FAQ: impact of the proposed PSC contract on adjuncts

Where is the money coming from for this contract?

  • Budget cuts: Hundreds of courses are already being eliminated or overenrolled across CUNY. That saves money on raises and makes the contract math work out, but it screws adjuncts and students:
    • Adjuncts lose with fewer classes to teach (less income), and larger classes (more work). Hundreds of us will lose one or more of the courses we teach; some of us will lose health insurance; some of us will be left without any employment.
    • Students lose with fewer course options, delayed time to graduation, and less attention from faculty in overenrolled classes.
  • Ten months of forfeited retroactive raises: Retroactive raises only go back to October 1, 2018; our contract expired on December 1, 2017. 
  • Tuition hikes for students? CUNY’s “rational” tuition increase plan that limits tuition increases to $200 a year (already too much for many students) expires July 1, 2021–right before this contract’s final adjunct pay raise kicks in. What’s to stop CUNY from paying for our raise by squeezing students? The PSC has not fought successfully against tuition increases and we can’t rely on them to do so next time.
  • More funding from the state or city? This may be possible if we fight hard enough. But again, the PSC has not fought successfully in recent years for more funding (even just to close the “TAP gap”) and there’s no sign that the needed funds will be forthcoming.

What do adjuncts get?

  • October 2018 (retroactive) to 2021: 2% annual cost-of-living increase.
  • Spring 2020: One paid office hour per course taught.
  • 2022: $5.5k flat salary per 3-credit course (with elimination of step increases).

What are the tradeoffs?

  • 10 months of retroactive cost-of-living increases are forfeited (for everyone).
  • 20% of adjunct professional hours can be allocated to mandatory trainings and union orientations.
  • Remaining professional hours may be assigned to services like tutoring or course advising, adding to our workload.
  • End of adjunct salary step increases for length of service, while arbitrary and hard-to-attain title differentials remain.

Who is left out?

  • Adjuncts CLTs: the lowest paid PSC members get only the 2% cost of living increase.
  • Non-teaching adjuncts (NTA) also get just the 2% cost of living increase.

Read a more in-depth analysis of the proposed contract here.