Are you wondering what "impasse" means? If you received the email from PSC (our union) about the possible impasse in negotiations, perhaps you're confused. Adjuncts can influence the settlement if we refuse to remain silent.
Here are three links to information that may help. The first two explain the legalities for what comes next:
Public Employment Relations Board impasse procedures
But take a look at the formal letter the CUNY administration wrote to the Public Employment Relations Board asking for mediation! CUNY Notification of Impasse
In it, there are some interesting details about what they can't agree about in contract negotiations. CUNY wants to hire more exceptionally high paid faculty, and PSC doesn't agree. PSC supposedly wants, among other things, very humble gains for adjuncts that CUNY just doesn't want to give. See a pattern here? (Hint: inequality.)
On CUNY's summary list of PSC's unfulfilled demands is "equity salary increases for Adjuncts" (d). The document doesn't say, and the PSC bargaining team has not said, just what amount of money would be considered "equity." But let's make sure this issue does not get lost during mediation!!!!!
CUNY's "notice of impasse" says that PSC has also asked for other things that might improve the situation for adjuncts: compensation for online course development and retention of copyright by the developer, improved eligibility for tuition waivers, some kind of modest job security, allowing more breaks in service before we lose our salary step or our benefits, penalizing the employer for sending paychecks late, allowing Grad Assistants' service to count toward Adjunct benefits, and a few other things.
Get involved. Tell everyone you know (i.e., the public!) what adjuncts need, and why. And write/speak to CSI's officers who have a say in any proposed settlement: George Sanchez, Michael Batson, and our reps in the PSC Delegate Assembly.