Equality for CUNY College Laboratory Technicians (CLTs) Resolution

Summary

Unions owe a duty of fair representation to the people they represent. We the undersigned recognize the ineffectiveness of the Professional Staff Congress of the City University of New York (PSC-CUNY) in addressing CLT grievances in the areas of wages, working conditions, workload, promotion, health and safety, and bullying.

We call upon PSC-CUNY to

  1. take urgent and appropriate actions to prioritize the needs of College Laboratory Technicians, end discriminatory practices, abolish the misuse of rankism, and commit to equity and inclusion of CLTs at all levels of governance;
  2. commit to increasing the salaries for the entire College Laboratory Technician title series to match similar titles in other unions and comparable professions in the private and public sectors;
  3. strongly encourage union members to amend college governance plans and bylaws to permit CLTs full voting rights and rights to serve on college-wide and department committees;
  4. provide fair representation, quality care and equal treatment to the CLT Chapter in a way that ensures members' dignity and treats them with respect at all times. 

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Equality for CUNY CLTs Resolution


Whereas, unions owe a duty of fair representation to the people they represent; and

Whereas, College Laboratory Technicians (CLTs) have been part of the tenure process and collective bargaining since the 1930s; and

Whereas, CLTs were granted by-law tenure rights in 1938 by the Board of Higher Education, and statutory tenure in 1940 by the New York State Legislature; and

Whereas, the Legislative Conference was founded in 1939 and lobbied on behalf of the instructional staff of the city colleges - primarily the full-time employees, including CLTs; and

Whereas, CLTs and the Professoriate operated under a spirit of unionism under the Legislative Conference union banner; and

Whereas, CLTs are founding members of the Professional Staff Congress of the City University of New York (PSC-CUNY) union established in 1972; and

Whereas, CLTs are the lowest paid full-time and adjunct employee titles in the University, are paid less than their peers in other unions and other institutions, and fall further behind every time across-the-board percentage raises are negotiated; and

Whereas, Article 22.2 of the PSC-CUNY Collective Bargaining Agreement specifies percentage goals for CLT promotions to higher rank, "In order to increase promotional opportunities," yet these targets are often treated by management as caps in a quota system that restricts such promotion; and

Whereas, the non-promotional nature of the College Laboratory Technician title series was ratified in the 1986 Malz arbitration decision which held that the definition of higher level CLT positions was a management prerogative; and

Whereas, Article 22.2 of the PSC-CUNY Collective Bargaining Agreement specifies the delivery of a report on CLT promotion procedures, to wit, “There shall be [a] University-wide labor management committee composed of two members designated by the Chancellor and two members designated by the PSC to review the promotion procedures applicable to instructional staff in the College Laboratory Technician series. The committee will conclude its work by issuing a non-binding report to the Chancellor and the President of the PSC no later than October 30, 2002,” yet to date, no CUNY-PSC joint committee report exists; and

Whereas, urgent demands and excessive workloads cause CLTs to work repeatedly beyond the contractual 35-hour work week without contractual or FLSA overtime compensation; and

Whereas, CLTs manage resources allocated to the department through job placements, budget planning, service contracts, assessment management and inventory control; and

Whereas, the College Laboratory Technician (CLT) title series is a tenure bearing title protected under academic freedom; and

Whereas, CLTs as defined by CUNY are members of the permanent non-teaching instructional staff, however CLTs perform teaching duties equivalent to instructional counterparts in the teaching instructional staff; and

Whereas, CLTs play a key role in the authorship of art and science laboratory/studio manuals, laboratory/studio safety procedures, and other instructional tasks including grading, proctoring and skills examination; and

Whereas, CLTs serve as the technological undergirdings of the University; and

Whereas, as PSC President Barbara Bowen stated, “College Laboratory Technicians (CLTs) are the backbone of CUNY’s science and technology programs. Without you, the University’s growing prominence in scientific fields would not be possible, nor would CUNY be able to prepare students for twenty-first century careers in scientific and technical specialties. You do demanding, hands-on work with faculty and students on every campus. I am proud to represent you."; and

Whereas, CLTs bridge the gap between faculty and students with hands-on instruction in emerging, current, and legacy technologies; equipping students for continued success; and teaching them to marry theory with techniques for real-world applications; and

Whereas, CLTs are the majority of PSC-CUNY members designated as “essential employees,” and required to work under any and all conditions, regardless of risks to safety and health, and are among the staff who have stepped up since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak to report to campuses to perform institution functions in support of the University’s comprehensive transition to distance education, remote instruction, streaming of classes, and telecommuting; and

Whereas, PSC-CUNY has been ineffective in addressing CLT grievances in the areas of wages, working conditions, workload, promotion, health and safety, and bullying; and

Whereas the bargaining agenda for the successor to the 2017-2023 contract acknowledges these deficiencies;

Therefore, be it resolved, PSC-CUNY takes urgent and appropriate actions to prioritize the needs of College Laboratory Technicians, end discriminatory practices, abolish the misuse of rankism, and commits to equity and inclusion of CLTs at all levels of governance; and

Resolved, PSC-CUNY commits to increasing the salaries for the entire College Laboratory Technician title series to match similar titles in other unions and comparable professions in the private and public sectors; and

Resolved, PSC-CUNY strongly encourages union members to amend college governance plans and bylaws to permit CLTs full voting rights and rights to serve on college-wide and department committees; and

Resolved, PSC-CUNY provides fair representation, quality care and equal treatment to the CLT Chapter in a way that ensures members' dignity and treats them with respect at all times.

Respectfully Submitted by 
Amy Jeu, former Acting Chair CLT Chapter & CLT Grievance Counselor
on behalf of PSC-CUNY CLT Chapter


"The true measure of a union is defined by how it treats its lesser members." - Michael Hirigoyen, 2015


We, the undersigned, fully support the resolution above and expect a response from the PSC-CUNY.


Amy Jeu (Email amyjeu@gmail.com if you experience difficulties signing the petition. Some technical difficulties have been reported.)    Contact the author of the petition

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