Elected leaders of the Professional Staff Congress were arrested Dec. 10 for blocking the doors to the room where the City University of New York’s Board of Trustees was deciding to raise tuition $200 a year for the next four years.
The PSC represents 30,000 teachers and staff at CUNY who have been without a contract for over a year. According to New York state labor law, the provisions of the old contract remain in force –- without improvements.
One major PSC demand for this new contract is that CUNY pays adjuncts — who are not full-time faculty — $7,000 a course, which is what Fordham, a newly organized private Jesuit college here, pays. CUNY currently pays adjuncts a maximum of $3,500 a course, but actual pay can be as low as $2,300 a course, which isn’t a living wage. Adjuncts can only teach a maximum of three classes a semester on a single campus.
Some adjunct members of the PSC were calling for a strike to get $7,000. Adjuncts teach a majority of the 500,000 students currently enrolled in CUNY.