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The Professional Staff Congress is suing the City University of New York claiming it should not have effectively laid off 2,800 adjunct instructors at a time when it stands to receive $251 million in Federal funding under an early stimulus bill that requires using some of the money to keep workers on the payroll.
There is an added, arguably more-disturbing element to how the "non-reappointments" were implemented. It appears hundreds, if not thousands, of those not asked back for the fall semester were veteran adjuncts who had become eligible for three-year appointments under the PSC's most-recent contract with CUNY.
Is it legal for the system to get rid of a significant number of instructors just as they were becoming eligible for a limited form of job security? We won't know unless the PSC files an improper labor practice charge.
But from a moral standpoint, is this how you're supposed to treat more-experienced workers even in a time of crisis? What exactly does it say to students that CUNY appears to be borrowing from the playbook of corporations saving a few bucks by getting rid of employees deemed interchangeable, even if those paying the price have experience that should be an asset to their employers.