NYU Graduate Employees Vote to Strike

nyu_bargain_now.pngUnionized graduate employees at New York University have voted to authorize a strike set to begin on November 9. Members of GSOC/UAW Local 2110 are calling the strike in response to NYU?s refusal to negotiate a second contract.
Check Local 2110’s website for updates.
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PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Susan Valentine, (212) 387-0220 or (917) 495-8492
October 31, 2005
New York University Grad Union Set to Strike November 9
?I love my work teaching NYU undergraduates but I?m prepared to go on strike because I need the security of a union contract,? said teaching assistant Miabi Chatterji. ?NYU already demonstrated bad faith when they cut our health benefits as soon as our contract ended. It is insulting for the university to deny our basic rights to negotiate our wages, benefits and working conditions.?
NYU and the Union had a successful four-year collective bargaining relationship, following a 2000 election in which a strong majority of NYU teaching and research assistants voted in favor of union representation. Since then, graduate employees have repeatedly demonstrated majority support for the union. In announcing its refusal to bargain in June of 2005, NYU cited a recent NLRB decision?although the case in question does not prevent NYU from negotiating.
?NYU could settle this any time by agreeing to bargain in good faith,? said Maida Rosenstein, President of UAW Local 2110. ?Instead, NYU is turning its back on the will of the majority of graduate employees and jeopardizing its reputation as a university.?
The graduate employee fight for a second contract has drawn broad support from the labor movement and elected officials including AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and city council member Christine Quinn, who represents the NYU area. GSOC also has broad support across the NYU community. Over 200 faculty members have pledged to move classes off campus in the event of a strike and undergraduates have formed an organization, GUS (Grad/Undergrad Solidarity) to support the strike.
?My teaching assistants are really important to my education. They work hard for me, and the least I can do is support them by attending class off campus,? said undergraduate Aiden Amos. ?I?m urging all my professors to move their classes. A lot of us undergrads care, and we?ll be on the picket line alongside our TAs.?
?Calling a strike is the graduate workers? decision,? Professor Andrew Ross observed, ?but this is the whole NYU community?s fight. The administration?s stubbornness is out of step with the NYU community?s values of fairness and respect.?