STRIKE AUTHORIZATION CAMPAIGN NOW!
Whereas: the PSC’s contract campaign has so far failed to yield positive results, and CUNY’s Board of Trustees has used our bargaining demands as a pretext for approving a $200/year tuition increase for CUNY undergraduate students at the four-year colleges;
Whereas: without a credible threat of a strike, PSC members have no power to win our contract demands and especially the demand for $7K per course as the adjunct starting pay, or to demand sufficient funding from New York State to pay for our contract without raising tuition;
Whereas: the PSC carried out a strike authorization campaign for the last contract and did not incur Taylor Law penalties;
Therefore be it resolved that: the Graduate Center chapter of the PSC urges the PSC Executive Council and Delegate Assembly to immediately:
- Launch and publicize a CUNY-wide strike authorization campaign, using the Proposed Strike Authorization Campaign Plan appended below as a guide;
- Double the number of paid part-time liaisons at each campus;
- Task all PSC organizing staff and part-time liaisons with developing and supporting mobilization teams on every campus to build toward a strike;
- Raise dues to 2% for all members earning more than $70K/year gross pay; and
Be it further resolved that: effective immediately, the Graduate Center chapter of the PSC:
- Pledges available chapter resources toward a serious strike mobilization campaign on our campus, as detailed in the Proposed Strike Authorization Campaign;
- Commits to hiring a chapter member as a strike authorization organizer, chosen by an in-person election at the following chapter meeting, who is paid the same rate as a part-time liaison out of the chapter’s funds and who is tasked with mobilizing the chapter membership, as detailed in the Proposed Strike Authorization Campaign Plan;
- Convenes a strike committee as a standing committee of the chapter, composed of the elected chapter leadership and rank-and-file PSC members from all job titles and chaired by someone not in the chapter Executive Committee, to lead this campaign at the Graduate Center and report on its progress at chapter meetings.
Proposed Strike Authorization Campaign Plan
- Strike authorization pledge:
- Assign campus organizers to reach out to all members with a strike pledge card affirming they will vote yes to a strike authorization vote on the current contract; that they will respect the picket line if and when we strike; and that in the event that the union’s dues checkoff rights are revoked under the Taylor Law, they will sign up for automatic monthly payment of dues directly to the PSC; with the costs of printing these pledge cards paid by chapter funds
- Membership mobilization: develop and support teams of rank and file members on each campus to:
- Work with organizing staff to get strike pledge cards signed.
- Work with members, students, and other supporters on campus to build the campaign and organize escalating militant actions leading toward a strike.
- Educate members about the importance of a strike and how effective strikes can win important gains, with food for educational meetings provided through chapter funds
- Organize picket schedules and train picket volunteers, including in how to respond to potential picket-crossers, with food for training meetings provided through chapter funds
- Organize drives for food, clothes, books, and other items that might be needed during strike.
- Begin outreach to collect information about which members will need financial assistance during a potential strike.
- Coordinate with the PSC central office regarding strike funds and CUNY-wide logistics.
- Building mobilization capacity:
- Double the number of part-time liaisons.
- Hire more organizers.
- Task all organizing staff and part-time liaisons with developing and supporting the mobilization teams on every campus to get pledge cards signed and build strike support.
- Eliminate unrealistic membership card quotas for liaisons and retroactively consider all efforts to build power toward a fair contract as legitimate paid work.
- Include rank-and-file “$7K or Strike” activists and organizers in every aspect of this campaign.
- Hire student organizers on each campus and/or pay stipends to students to build solidarity.
- Hire community organizers to mobilize CUNY community members including alumni, families of CUNY students, and parents of NYC public high school students.
- Financial resources:
- Raise dues to 2% for all members earning more than $70K/year.
- Set up an online fundraising platform for a “militancy” fund to provide support in case of a strike.
- Launch a broad public campaign designed to maximize and mobilize the support of students, other unions and their members, and the wider NYC community for a possible strike.
- Encourage the meaningful participation in public relations work of all rank-and-file member-activists who bring skills and experience into the campaign, including with social media.
- Create a CUNY-wide strike authorization coordinating committee of active rank-and-file campus leaders and organizers from every campus that reports regularly to the PSC Delegate Assembly and Executive Council but is independent of both bodies.
- Empower this committee to make adjustments to plans and procedures in consultation with PSC staff and in keeping with the spirit of this proposal.