An email landed in my inbox this morning about widespread non-payment of adjuncts in the CUNY system. I'll reprint it below the fold. IANAL, but those who are might want to comment on this in light of NY's "Wage Theft" law.
Here, though, read how Anthony Galluzo, one of those affected, describes his situation:
I'm supposed to be paid--finally--tomorrow, although classes started the last week of August. The explanation? Well, I was hired late--the week before said classes began--and there is a state mandated pay schedule. Fantastic. A system apparently designed with long term employees in mind, hence the glacial in-processing, even though it now runs on casualized permatemps hired at the last minute. This scenario was compounded by the fact that the secretary in the English department only submitted materials for one of my courses. I am teaching three. A fluke that happens all too often, as I've since learned from other adjuncts. Of the several adjuncts I talk to, I don't know one who was paid on time.
If you've been affected by non-payment, late payment, or partial payment, contact Debbie Bell email@example.com. To offer support of any kind, contact Jonathan Buschbaum. Below the fold, more details:
Email from the CUNY PSC (Professional Staff Congress): Update on Nonpayment of Adjuncts
After repeated requests from the PSC for clarification on the failure of adjuncts to receive paychecks, the head of Human Resources, Oswald Fraser, made a brief presentation at the College Personnel and Budget Committee on October 9. Mr. Fraser revealed that over 400 adjuncts, out of 1003 adjuncts employed, had not received their first paychecks on September 19; a smaller number, almost one hundred, did not receive paychecks on the second pay date of October 3. He did not explain the reasons for the nonpayment. When asked what the College had done to communicate with affected adjuncts, he had no response. Jerry Rothman of CUNY’s Office of Labor Relations reported on October 14 that 340 adjuncts were not paid on September 19.
In an e-mail response on October 11 to multiple PSC queries, General Counsel to the President Meryl Kaynard appeared to say that the cause of the nonpayment was late submission of Electronic Personnel Action Forms (ePAFs) to HR; “a slew of submissions of PAFs are routinely submitted at a point that makes it virtually impossible to process the ePAFs in time for the first payroll check.” In the same note, Ms. Kaynard asked that the PSC “acknowledge when you present this to your constituents, . . . that every effort was made to be responsive to any and all concerns that were brought to Legal's and HR's attention (or, in the case of another PSC member - to our head of OCT).” Ms. Kaynard also pointed out that all adjuncts who requested advances received them, though she did not indicate how many adjuncts asked for advances. Furthermore, according to one adjunct who was not paid on time, “while this may be technically accurate, we know that HR does not offer an advance unless one is specifically requested. And HR certainly makes no effort to advertise advances, so most adjuncts are not aware that such accommodation exists.” In both cases, with no notification from the College, it was incumbent upon adjuncts to take actions, never explained to them, in order to repair the problem. She did not say that the College had communicated with affected adjuncts, nor that they were informed that they were eligible for advances.
At a meeting called by Acting Provost Hendrey on October 14, Vice-President Reinalda Medina, formerly head of HR, acknowledged that the College still had not communicated in any way with affected adjuncts. Ms. Medina also stated that she was able to determine who had been paid, but was unable to identify who had not been paid. At a certain point, Vice-President William Keller said that the College must communicate with adjuncts, including eventually offering an apology. VP Keller’s intervention was the first indication that the College would inform the adjuncts what had happened, and what their options were, almost a full month after 400 adjuncts did not receive their first paycheck.
The reasons for the nonpayments remain murky, with Administration fingers pointing in many directions, but with no explanation forthcoming from the College. For example, over the summer, chairs alerted the administration to looming potential nonpayment problems, yet Ms. Kaynard implied that ePAFs, initiated by departments, were submitted late. In the words of one chair, “we were on time with the paperwork, astounded by the failure of the ePAF system, and very concerned that a large number of adjuncts might not be paid on time due to HR's fecklessness.”
However, what has most concerned the PSC since it learned of the problem was the failure to communicate with adjuncts, recounting what had happened and informing them of the option to request advances (at a percentage of their missed salaries). As one adjunct wrote, as late as October 8, “. . . they didn't even tell anyone of the problem, which really is wrong, and they should be reprimanded. They kept getting their paychecks, but some of the college's most vulnerable employees were left with no pay and no notice.”
The PSC hopes that the College will provide a full account of what did cause the problem(s), in addition to addressing the pressing need to communicate with adjuncts.
October 17, 2013
Jonathan Buchsbaum, QC PSC chapter chair: firstname.lastname@example.org