CUNY and Professional Staff Congress Agree to Reduce the Faculty Teaching Load!

Dear Commons Community,

It was announced yesterday that the City University of New York and the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) have reached an agreement to reduce the faculty teaching load by three hours to be phased in over three years. Below is a statement from PSC President Barbara Bowen.

This was long overdue.



 Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that the PSC has achieved an agreement with CUNY to implement a permanent reduction in the full-time faculty teaching load, to be phased in starting next fall. The joint announcement is below.

This is a historic achievement for the union and a major gain for CUNY and our students. It was possible only because the union insisted that we would not sign the last contract without a conceptual agreement and because union members organized and stayed strong in support. Congratulations to the many, many people who were part of making this happen.

Details will follow next week; we are just signing the agreement today. Congratulations, PSC members!

Barbara Bowen

President, PSC 




The City University of New York and Professional Staff Congress have reached agreement on a restructuring of the workload of full-time teaching faculty that will enable professors to devote more time to individual work with students, to advising, holding office hours, conducting academic research and engaging in other activities that contribute to student success.

The agreement reduces the annual contractual undergraduate teaching workload by three credit hours and will be phased in over three years, one credit hour a year, starting with the 2018-19 academic year. The agreement covers both the senior and community colleges of CUNY and all full-time classroom teaching faculty.

Chancellor Milliken said: “This agreement recognizes that faculty work encompasses critical elements in addition to classroom teaching, better positioning our faculty to address critical responsibilities such as student advising and mentoring. This important step not only aligns faculty work to achieve CUNY’s ambitious strategic goals, it reflects peer and best practice nationally and will strengthen the University’s competitiveness in attracting and retaining talented faculty.”

Dr. Bowen said: “This is a breakthrough for the University, its faculty—and above all, its students. Multiple studies show that the single most important academic factor in student success is time spent individually with faculty. The agreement will give us that time. CUNY faculty members will embrace the opportunity to provide the support students need, contribute to important research and offer an education worthy of our students’ aspirations.”

Dr. Vita Rabinowitz, the University’s Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost said: “By moving CUNY closer to a teaching workload that is in line with those in place at other quality universities and colleges, this agreement further strengthens our ability to compete in the recruitment of top-tier faculty. Just as important is the additional time faculty will now spend meeting and advising students, as well as on their research and scholarship. This time invested outside the classroom will provide critical support to CUNY’s goals of increasing graduation rates and remaining a premier research university.”

When the University and PSC settled the last collective bargaining agreement in June 2016, they agreed to convene a joint labor-management committee with the goal of addressing the faculty’s teaching workload. With the agreement announced today, the university and union will move on to negotiating a successor to the recently expired contract.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 272,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

The Professional Staff Congress (NYSUT, AFT #2334) represents almost 30,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff at the City University of New York. PSC members educate hundreds of thousands of mostly low-income New Yorkers, the majority from communities of color.


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