A summary of some new news related to CUNY's and CSI's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See https://csi-covid19.github.io for the archive.
To add/suggest news, please email John Verzani
COURT: S.D.N.Y; TRACK DOCKET: 1:20-cv-05060: The City University of New York violated its obligations under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act by laying off thousands of adjunct faculty and staff within weeks of being awarded $251 million in relief money, according to a new suit filed in New York federal court Wednesday.
Yesterday was a shameful day for the CUNY administration. According to the information the union has, the University laid off nearly 3,000 employees and cut 422 from health insurance.
Late last night, the PSC filed a major lawsuit against CUNY seeking an injunction against the layoffs.
And this week, the union's Executive Council decided that the PSC leadership and membership must also begin an assessment and systematic conversations with our members about escalating actions. It's time to talk seriously about whether the union needs to consider disruptive job action during the fall semester in order to save lives, save jobs and save CUNY. There will be extensive conversation with members about the risks and potential power of such action before any plans are made, but faced with a central administration that has failed to comply with state and federal safety requirements during the pandemic, that has dragged its feet in responding to the union's demands for contractual adjustments during the emergency, that has laid off close to 3,000 adjunct faculty and staff, and that has repeatedly failed to stand up for CUNY at a moment of unprecedented crisis, we decided that further escalation may be needed.
CUNY faculty and staff knew going into this summer that it would be a fight unlike any the PSC has seen since the 1975 fiscal crisis, a crisis that provided an excuse to begin the dismantling of CUNY. I believe we are united in the fight to prevent CUNY from being dismantled again. All of us are recovering from a traumatic spring and trying to respond to this moment of national grief, uprising and transformation. And 3,000 of us are absorbing the news of being laid off, sometimes after decades of service.
Includes very high level numbers for CUNY.
(Many thanks to Deborah Franzblau)
Thousands of instructors at American colleges and universities have told administrators in recent days that they are unwilling to resume in-person classes because of the pandemic.
More than three-quarters of colleges and universities have decided students can return to campus this fall. But they face a growing faculty revolt.
Limited Exceptions to Virtual Instruction
The granting of limited exceptions to permit in-person activities will be informed initially by consultation with academic senates, associated students, staff councils and union leadership, and align with local public health officials and government agencies, and will be based on compelling needs, while continuing to meet safety benchmarks.
We call on incoming President Maurie McInnis and the Interim President Micheal Bernstein to immediately withdraw the recently announced proposed hybrid instructional plan and replace it with explicit policies for safe, equitable, and inclusive online-centric teaching as other major public universities have done. All classes, both undergraduate and graduate, should be taught remotely. The only exceptions are courses which cannot be adequately taught this way such as labs and experiential learning classes. Even for these courses, however, we call for full autonomy for faculty and students to opt for remote instruction if they so choose. This call aligns with UUP's telecommuting agreement with New York State, which calls for telecommuting requests of employees to be granted to the greatest extent possible. Below are reasons why we have reached this conviction.