We, the members of SENS-UAW, denounce the New School administration’s unacceptable attempts to avoid responsibility and accountability by keeping late-pay protections out of our contract.
Administrative negligence has forced academic student workers across all five colleges to wait weeks or months for their paychecks. We rely on our wages for our bills (including tuition), rent, and food. When the university improperly pays us or fails to pay us on time, we have to scramble to secure our means of subsistence and are thereby prevented from fully participating in the New School’s academic community.
Our bargaining committee has made a proposal regarding clear and timely payments which would guarantee our right to be paid on time, create clear procedures for employee onboarding, establish a redress procedure for workers who are paid improperly, and require The New School to pay a fee on late wages. Rather than welcome these improvements, the administration has refused to agree to any protections against late pay in our contract, demanding that we simply trust them to fix the problem without the protection of an enforceable contract.
We’ve consistently and publicly raised this issue since we formed our union in 2014, but the administration has systematically failed to address it. This is unacceptable. The administration’s suggestion that we leave such a vital issue out of our contract is demeaning and disrespectful. We did not fight for three years to form a union only to make non-binding verbal agreements. We are at the bargaining table because our livelihoods are on the line, and we will not accept a contract that does not include protections against late and improper payment.
We demand a contract that guarantees fair wages and good working conditions, and we demand that the administration fulfill its obligation to negotiate a meaningful contract that will create better teaching, researching, and learning conditions across the university.