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Day 10–No Response from CUNY Union Pres.

Tuesday, May 13th, at 3:40 p.m. I sent an open letter to Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, CUNY’s union, with the subject line “Open letter re your De Blasio statement & your exclusion of adjuncts and graduate student workers.” I copied the union’s first vice-president, treasurer, vice-president for part-time personnel, and executive director on the email, all people we Adjunct Project coordinators have worked with, or attempted to work with, this academic year. I also copied 11 of the 12 members of the newly reconstituted (and elected) Graduate Center chapter slate, omitting one member because I couldn’t find an email for that person. Finally, I copied two higher education officers (HEOs) at the Graduate Center, one of whom is a cross-campus officer on the executive council of the union, both of whom, working together, put together the Graduate Center slate (with no input solicited from the Adjunct Project).

There have been three responses from these 18 people to date, the most recent of which came from a member of the Graduate Center chapter slate, Michelle Fine, who emailed Saturday that she was speaking with graduate students, adjuncts, and other members of the slate about the issues raised in the open letter. We welcomed this info. (See a previous update for details of the two earlier responses.)

Additionally, another member of the Graduate Center chapter slate, Michelle Chen, who was not among the original recipients of the letter because I couldn’t find her email address, has signed the letter.

Today we posted an additional statement of support for the letter campaign, from Borough of Manhattan Community College assistant professor and Graduate Center alum Arto Artinian, who notes the “profound break” in democracy at the union.

I am now sending the letter again to the aforementioned recipients, plus Chen (as I now have her email address), along with the names and affiliations of the 173 signers.

The union leaders and chapter leaders are supposed to represent us. It’s not the other way around.

Read and sign the letter here, or leave a comment here with your name and affiliation (if you have one).

There are now 173 of us, from across CUNY and the U.S., inside and outside of higher ed.

Every day the union leadership doesn’t respond to us only emphasizes our lack of representation.

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