Pace Adjuncts Go Caroling for a Contract
Santa and some jolly carolers showed up at Grand Central Station in New York City last night to serenade alumni of Pace University who were gathered on a balcony in the grand old hall for dinner. While the songs in the carol songbook (PDF) followed familiar tunes, the lyrics might have drawn a little attention. I am pretty sure it was the first time anyone heard the "Adjunct Paycheck Song" sung to the tune of "The Dreidel Song" or "Friedman, the Interim President" sung to the tune of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." But when you have been bargaining a contract for over three years (while the administration has been stalling), you have to get creative.
The carolers did draw some attention. In fact, the carolers drew the attention of New York's finest who came over to see what was what and eventually to tell the carolers they would need to move on or they would really be singing for their supper.
While the carolers were sharing their message from down below, the president of the Union of Adjunct Faculty at Pace (UAFP), John Pawlowski (who just happens to also be a Pace alumni) was circulating a letter (PDF) to the alumni at the dinner.
As part of celebrating its 100th birthday of existence, Pace has been running a capital campaign called the Centennial Campaign, and of course alumni are one focus of that effort. Responding to this campaign, Pawlowski states in the letter:
I couldn't agree more with the Centennial Campaign overview which reads in part, "Centennial Campaign is aimed at directing this remarkable university toward new heights of excellence in terms of student financial aid, faculty support, student learning opportunities, and facilities and grounds. This monumental endeavor will require a renewed commitment from all who hold Pace dear. It will allow the University to reaffirm and further its position as a renowned and distinctive private institution of higher education." But as a proud alumnus (and Pace parent) I am appalled that, particularly at this time in history, Pace Administration has spent over a million dollars fighting over the last few years, fighting its own employees.
The caroling was part of several events being held this week to call attention to the university's ongoing foot-dragging and legal maneuvering to avoid coming to a fair settlement with the union. And in keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, UAFP is also providing members and supporters with a list of Twelve Things You Can Do by Christmas (PDF) to support the adjunct faculty at Pace including signing on to the petition of support.
Perhaps someone should drop a copy of The Christmas Carol off to the Pace administration to remind them that treating people fairly is more important than profits--particularly at this time of year.
Cross-posted from AFT's FACE Talk. Photos by Bruce Gilbert.