Tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement

April 28, 2006 | News from the Chancellor

I am pleased to report to you that the University and the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY (PSC) have reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement. The tentative agreement, which covers the period November 1, 2002 through September 19, 2007, is subject to ratification by the union’s rank and file members and to adoption by the Board of Trustees. The agreement leverages a contract extension, reforms, and productivity measures to increase the value of the package, while remaining consistent with the pattern agreements negotiated with unions representing other University employees. Through tough but creative bargaining, the parties have crafted an agreement that provides salary increases, additional contributions for the Welfare Fund, and improved working conditions, in ways that also enhance academic programs, research, and student support. The agreement is detailed and nuanced, but I would like to highlight some of its key provisions:

Salary increases: The parties agreed to across-the board wage increases as follows:

2.5%, effective May 1, 2004

2.75%, effective May 1, 2005

3% effective May 1, 2006

$800 rate increase for full-time instructional staff, effective September 19, 2007

1% uncompounded increase for teaching and non-teaching adjunct titles and continuing education teachers, effective September 19, 2007.

These across-the-board increases are in addition to the annual step increases, which are currently in place and which the University will continue under the new agreement. As of May 1, 2006, full professors and higher education officers at the maximum step will earn $101,435 annually.

Welfare Fund: The University and the PSC had a mutual goal in this round of bargaining of ensuring the fiscal health of the PSC/CUNY Welfare Fund. The University has been assured by the PSC that the support negotiated in this round of bargaining for the PSC/CUNY Welfare Fund will stabilize the Fund’s finances for at least two years beyond the contract expiration date of September 19, 2007. The University will provide the following additional support:

Approximately $30 million will be provided in a one-time cash payment to the PSC/CUNY Welfare Fund to address the Fund’s depleted reserves.

In addition to increases in the per capita contributions negotiated between the City of New York and the Municipal Labor Coalition, the University’s per capita contributions to the PSC/CUNY Welfare Fund will increase by $200 over the course of the contract.

The University will make an additional annual contribution of approximately $2.2 million to the PSC/CUNY Welfare Fund.

Support for Research: The parties agreed to significant measures to improve the research environment at the University:

When jointly-supported legislation becomes law, the tenure clock will be increased to seven years, the national norm, which will provide newly-hired, untenured faculty more time to engage in scholarly activities in furtherance of their candidacy for tenure.

When the tenure legislation becomes law, these newly-hired faculty will receive 12 additional hours of reassigned time for a total of 24 hours of reassigned time during their first five years of service to support their scholarship.

Also, upon the tenure legislation becoming law, fellowship leaves currently remunerated at the rate of 50% of salary will be remunerated at 80% of salary.

The teaching workload at New York City College of Technology will be reduced to 24 classroom contact hours per year to promote research at that college.

The University will have the opportunity to appoint 50 more Distinguished Professors than previously permitted by the contract.

Travel Funds, PSC/CUNY Research Awards, the HEO/CLT Professional Development Fund, and the Distinguished Professor stipend will all be augmented by the same percentage increases as salaries, and an Adjunct Professional Development Fund will be created.

Academic and Student Support: The University and the PSC also agreed to measures that will support the overall academic program and enhance service to students.

The agreement provides that the faculty annual leave period will end three weekdays earlier than the current contractual date of August 30. This adjustment will enable the University to create an academic calendar that focuses on academic considerations, rather than contractual limitations, and will provide additional time before and after the start of classes in the Fall semester for contact with students and for professional activities.

In furtherance of its goal of increasing the percentage of courses taught by full-time faculty, the University will create 100 full-time lecturer lines that will be open for application to adjunct faculty who meet specified eligibility requirements. This commitment is not part of the collective bargaining agreement.

To further integrate adjunct faculty into the life of the campus and to promote their access to students, the University will make efforts to provide adjunct faculty with University e-mail and voicemail accounts and, where feasible, to list them in department directories.

I believe that we have negotiated a good, fiscally responsible agreement that both addresses the union’s concerns and builds upon CUNY’s renewal. I hope that the tentative agreement receives swift approval from the union’s membership and from the University’s Board of Trustees so that the process of securing the necessary funding through legislation may proceed expeditiously. I thank you all for your patience during these negotiations.

Sincerely,

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Matthew Goldstein
Chancellor
The City University of New York