New York, NY — CUNY colleges have announced planned layoffs of hundreds of adjunct professors. Adjuncts teach 56% of courses at CUNY.
“Adjunct faculty are not expendable. They are talented teachers and devoted mentors of students; they deserve far better than panicked, preemptive layoffs. CUNY management should be fighting to protect every job at the University, not finding ways to cut courses and jobs. Our federal representatives must deliver the stimulus money New York needs, and Albany must make billionaires and ultra-millionaires pay their share to protect the workers and students who are suffering in this pandemic,” said Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, the union of CUNY faculty and staff.
The State budget enacted in April gives Governor Cuomo the authority to cut the State budget unilaterally at several points during the year in response to declining revenues. The State funding cuts applied to CUNY could be as high as $95 million. Mayor de Blasio has announced $20 million in mid-year funding cuts to CUNY.
“We have been short-changing our higher education system long before COVID-19 came to town. To impose drastic cuts and layoffs at this time would make an already dire situation much worse. We must find new revenues to keep the CUNY system functioning,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris.