|Dear fellow member, |
On Tuesday we kicked off the strike vote with an online and in-person rally at Gould Plaza. Thank you to the over one hundred members and supporters who showed up online and in-person to let NYU know that we’re not backing down in our fight for a fair contract! Read on below for more about the rally, how the strike vote works, and why you should vote yes.
This week the strike vote went live! After 9 months of bargaining with NYU’s labor lawyers, our elected bargaining committee was left with no choice but to call for a strike vote. Look out for an email from Local 2110, UAW with your individual link to the ballot for the SAV in your NYU email inbox.
If you are eligible to vote and didn’t get a ballot, email email@example.com we’ll get it cleared up. And make sure you’ve signed your union card in order to vote!
We announced the strike vote on Tuesday at an in-person and virtual rally, where we heard from our supporters across the city. We were heartened by the solidarity from Columbia grad workers, currently on strike, contract faculty at NYU, the Union of Clerical, Administrative and Technical Staff at NYU, and the NYU chapter of Young Democratic Socialists of America, as well as the outpouring of support from many others in person and online.
Speakers at the rally spoke to the urgency of our demands, emphasizing the severe lack of childcare subsidies, why NYU should cut ties with the NYPD, and the difficulties international students face with visa, work, and income restrictions. And they spoke to the power of a strike vote and why they’re voting yes. You can read more about the rally here and see some photos below.
Be sure to follow us on social media to get the latest updates. If you’re looking to get more involved, fill out this form! You can also see our new strike hub on our website to learn about how you can take more action today and spread the word
How did we get here?
Two years ago, we asked all our members what they needed from a contract and drafted our demands. We elected nine grad workers to negotiate with NYU labor lawyers for a better contract with higher pay, expanded healthcare, dental care, childcare, legal and financial assistance for international students, and more workplace protections.
Bargaining has dragged on for months because NYU’s labor lawyers have stalled negotiations. We amended our proposals, but NYU has not addressed any of our healthcare demands and offered a mere $1/hr raise. Negotiation alone will not deliver the contract we need. We need more pressure.
How does a strike vote put pressure on NYU?
When we act collectively it puts pressure on the university. Last Thursday, we had our first bargaining meeting since we delivered a petition signed by over 1200 workers. Though NYU offered no substantial moves to our proposals that we have been bargaining over for months, they floated the possibility of an emergency healthcare fund for the first time. The collective voice of 1200 students *did* have some results, but it isn’t enough.
We have so many more things we are fighting for and we need to do more. That’s why our bargaining committee is calling for a strike vote.
How does the strike vote work?
A strike is a strategic withholding of labor, reminding NYU that graduate workers are essential to its functioning. It puts powerful pressure on our employer, NYU, to meet our demands. Our first step toward a strike is a strike vote or a simple YES or NO vote from our members letting NYU know they’re ready to strike. A YES vote authorizes the bargaining committee to set a deadline for a strike. If 2/3 of us vote YES, the bargaining committee is empowered to call a strike.
The strike vote alone is a powerful tool: 6 years ago, 95% of GSOC members voted YES for a strike. Ultimately, the threat of a strike was enough: the university caved to our contract demands the eve of our strike deadline.
What’s next? Make a plan to vote yes in the strike vote! If you have any questions about bargaining, the vote, or why you should vote yes, catch up on our website, reach out to your steward, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get strike ready! Sign up to phone bank, talk to your friends and colleagues, and make sure your fellow union members know about the strike vote. Let us know on social media why you’re voting yes, and what you’re ready to strike over.
Collective action works! Let’s get ready to use our most powerful tool.
Your fellow grad workers in GSOC