Massive pay rise for CUNY adjunct faculty under tentative deal
City University of New York (CUNY) adjunct faculty members will receive a 71 percent pay hike as part of a tentative five-year contract mooted in response to union protests earlier this year.
An agreement between the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) faculty union and CUNY that will come into effect from December 1 involves a pay rise for nearly 30,000 full and part-time faculty across five boroughs, including 12,000 adjunct faculty members.
The academic faculty of CUNY will soon enjoy a 10 percent hike in salaries across the board with 2 percent annual increases. This is to address the rally held by the members of the College of Staten Island (CSI) at the Willowbrook Campus earlier this March that called for higher wages and more funding for CUNY college facilities.
As a response to the rally’s demands for US$7,000 per course for the adjunct faculty, the agreed payment per course for adjuncts with the highest title will be increased to US$6,750 whereas the minimum salary will be increased to US$5,500 for a three-credit course.
Adjuncts in CUNY who are currently earning a minimum of US$3,222 per course.
In addition to salary increments, the agreement also outlines a workload restructure for the adjunct faculty. Each adjunct will be allocated more office hours to ensure more time can be spent on one-to-one advisory sessions with students, professional development and other non-teaching duties.
As of now, the tentative contract period will run from December 1, 2019, to February 28, 2023, and is to be approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees and ratified by the union’s membership when the delegates meet this November 7.
“This agreement reflects the university’s strong and unwavering commitment to its faculty, both full-time and part-time, and staff across our 25 colleges,” CUNY chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodriguez said in a report on Silive.com.
“All of our faculty will now devote more time to meeting with and advising students and engaging in professional development. This will be crucial to our efforts to increase graduation rates, enhance learning, and remain a premier university.”
Adding to that, PSC president Barbara Bowen commented in a joint statement, “It is a principled and imaginative contract that constitutes a victory for every member of the union—and for CUNY students. The pathbreaking salary increase for CUNY’s 12,000 adjunct faculty will be of national importance in higher education.”
Additional terms of the agreement include equity raises for full-time college laboratory technicians, entry-level higher education officers, and full-time CUNY Language Immersion Program instructors.
Other perks to be added to college facilities includes the provision of research accounts for department chairs, more access to the state health insurance programme for graduate employees, and a committee will be established to implement the state Paid Family Leave benefit for both adjuncts and full-time staff.