New Progress in Union Negotiations

After three bargaining sessions with the University, there has been significant progress in negotiating non-economic, workplace rights clauses into our contract.  To date, the University has agreed that the following provisions will be part of the contract.

  • Union Recognition clause which describes what positions are in the bargaining unit
  • Graduate Employees to receive Letter of Appointment setting forth compensation and expected average hours per week
  • If a graduate employee’s position becomes unavailable, the University will assign the employee to comparable position
  • No graduate employee will be required to perform a service for another employee that is entirely personal in nature
  • Graduate employees required to enroll in any course as a condition of employment (including ESL) will have tuition/fees for such course waived
  • Union Security clause: employees in unit positions become dues-paying members after the contract is voted on
  • GSOC has right to designate a Union Chair and stewards for grievance-handling, hold meetings on campus
  • NYU will provide newly hired Graduate Employees with a letter about the union and a membership card
  • Graduate employees will have right to access their records of employment
  • Graduate employees will have reasonable latitude to exercise professional judgment and receive appropriate acknowledgment for projects and contributions
  • Increase in pre-semester training fee from $100/day to $150/day
  • Graduate employees will be covered by the same meal and travel reimbursement policies as faculty and administration
  • Graduate employees will be covered by the same Employee Assistance Program as other NYU employees
  • Graduate employees will have the same holiday schedule as other employees
  • Maintain Non-Discrimination clause from first union contract with Citizenship and Gender Identity and Expression as additional protected categories
  • Just cause provision protecting employees against unjust disciplinary or discharge action
  • Departments must post unassigned positions.  Unassigned positions that are open to non-departmental employees will be posted University wide.
  • NYU will provide official notices to the Union at its address

In addition to the above provisions, we are close to final agreement with the University on a grievance and arbitration provision that will allow us to bring our grievances to an outside neutral arbitrator if they cannot be resolved internally, and to a provision on NYU’s obligation to provide the union with regular information on employees.

Although we have made real progress on the above provisions, there are major challenges to come, including reaching agreement on pay increases, substantially improved health and family benefits, and tuition/fee waivers.  There will be a hiatus in negotiations over the next couple of weeks but we have proposed bargaining on an intensified schedule in April.

Every union supporter can help advance negotiations immediately by signing our Open Letter for a Fair Contract Now and circulating it among union colleagues.   This will send a strong message to the Administration that we are united for a fair contract by the end of the semester.  In addition, over the next couple of weeks, the Bargaining Committee will be reaching out to activists and supporters in every department about other actions to keep the pressure on the University to reach agreement with our union on a good contract without delay.