We CUNY faculty (adjuncts, graduate teaching fellows, tenure-track, and tenured) pledge to withhold our Spring 2020 grades in protest of the massive wave of layoffs and the June tuition hike and wellness fee proposed by CUNY management. The purpose of this pledge is to build an action capable of forcing the CUNY administration to reverse its policy of preemptive layoffs and austerity, and to negotiate with the union in order to secure every single job at the university for the Fall 2020 semester. We commit to sharing this pledge with colleagues in our departments and programs, across all disciplines, to garner the broad participation needed for this action to succeed.
* All of us pledge to wait to submit grades UNTIL May 28, CUNY’s deadline date at most colleges for accepting S20 grades.
* If we reach a 70% CUNY faculty pledge support by May 27, we will withhold our Spring 2020 grades AFTER the respective grade submission deadlines on our campuses, as well as after May 29, the date by which teaching adjunct faculty receive their reappointment or non-reappointment letters via email.
I very much doubt they will get anywhere near 70% participation but at least these union members are trying something.
The organizers received some coverage in Left Voice. This part of the Left Voice piece struck me:
What makes this action particularly interesting and, in many ways groundbreaking, is that it was built entirely without the support of the leadership of the university faculty and staff union — the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) — and its resources. The PSC leadership has repeatedly argued against work actions or strikes to defeat these layoffs, choosing instead to bargain behind closed doors and lobby politicians at City Hall and in Albany. At the last delegate assembly meeting of the union, the question of a strike was brought up several times by delegates, and the union leadership’s response was that such actions would be illegal and therefore could not be considered. Such unwillingness to challenge the status quo, such deference to the closed-door negotiating process, over which they have full control, shows both the weakness and undemocratic nature of even so-called progressive unions.
The PSC is so far ahead of the UFT in that they actually have real discussions at their Delegate meetings. If an opposition is not allowed to express themselves in union forums, then it isn't a democracy.