By Sierra Ryan
The CUNY teacher’s union held a speak-out event at York College. The teachers protested and discussed the conditions they worked under as they negotiated their contracts. During this event, speakers talked about how 50 percent of the teaching done at the college is done by adjuncts who don’t get paid a livable wage. They also spoke about the conditions of the college by saying there are raccoons in the library, workers being paid unfairly, and that the college is understaffed. Some faculty members have felt bullied by the higher-ups here at York College.
The event was organized to raise awareness of the treatment that the faculty across CUNY have experienced. English Professor at Queens College, Karen Weingarten said “All PSC members right now are working without a contract. Our contract expired back in February and we are negotiating with CUNY management right now for a better contract.” Students are also affected by the conditions the faculty work under.
“Currently at CUNY 60 percent of classes are taught by a part-time faculty, and I think it has an impact on students because it means we have a faculty that is not paid fairly for the teaching they do and there isn’t a stable faculty,” said Weingarten. “When people don’t work for a living wage, they go and leave and find better jobs.”
Other major issues discussed included how faculty are treated as well as schedules. “There are major salary issues, there are also issues around workplace respect, flexibility and scheduling,” said PSC President James Davis. When asked about the college administration “I think the college administration needs to be more public in fighting for the resources that students and staff deserve. I believe that they advocate but they are not advocating publicly so the people who attend York College and the people who work at York College don’t see their advocacy and the public don’t see the level of need because the administration isn’t public in its campaign.”