CUNY: UNION’S RANK AND FILE ACTION CALLS ON FACULTY TO DELAY GRADES, FEARING LAYOFFS

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[CUNY]
Professional Staff Congress is urging all faculty across the university to delay submission of Spring 2020 grades, in preparation for a potential grade strike if the minimum sign-on threshold of 70% of CUNY faculty is obtained.
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CUNY's RAFA is attempting to stop the layoffs of thousands of teachers.

In an attempt to avert the layoffs of thousands of part-time professors who teach at the City University of New York (CUNY), Rank and File Action (RAFA) of the Professional Staff Congress is urging all faculty across the university to delay submission of Spring 2020 grades, in preparation for a potential grade strike if the minimum sign-on threshold of 70% of CUNY faculty is obtained.

In early May, CUNY administration directed CUNY department chairs to begin preemptively terminating part-time faculty who are presently serving on semester-to-semester contracts in anticipation of decreased state revenues owing to economic costs associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. At campuses like John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 40% of the entire teaching force is slated for non-reappointment, a situation that will lead thousands of professors to lose health insurance coverage and students to lose classes they will need to graduate on time.

Given decades-long history of austerity logic that has prevailed over the formulation of CUNY operating budgets, RAFA and its allies categorically reject this latest attack on public higher education and are resolved to force CUNY administration to negotiate a settlement with Professional Staff Congress in order to secure every single job for the Fall 2020 semester including student workers. RAFA also calls upon Gov. Cuomo and New York State legislators to do their jobs and nominally tax the rich in order to address declining revenues instead of further disinvestments in public education, health care infrastructure and other critical areas during the pandemic.

Grade strike pledge specifics include:

  • All CUNY faculty pledge to delay grade submission UNTIL May 28, CUNY’s deadline date at most colleges for accepting S20 grades submission.
  • Upon attainment of 70% CUNY faculty pledge support by May 27, pledge signers to indefinitely withhold grade submission until all teaching part-time faculty receive their reappointment letters via email.

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