“Mayday $5K!” New Paltz Student- Labor Coalition Rally Celebrates International Workers’ Day

Photo by Roberto LoBianco

Photo by Roberto LoBianco

The Student-Labor Coalition at SUNY New Paltz organized a rally in celebration of International Workers’ Day, recognizing the important contributions of all workers at SUNY New Paltz. The event took place at noon on May 1 on the SUNY New Paltz academic concourse in front of the Humanities Building. Details of the $5K campaign are outlined in the Mayday Declaration, and the Facebook event will constantly update with more info on the rally.

For more than a century, May Day has been a celebration of the international labor movement and is a national holiday in more than 80 countries. The New Paltz rally focused on issues of concern to faculty, staff and students at the college. This event was sponsored by a broad coalition of unions and student groups, including the New Paltz chapter of United University Professions (UUP), CSEA, The Student Association, New York Students Rising (NYSR), Black Student Union (BSU), the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), Students for Justice in Palestine, the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter and Amnesty International, among others.

A principal focus of this event is the call for equitable pay and fair working conditions, including job security, for contingent faculty. The Student-Labor Coalition is demanding that all adjunct and full-time lecturers be paid a minimum starting salary of $5,000 per course. Adjuncts typically teach one or two courses per semester and currently make around $3,000 per course, earning them a salary just above the poverty level. Lecturers are paid about $4,000 per course, but are expected to teach five courses each semester, an excessive and unsustainable workload that is unique among SUNY colleges. Student and faculty leaders addressed this issue that directly affects educational quality, fairness and equity.

In addition to the working conditions of contingent faculty, speakers addressed other pressing issues of concern to students, including soaring student debt, deficient campus policies on maternity & family leave for faculty and students, as well as the marginalization of the Women’s, Gender and Sexualities program. While celebrating the contributions of campus workers, this event underscores the need to provide affordable, quality public higher education for students in New York State.

Organization Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/475763262495102 | http://www.uuphost.org/newpaltzwp

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