Messages to the Community

Next week’s student worker election on unionization

As you may know, next week, The New School’s graduate research and teaching assistants and those in certain other student positions will vote to determine if they wish to be represented by a union. This election was approved by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The University has worked closely with the NLRB and the UAW on arrangements for the election to take place on campus, and we look forward to hosting it.

Our university deeply respects both the process and the fundamental right of our student workers to determine whether union representation is best for them. We believe strongly that students should have access to a wide range of information, from a variety of sources, which they can analyze critically in making their own judgments about the election. We have provided basic facts via this FAQ.

I encourage every eligible student to participate in this election. The outcome will be decided by a simple majority of those who vote, and the result will be binding. That is, if union representation is approved, all students in the covered positions will be represented by SENS-UAW and will become members of SENS-UAW according to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

The New School also has asked the NLRB to review one, limited aspect of its recent decision regarding a potential union of student employees. This request for review focuses solely on which specific positions at the university should be included in a potential union. This is part of our ongoing commitment to evaluate all issues based on what is best for all students at The New School. This review will not delay or in any way interfere with the schedule for next week’s vote.

TAs, RAs, and other student workers make tremendous contributions to The New School’s academic mission, and, regardless of the outcome of the election, we look forward to working together and to supporting their success at The New School and beyond.

David Van Zandt, President 

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