In May 2017, an overwhelming majority (99.6%) of Research Assistants, Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, and other academic student workers democratically chose SENS-UAW as their union, authorizing the union to bargain collectively with the New School’s administration over their working conditions. Though bargaining began in August 2017, the administration has stalled by refusing to negotiate fairly over economic proposals, delaying access to much-needed healthcare coverage, wage increases, and child care funds.
We, the undersigned faculty, recognize that academic student workers play an essential role in fulfilling our university’s mission by educating our students and conducting critical research. It is paramount that the administration respect the bargaining process and address their working conditions with the urgency and seriousness required. The New School was founded upon principles of social and economic justice, and as such, our institution must not delay the bargaining process with academic student employees any longer.
We urge the leadership of The New School to bargain in good faith with SENS-UAW in order to reach a contract by the end of this semester. In response to stalled negotiations, SENS-UAW members have authorized their bargaining committee, with a vote of 99.4% in favor, to set a strike deadline. We support academic student workers in exercising their rights under federal labor law, including the right to strike, in order to achieve a contract this semester.