/Struggling Against Pandemic-sized Austerity at the City – Ángel L. Martínez

Struggling Against Pandemic-sized Austerity at the City – Ángel L. Martínez

Ángel L. Martínez – City University of New York

At the City University of New York (CUNY), faculty and staff are struggling on two fronts: against Covid and against austerity.

First, the CUNY faculty and staff union, the Professional Staff Congress, has fought to ensure that all faculty and staff are safe by demanding standards before allowing a transition back to the campuses. Many issues are not resolved, such as inadequate ventilation, uncertainty in ensuring that workers could safely go on campus, and in the campus where I work, a lack of adequate drinking water.

Second, because State of New York has had a decades-long austerity regime at the university, many part-time and contingent faculty and staff have lost their jobs, including adjunct faculty, higher education offi cers, and college laboratory technicians. Union agitation has been critical in saving many of their jobs and the struggle to recover those jobs of people who are on furlough. Part of this is agitation for pay equity for part time faculty and staff, hiring more full time faculty, and free tuition under the campaign of a New Deal for CUNY.