SUBJECT: Bargaining Recap: NYU wanted mediation, but continued stonewalling.
PREVIEW TEXT: Through 10 hours of mediation, we narrowed and refined our proposals. NYU had no response.
A huge number of you turned out for our first session with a mediator. While NYU continued to stonewall, presenting nothing, we set out a full contract outline, compromising on and dropping many proposals while retaining strong, transformative demands. We were willing to end the strike last night if NYU accepted. They did not, and had no counter-proposals. We bargain again today, Friday, April 30th, at 3pm. The strike continues!
Let’s keep the pressure on!
What did mediation look like?
We entered mediation with Todd Austin from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) yesterday. The platform for mediation is RingCentral, which is much like Zoom. The session opened with everyone in the same room: GSOC, the NYU bargaining committee and the mediator. Shortly after, GSOC and NYU moved to separate rooms, with the mediator moving back and forth between us This created long pauses during the session, which lasted over ten hours. Over 150 grad workers attended to observe the session, demonstrating to both NYU and the mediator the collective strength behind our demands.
What did NYU present?
What did we present?
Three graduate workers offered testimonials. One detailed the inadequate housing accommodations for workers with disabilities to impress upon NYU the importance of our equity and inclusion demands. Other workers spoke about the tax issues international workers face to give evidence against NYU’s claim that existing services are adequate to the needs of international and immigrant workers.
We presented a new and narrower set of proposals that thoroughly detailed modifications to our current contract. We changed and dropped proposals, while retaining strong, transformative demands that we know are most important to you. We were willing to end the strike last night if NYU accepted our refined set of proposals.
We maintained demands such as our $32 hourly wage, 40% tuition waivers, full coverage of all dental services and procedures through Stu-Dent, and $9,000 childcare subsidies for children under 6.
We modified our demand for out-of-pocket healthcare coverage by accepting NYU’s proposed fund structure, but proposed increasing the fund from NYU’s proposed $200K to $500K in the first year of the contract rising to $1M by the end of a proposed 4 year contract. $1M would cover the median out-of-pocket costs per member as reported in our recent survey. We accepted NYU’s offer for a group legal plan, but asked for a subsidized rate. NYU had offered it to us at the same cost as other employees. And we lowered our demands for the funds for tax and legal assistance for international and immigrant workers.
We dropped proposals such as housing stipends and free metrocards, an equity and inclusion fund, and compensation for the bargaining committee.
How did NYU respond?
They said nothing, and presented no counter proposals. We learned that NYU wants GSOC to drop things that they deem to be non-mandatory subjects of bargaining. NYU did not share with the mediator what specific proposals they thought were non-mandatory, nor did they give any indication of what they were willing to bargain on. This is another instance of NYU’s stalling. We agreed to mediation at their request, but NYU remains intransigent.
After making us wait until nearly 11pm, NYU said they needed more time to respond to our proposals.
What happens next?
We will meet NYU with the mediator again today, Friday, April 30, at 3pm. Download the RingCentral App in advance to observe, and click to RSVP below. Our strike continues.
Join us on the picket line today for a day of action. Bernie Sanders will call in to the picket line in support of our strike and we’ll hear from DSA candidates for public office, followed by a Cops off Campus Speak Out.