How We Are Planning for a Possible Strike by ACT-UAW Local 7902
This weekend, The New School’s part-time faculty members represented by ACT-UAW Local 7902 will complete their vote on whether to authorize a strike, as the union and the university continue to work towards a contract renewal. We know that the prospect of a strike creates uncertainty for students, their families, staff, and faculty, and we want to communicate some important information to you directly.
- No strike has been called at this time. This vote is a procedural step that gives the union’s bargaining committee the authority to call a strike at a future date, if the bargaining committee decides to do so.
- We respect the union’s right to strike once the contract has expired and, of course, sincerely hope they will choose not to. At the same time, it would be irresponsible for the university to ignore the possibility of a strike; therefore, as a result of the union’s upcoming strike authorization vote, we are conducting contingency planning so that we can minimize disruptions to our academic mission and operations.
- If the union decides to call a strike, The New School is committed to ensuring that academic learning continues and to minimizing any impact on students’ financial aid, visas, or graduation requirements that union action could create. More details will be shared in the coming days, if necessary, about the plans being developed to ensure fall courses are completed on time and with minimal inconvenience to our community.
It is important to note that the university has listened carefully to our part-time faculty and representatives of the union throughout this process. We have made significant movement during negotiations and have proposed a strong, fair $31.7 million contract that includes pay increases, new paid leave benefits, a significant retirement benefit, and a unique path to full-time employment, among many other enhancements. The package also includes expanded medical benefits. You can review the proposal here. The New School also has strongly suggested to the union that we engage an independent mediator to facilitate a swift agreement so that the university can continue to deliver an exceptional student experience.
This competitive compensation offer and request to work with a mediator is a sincere and good faith effort by the university to reach a resolution that works for everyone. We hope that union leadership will respond in the same spirit. Although both parties feel strongly about their positions, we are united in our pride in our institution and our commitment to our students.
We will continue to keep you updated and encourage you to visit the university’s labor relations website for accurate information.