News

CUNY’s phased retirement pilot program is a negotiated benefit that allows Optional Retirement Program participants who meet eligibility requirements to elect a reduced workload and reduced salary for up to three years immediately preceding retirement. If you are considering retiring and are a member of the Optional Retirement Program, the deadline to file for phased retirement for academic year of 2015-16 has changed from October 1, 2014 to November 15, 2014. Details about the plan are available in the letter of agreement about the program. Click here for the faculty application and here for the staff application.

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Minimize Any Lapse in Coverage; Sign Up for Health Insurance Immediately!

Beginning Oct. 1, 2014, health insurance for all eligible CUNY adjuncts will be provided through the NYC Employee Health Benefits Program. As is the case with full-timers, the University Benefits Office is now responsible for enrolling eligible adjuncts in health insurance.

The deadline for eligible adjuncts now receiving health insurance through the PSC/CUNY Welfare Fund to enroll in CUNY’s new adjunct health insurance program without a lapse in coverage has passed. But eligible adjuncts can still sign up! And the sooner you sign up, the shorter the lapse will be. To enroll, visit your College Benefits Officer A.S.A.P.

Here is a link to the University Benefits Office website where forms and further information are posted. Select “Benefits at a Glance,” then select “Adjunct Staff (Teaching and Non-Teaching)”. Under Adjunct Staff, the enrollment packet is the third link.

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The PSC turned out in force on Sept 21 for the People’s Climate March. Hundreds of us joined the estimated 310,000 marchers to demand action from world leaders two days before a U.N. climate summit. In the comments, tell us who you marched for and/or why you marched.

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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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The PSC's statewide affiliate, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), has released its list of endorsed candidates for the November 4 general election. The NYSUT endorsements come out of a process that involves the PSC and many other unions. PSC representatives advocated strongly for our choices and in many cases those candidates were endorsed by NYSUT. The PSC is also affiliated with the New York State AFL-CIO and the Working Families Party and participates in their endorsement processes. Candidates listed who have not been endorsed by NYSUT have an asterisk (*).

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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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