NYU Graduate Employees Strike for Recognition
Graduate-student employees at New York University went on strike in November to protest the administration’s decision to stop dealing with the graduate-employee union. As this issue of Academe was going to press in December, the strike continued.
The graduate-employee union was originally certified by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 2000 and, in 2002, negotiated the first contract for graduate assistants at a private university. That decision granting bargaining rights to graduate employees at private universities was overturned, however, by the NLRB in 2004. The NLRB decision does not preclude the NYU administration from continuing to recognize the graduate employee union, but the administration has chosen not to do so.
“The AAUP is committed to supporting those academic employees who increasingly do a major portion of the university’s work, but who are often an exploited and underpaid workforce. The disempowerment of graduate employees is not healthy for the academy at large,” says AAUP president Jane Buck. She encouraged its members to support the NYU graduate employees by sending letters of support to the NYU administration and by taking part in strike actions.
Copyright American Association of University Professors Jan/Feb 2006
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