Congratulations to PhD students in Cinema Studies! NYU has now agreed to cover Maintenance of Matriculation and Health Insurance fees for Cinema Studies PhD students in their 5th, 6th and 7th years as of Fall 2013. This victory resulted from nearly a year of petitioning and organizing in Cinema Studies and in the context of more than 1,250 graduate employees from NYU and Poly signing our open letter urging NYU to respect our democratic choice to have collective bargaining through GSOC/UAW.
While this victory shows that we can win if we try, our larger campaign at NYU is not over! This is an important step forward for a more accessible university, since it means more graduate employees will have health insurance premiums paid by NYU. But we should not rest until we negotiate these types of benefits into a legally-binding contract, ensuring that all graduate employees get fair treatment and a voice in our workplace. Securing our benefits in a collective bargaining agreement would also prevent NYU from making unilateral changes like the cuts to our health plans this year.
Along those lines, in an effort to make NYU healthier and more accessible, now is the time to tell NYU that we will not allow their unilateral decisions making to adversely affect us and our colleagues. Sign the petition urging NYU to restore heath benefit cuts.
Also, if you’re interested, you can read below the announcement sent to Cinema Studies grad students by the departmental grad student rep about their success:
I’m really happy to announce that we have succeeded in our demands. Starting in the Fall, Tisch will pay for the M&M and Health Insurance fees of all Cinema Studies Phd students in their 5th, 6th, and 7th year.
I want to thank you all for all the efforts, meetings, petitions, signatures, etc. But it was totally necessary and ultimately it was worth it. Special thanks to Leo and Brady, who have helped me a lot in my position as a rep.
And a very special thanks to Michael, Patrick, and everyone at GSOC who supported us from the very beginning.
Now, hopefully we can get together at some point and celebrate.