2012-13 Open Letter for Union Recognition


More than 1,250 RAs, TAs, and GAs from NYU and NYU-Poly have now signed onto our open letter urging NYU to respect our democratic choice on unionization. Read the full letter below.

Graduate employees help make NYU a world-leading university. Working with faculty and other staff, graduate employees provide quality education to thousands of undergraduates and perform cutting-edge research projects that sustain innovation while generating lucrative grant dollars.

When the law required NYU to respect the right to collective bargaining, a majority of graduate employees chose Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC/UAW) and bargained improvements to pay, benefits and rights in a 2002 contract that graduate employees and NYU both hailed as a landmark agreement. In 2005, however, the NYU administration took advantage of weakened laws to deny this right and refused to bargain a second contract.

Despite NYU using every possible tactic to deny the democratic right to choose a union since then, a majority of NYU graduate employees have repeatedly asserted support for representation by GSOC/UAW, and now SET/UAW at NYU-Poly, and continue to seek justice and respect.

With the likely restoration of graduate employees’ legal right to collective bargaining, we, the undersigned, urge the NYU and NYU-Poly administration to publicly commit to respecting union and democratic rights for graduate employees by publicly agreeing to the following:

  • NYU will refrain from any further legal or other actions that would delay graduate employees’ exercising their right to choose representation by GSOC/UAW and SET/UAW,
  • NYU will ensure a free and fair election process for voting on UAW representation during which NYU does not in any way attempt to influence graduate employees to vote yes or no, and
  • NYU will immediately commence bargaining in good faith for a contract upon certification of a majority vote by graduate employees for GSOC/UAW representation.