Education, Features, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, New York

Adequate Funding for City Colleges Critical

September 28, 2018

By Stephanie West

NEW YORK, NY—Nearly a years after the expiration of their union contract, hundreds of CUNY faculty and staff marched through the Financial District on September 27th. They demanded the City and State fund the City university system propoerly.

“CUNY needs investment and an administration willing to demand it. Wall Street is awash in profits, yet public institutions like CUNY are starved of funds. It’s time for Wall Street to pay its share and time for the CUNY trustees, led by Bill Thompson, to demand public funding for  a quality college system.

 A fully funded contract for CUNY faculty and staff is critical.” said Professor Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), the union representing faculty in the  City colleges of New York.
After years of declining per-student investment by New York State in the CUNY senior colleges, the faculty at  CUNY are underpaid and expected to work in conditions that undermine quality education.
Full-time salaries at CUNY lag thousands of dollars behindthose at comparable institutions such as Rutgers and University of Connecticut. The 12,000 adjunct faculty who work at CUNY now teach the majority of courses, but are paid a near-poverty wage . The union has called for an increase in adjunct pay to $7,000 a course, to bring pay at CUNY in line with adjunct pay at Fordham, Penn State and Rutgers.
The union is demanding State and City funding to back up the next union contract so that CUNY will not have to cannibalize academic programs or continue to raise tuition to find the necessary funds.
“By failing to invest adequately in CUNY,” said Bowen, “New York is making a policy decision not to invest in the future of hundreds of thousands of working-class, poor and middle-class students.
September 28, 2018

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