Yesterday we had our third bargaining session of the semester. Thanks to all the members who were able to join us!
Graduate student parents gave compelling testimonials about how NYU’s disrespectful lack of family benefits affects their ability to work.
NYU offers a pitiful childcare subsidy of $200 a semester to a few graduate student parents in our unit. And it costs close to $13,000 to insure one partner and one dependent on our NYU health insurance plans. These costs amount to more than 108% of the wages that NYU claims it currently pays graduate teaching assistants, and 203% of the wages that NYU currently pays the majority of hourly workers in our unit. !!
NYU’s inadequate family benefits disproportionately hinder female graduate employees and single parents.
NYU still refused to make a counter-economic proposal, reiterating the university’s position that we were asking for too much in our economic proposal. Here is where we stand.
The Administration instead made a procedural proposal
to hire an outside, impartial mediator to assist with the negotiations.
Mediation is a voluntary process to enable the two sides to reach common ground through a neutral third party. The mediator cannot mandate either side to change its position but can use facilitation skills to encourage a settlement. Mediation is a device that can be used in collective bargaining where the parties may be stymied at the table. The bargaining committee is evaluating what entering mediation would mean for our negotiations. We will be making our decision within the next week.
We welcome your feedback and input. We encourage you to join tomorrow’s (11/5) member meeting at 3pm, in the Silver Center Graduate Commons, Room 120 at 24 Waverly Place, just east of Washington Square.
Tomorrow’s member meeting will be an opportunity for us to discuss where we are at in negotiations and decide ways to build more pressure on NYU. If you want to learn more and/or get more involved, please join! We need leaders and point-people in every department!
If you can’t join the meeting, and want to get more involved in helping out with the fight for a fair contract, or if you have any comments or questions for us re: mediation and where we stand in negotiations, you can email the bargaining committee.
Also don’t forget, mark your calendar for Tuesday, November 11 at 3pm
for our next bargaining session where our faculty and undergraduate allies are invited to join us to showcase their support (TAs and Instructors: bring your undergrads!). Our working conditions are university learning conditions! RSVP here.