On the heels of a state budget that directed millions in aid towards New York University (NYU), state legislators issued a letter to NYU leadership in support of workers striking since Monday, urging them to return to the bargaining table
Contact: Jackson Fischer-Ward (Epstein), email@example.com, 718-208-6153
Jay Simpson, GSOC-UAW Press Committee (GSOC-UAW), firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK, NY –– Assemblymember Harvey Epstein (D-Manhattan) delivered a letter in support of striking GSOC-UAW workers to NYU President Andrew Hamilton and Provost Kate Fleming signed by 20 of his colleagues.
“GSOC-UAW members have worked tirelessly through a deadly global pandemic, helping to ensure students could continue making progress towards their degrees. Graduate student workers are essential to the operation of a university and their wages and benefits should reflect that. My colleagues and I stand in solidarity with GSOC-UAW workers!” said Assemblymember Epstein.
GSOC-UAW members voted overwhelmingly to initiate a strike that began on Monday April 26th after 10 months of negotiations failed to yield an agreement. Currently, many of the 2,000-plus graduate student workers earn less than $30,000 annually, placing them in the very low- to extremely low-income bands calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“NYU continues to come to the bargaining table empty handed, stonewalling, even now with the services of a federally-appointed mediator. This is unacceptable and the NYU community deserves better. Graduate working conditions are undergraduate learning conditions. The demands for which we are striking—living wages, comprehensive healthcare, workplace protections, and more—stand to strengthen, not weaken, the academic community at NYU,” said GSOC-UAW bargaining committee member Colin Vanderberg.
New York State Assemblymembers’ solidarity with GSOC-UAW joins that of public officials and candidates seeking office. On Wednesday April 28th, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders expressed his support, stating: “I stand in solidarity with GSOC-UAW graduate workers at NYU who are on strike for living wages, affordable health care, and decent working conditions. We are fighting for college for all and dignity for the workers who make our universities great.” Sanders virtually addressed striking graduate workers at their Picket Day of Action Friday April 30th at 11am, alongside in-person solidarity from New York City Council candidates Brandon West and Alexa Avilés.
A copy of the final letter is reprinted below:2021-04-30-GSOC-UAW-NYSA
About GSOC-UAW 2110: In 2001, the Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC), part of United Auto Workers Local 2110, became the first recognized union of graduate employees at a private university in the United States. We are a member-run union of over 2,000 NYU teaching assistants, adjunct instructors, research assistants, and hourly workers. Our last collective bargaining agreement was signed March 9, 2015, on the deadline for a worker strike. Our current strike started April 26, 2021.