to global warming.

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Please join your PSC sisters and brothers and their families at the Labor Day Parade on Saturday, September 6. PSC will gather on West 47th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues at 12:30pm.

This year’s Labor Day theme is “One City, Five Boroughs, All Workers”. Across the country and in New York City, as we negotiate our contract with CUNY, workers face wage cuts, furloughs, and reduced benefits and pensions. Public employees continue to be demonized, and the very right of unions to organize is repeatedly challenged. For these reasons, join other union members from around the region as we march to demonstrate solidarity and strength.

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For the Fall 2014 semester, teaching adjuncts are scheduled to be paid on eight successive pay dates. At the senior colleges, the first pay date will be Sept. 18 and the last pay date will be Dec. 24. At most community colleges, the first pay date will be Sept. 12 and the last pay date will be Dec. 19. Kingsborough CC, LaGuardia CC and Guttman CC operate on a different academic calendar. Click "read more" for all the dates.

Failure to pay adjunct faculty on time at the start of a semester has often been a problem at CUNY. Last year more than a third of the Queens College's 1,000 adjuncts got no paycheck in the first Fall pay period.

CUNY has circulated a list of “best practices” to ensure timely adjunct paychecks. The list includes a measure that had been urged by the PSC: designating a specific staff member to track adjunct appointments “before and during the beginning of a semester.” Read more in this May 2014 Clarion article.

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PSC’s statewide affiliate, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has released its list of endorsed candidates for the September 9 primary election for State Legislative Offices. The PSC and other NYSUT locals do not, as a rule, make independent endorsements for State and Congressional offices. The following list is for New York City-metro area candidates.

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COCAL XI, a conference of adjunct and other contingent faculty activists from Canada, Mexico and the U.S., kicked off Monday, August 4 at CUNY’s John Jay College with a welcome from labor leaders representing academic workers from throughout North America and a poem from a work entitled Ivory Tower Anthology.

“Twenty adjuncts and I share an office…Four times we’ve been evicted from similar digs…When I had no office I kept my papers in my car,” read Vicki Moss, poet and adjunct professor of English at Fashion Institute of Technology.

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PSC members throughout the city have been shocked and saddened by the deaths of Michael Brown of Ferguson and Eric Garner of Staten Island. Many of us want to demand justice and express our solidarity with their communities. We also want to voice our opposition to law enforcement policies that disproportionately target communities of color and the poor—the communities of many of our students at CUNY. Our demand for justice for Eric Garner has become even more urgent since the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri.

Join us on Saturday, August 23 at the We Will Not Go Back March, organized by the National Action Network, NAACP, Communities for Police Reform, labor unions and grassroots groups on Staten Island to call for policing policies that protect all New Yorkers.

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Momentum is growing in negotiations for a new contract, with two formal bargaining sessions and several subcommittee meetings held during the last month. Both PSC and CUNY management representatives have expressed a commitment to reaching a settlement as expeditiously as possible, given that several other public-employee unions in the city have already completed bargaining.

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The Professional Staff Congress and The City University of New York have reached a landmark agreement with the City of New York on inclusion of eligible CUNY adjuncts in the New York City Health Benefits Program. The agreement provides regularized health insurance for an important part of the CUNY teaching workforce and contributes to stabilizing the finances of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund.

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