In today’s bargaining session, GSOC went over the impact bargaining proposals again, highlighting that these are still on the table and have still largely not been addressed by NYU, despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has been ongoing for about 9 months as of today. Among these proposals, a few were highlighted.
First of all, the number of union positions in the bargaining unit must be maintained. Grads depend on this money, especially in the current circumstances, so the jobs should stay available. The reality so far has been the opposite, with NYU largely cutting the number of positions available to graduate students. Second, sources of support for international students. This includes: maintenance of visa status, legal assistance, and reimbursement of visa fees. Third, a universal extension on graduate student stipends. Fourth, protections for graduate workers, who are currently forced to work on campus: no graduate worker should have to work on campus during a pandemic, especially those who are at risk! Finally, the union demands hazard pay for those who were made to perform such dangerous jobs, as well as reimbursement for home working equipment as well as missed access to Stu-Dent benefits.
NYU’s bargaining committee essentially blanket rejected or dismissed these proposals.
Following this, a long discussion was had over compensation. NYU is still maintaining their proposal for a tiered wage system for hourly workers, where Masters students get a $1 raise and Doctoral students get a $2 raise. We rejected and will continue to reject any proposal that does not have equal pay for equal work. We are maintaining our demand for a living wage of $40/hr, given that we are limited to working 20 hr/week and hourly jobs are the only source of income for so many of our workers. NYU refuses to move after 6 months of bargaining.
NYU also rejects GSOC’s position that stipends should be included in the total compensation of graduate workers, something which was already agreed upon in the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement.
We presented proposals on Bargaining Unit (BU) Lists and Vacations. We want BU lists to become available to the union on the 1st day of the semester, and updated every two weeks.. These lists ensure that we can reach out to our workers to let you know about your benefits and protections under the contract, and make sure no one is being excluded from our union or denied benefits by NYU.
Vacations: For hourly jobs, vacation is accrued as you work, and at the end of your appointment you can opt to take a payout instead of the vacation. For teaching jobs, you receive a payout at the end of each semester.
Next bargaining session will be early February, with our brand new BC!