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April 16, 2012

Marcia Newfield: Higher Education Member of the Year

Source: RA 2012
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Marcia Newfield
Professional Staff Congress

Marcia Newfield holds one master's degree in English and another in early childhood education. She has written six children's books. She teaches classes in English and intensive remedial writing at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. She enjoys helping her

students dig deeply into their writing drafts to uncover the rich details that make a good story great. She particularly likes teaching remedial writing and relishes the "power of articulation" that it provides students.

Outraged by working conditions inflicted on adjuncts, Marcia became radically creative in her representation of the often exploited part-time and adjunct college professor. In the 1990s she joined CUNY Adjuncts Unite and mobilized a group of adjuncts to join the Professional Staff Congress. Marcia has been vice president of the PSC's part-time personnel, which has a membership of 13,000, since 2003.

She is a skilled negotiator at the bargaining table and was instrumental in winning PSC adjuncts the right to paid office hours. She also helped create a professional development fund, which offers grants of up to $3,000 each year for many adjunct professors and helped to negotiate a higher percentage pay raise for adjuncts, among other victories. Marcia is a crucial component of PSC's efforts to unify all parts of its membership and to sustain adjunct health insurance.