On Tuesday, February 25, graduate employees at NYU’s Washington Square and Polytechnic campuses voted overwhelmingly to approve the initial bargaining proposal of the GSOC–UAW 2110 Bargaining Committee.
The following day, the Bargaining Committee met with NYU administration representatives for the first time in over a decade to begin the bargaining process. At the outset of the session, Brady Fletcher on behalf of the GSOC Bargaining Committee asserted that GSOC was pleased to return to the table but that we were nevertheless mindful of the eight lost years since 2005 in which we, as graduate employees, were deprived of our right to bargain collectively. Fletcher than went on to broadly frame the urgent concerns that GSOC supporters have articulated over many years including
- affordable and improved health care for us and our families
- recognition of benefits such as child care and family leave
- major inequities in pay and workload between departments, schools and the Washington Square and Poly campuses.
- basic workplace rights
We then presented our full proposal in writing to the Administration committee. The Administration committee told us they would respond in detail at the next bargaining session and we scheduled additional meeting dates over the next two weeks.
Our entire Bargaining Committee-Pushkar Bharambe (Finance and Risk Engineering), Lily Defriend (Anthropology), Brady Fletcher (Cinema Studies), Yeshim Iqbal (Applied Psychology), Aryeh Katz (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Jeongmin Kim (East Asian Studies), Natasha Raheja (Anthropology), and Theadora Tolkin (Biology)-was present for the session along with Local 2110 President Maida Rosenstein, UAW Region 9A New York Subregional Director Scott Sommer, and GSOC Staff Organizer Patrick W. Gallagher. Terrance J. Nolan, Deputy General Counsel and Director of Labor Relations for NYU, acted as the lead representative for the university, accompanied by a committee of NYU deans and administrators.
This process has just begun, but we have only reached this stage because of hard work by thousands of NYU graduate employees over eight years. The continued, active support of the GSOC membership is more important than ever: We are fighting for dramatic changes to benefits and pay for ourselves and our families and NYU will not budge unless they know that our support is rock-solid and unified.