City University of New York employees are seeking a new contract with higher pay and more flexibility in their schedules, the president of the union that represents around 30,000 CUNY faculty and staff said Tuesday.
As inflation and the cost of living in the city rise, employees are hoping to "surpass the rate of inflation" over the duration of their contract, according to James Davis, the president of the Professional Staff Congress.
"We are seeking pay parity for our teaching adjuncts and equity raises for some of our lowest paid full-time faculty," Davis told Errol Louis on "Inside City Hall" Tuesday night.
Union members also have a variety of non-economic demands, Davis says.
"Those include things like flexibility in work scheduling, the possibility to continue remote work," Davis said. "We are looking to increase the diversity of our faculty, reduce our class size and we want to improve our health and safety provisions."
Davis says that some professors are effective running their classes virtually, and virtual teaching should be allowed when appropriate and possible.
"Most importantly, we found during the pandemic that a lot of our professional staff can do their work as well, if not better, remotely," Davis said.
And with almost 80% of the student body comprised of people of color, Davis wants staff members to represent that diversity.
"We don't find that percentage even remotely reflected in the faculty. So we'd like to improve that," Davis said.
The Professional Staff Congress held a rally outside CUNY's Manhattan headquarters Monday calling for a new agreement, after their old deal expired last week.
Editor’s note: "Inside City Hall" host Errol Louis is an adjunct professor at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and a member of the Professional Staff Congress.