FAQ for faculty

See below for answers to questions that may be of interest to faculty. Email us if you have questions that aren’t answered below!

GSOC-UAW Local 2110 is the union representing graduate employees at NYU in negotiations over terms and conditions of their employment since 1998. From 2002 to 2005, GSOCers were the first private university graduate employees to have concluded a union contract with their employer. That contract increased graduate stipends by an average of 38%, secured fully paid health insurance premiums for the first time, and made NYU competitive with universities like Harvard, Yale, and M.I.T. for attracting top talent to its graduate programs.

GSOC is a union for working graduate union at NYU. Currently, students appointed to the following positions are covered by the agreement with NYU:

  • Graduate students (Master’s/Ph.D.) who teach classes or have appointed teaching assistantships or laboratory assistantships (except Ph.D. student adjuncts beyond the 7th year and MBA candidates at Stern)
  • Research assistants (with exceptions at Poly and GSAS STEM departments)
  • Graduate & course assistants (with exception at the School of Medicine)
  • Graduate student workers in a range of miscellaneous positions, who are employed by NYU

To read about the exceptions, click here.

There are many benefits to graduate employee unionism.

  • Unionization pushes back against the march of precarity in academic labor. Unionizing acts as a bulwark against common features of contemporary precarity in academia: unequal funding packages for grad students and growing rates of adjunct and contingent faculty positions. Unionization of graduate workers is crucial both to equipping the next generation of workers to challenge these trends.
  • Unionizing creates a better environment for our growth as workers, students, and people. Through our union, we have recourse to grieve unsafe and unfair working conditions. Our contract supports our health and well-being and the well-being of our dependents. It provides us with annual compensation raises, healthcare subsidies, free dental care coverage, access to dependent health care funding, and funding for child care. These provisions make it easier for us to do our jobs and to thrive in our programs.
  • Unionizing prepares us for our future after graduate school. Through actively participating in our union, we develop skills to advocate for ourselves and our colleagues. We reach out across department, school, and university lines to form relationships that prove personally fulfilling and professionally useful.

Departments should be aware of their responsibilities, as stated in our union contract. Some important duties of which departments should be aware include:

  • Posting employment opportunities: All graduate employment opportunities have to be posted so that all eligible students know that they can apply.
  • Timely provision of appointment letters: Appointment letters must be provided to students at least 10 business days before the appointment starts, minimally stating the position’s salary, duration, and expected average hours per week.
  • Compensation rates: Graduate student adjuncts should be compensated according to the Adjunct Union rate, with the same salary per contact hour.
  • Permission for students to initiate grievances: If a graduate worker believes that the terms of the contract have been violated, they are entitled to initiate a grievance and must be permitted to have union representation with them at every step of the procedure.

Faculty have contributed significantly to GSOC over our campaign’s many years. Faculty can continue to support us by:

  • Learning about our contract and committing to follow–or exceed–its workplace protections.
  • Respecting your graduate students’ decisions regarding their levels of participation in GSOC.
  • Advocating for amiable relations with the union within your department.

If you would like to get more involved with us or wish to reach out to request solidarity, please get in touch with our Political Solidarity committee.