They're brilliant but their greasy locks, do jump that jive and wave. All antsy were the adjuncts, as the part-timers did rage.
All right, I am no Lewis Carroll. I don't have the luxury of being a fusty, full-time academic with odd proclivities. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
All this summer, I've been receiving cheery newsletters from the PSC, reassuring me that they are engaged in frank and productive talks with management, and that they are optimistic for our future. All summer. In other words--we are still operating without a contract. There will be no contract in the near future either.
Today, the PSC Special Committee on Adjuncts and Part-timers had a meeting. So much focus was on the vaguaries of collecting uninsurance during the summer months.
There was no further news on the contract. The PSC contract negotiations are based on a closed bargaining process. So, they can't "leak information out or tell you what's going on." The PSC has put a counterproposal and they are "making significant progress" toward equity and $7K. The team is "incredibly devoted." There is "communication." Everyone is "responsive."
Membership was not impressed. Of course, there was only about 30 members present. Hardly a representative sample. Membership was skeptical that the state will give CUNY more money. They predict CUNY will sellout the adjuncts, as usual. Almost all of them said, "Management won't budge without the threat of the strike." PSC leadership was tactful, "I respect your point of view but I don't believe that the bargaining process is worthless. I am hopeful."
Most of the remainder of the meeting was members calling for strikes, for donations to a strike chest to give out hardship pay. Lots of fingersnaps.
I got no fingersnaps. I said I was not in favor of a strike. CUNY does not care that we are mostly doctoral level individuals with impressive resumes. All they want are warm bodies teaching some sort of curriculum. THe students do not want their lessons disrupted. They have their schedules and their agendas. The full-time professors may support us and make sympathetic noises, but they will not cancel their classes and strike with us. I said we have to make ourselves as relevant as possible. We have to occupy CUNY administration. There are thousands of adjuncts. We do not have to disrupt our students. We do not have to harm our students educational process. We do not harm people with even less than we. We disrupt those with power and funds. We makes ourselves relevant. They don't see us. They don't interact with us. They're not even in the same building or campus as us. Occupy CUNY. Occupy Cuomo's office. Occupy the State House. Occupy the State Senate. But don't hurt those with even less than we.
It was as if I never spoke. All the rest of the speakers were demanding a strike. No one wanted to discuss alternatives. Strikes are energizing in the abstract. The history of academic strikes are not impressive. Chairs will go on social media and have a whole new crew in place by the third missed class. All the rest will be fired. We are not pieceworkers, disrupting the flow of capital to manufacturers. No one cares about intellectual capital.