June 05, 2007

PSCers rally for adjunct professors

Source: NYSUT News Wire
Caption: PSC President Barbara Bowen (left) hands another set of petition signatures to the pile Queensborough President Eduardo Marti (right) has already accepted. At center is Prof. Jay Appleman, from the Math Department. Photo by PSC/Pat Arnow.

Chanting "What do we want? Fair pay. When do we want it? Now!" - dozens of adjunct professors joined by full-time faculty and others rallied May 31 outside the office of the president of Kingsborough Community College.

Kingsborough is one of five CUNY schools (Baruch College, Bronx Community College, College of Staten Island, Queensborough Community College and Kingsborough) that reduce adjunct professors' pay from three hours to two hours during the 15th week of the semester, according to Dorothee Benz, spokeswoman for the Professional Staff Congress, which represents CUNY faculty and professional staff. The PSC is led by Barbara Bowen.

The colleges justify the pay cuts by claiming because the part-time faculty members merely proctor two-hour exams during this week instead of teaching three-hour classes, their pay should be reduced.

"The difference monetarily is one-hour's pay, but the difference in respect and a matter of principle is tremendous," said Benz.

Many adjuncts put in extra time during the end-of-the-semester crunch. The hours spent grading papers, answering e-mails and meeting with students increases as the term winds down.

"I'm actually working more this week than almost any other week during the semester, but I'm not getting paid for any of that," Gail Graves, an adjunct who teaches French in the Modern Language Department at Baruch College explained. "I'm just getting paid for the time I spend proctoring. That's outrageous."

The rally was the fifth and final protest in the PSC's Five-Borough series addressing the shortchanging of part-time professors. At each rally, demonstrators handed petitions with 2,000 signatures to the schools' presidents calling for the colleges to change their adjunct-pay policies.

"This is the opening round," Benz said. "We won't stop until we end these embarrassing policies." Chanting "What do we want? Fair pay. When do we want it? Now!" - dozens of adjunct professors joined by full-time faculty and others rallied May 31 outside the office of the president of Kingsborough Community College.

Kingsborough is one of five CUNY schools (Baruch College, Bronx Community College, College of Staten Island, Queensborough Community College and Kingsborough) that reduce adjunct professors' pay from three hours to two hours during the 15th week of the semester, according to Dorothee Benz, spokeswoman for the Professional Staff Congress, which represents CUNY faculty and professional staff. The PSC is led by Barbara Bowen.

The colleges justify the pay cuts by claiming because the part-time faculty members merely proctor two-hour exams during this week instead of teaching three-hour classes, their pay should be reduced.

"The difference monetarily is one-hour's pay, but the difference in respect and a matter of principle is tremendous," said Benz.

Many adjuncts put in extra time during the end-of-the-semester crunch. The hours spent grading papers, answering e-mails and meeting with students increases as the term winds down.

"I'm actually working more this week than almost any other week during the semester, but I'm not getting paid for any of that," Gail Graves, an adjunct who teaches French in the Modern Language Department at Baruch College explained. "I'm just getting paid for the time I spend proctoring. That's outrageous."

The rally was the fifth and final protest in the PSC's Five-Borough series addressing the shortchanging of part-time professors. At each rally, demonstrators handed petitions with 2,000 signatures to the schools' presidents calling for the colleges to change their adjunct-pay policies.

"This is the opening round," Benz said. "We won't stop until we end these embarrassing policies."