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ACT-UAW–Part-Time Faculty Successor Contract Negotiations Update: Session 25

On Thursday, November 10, The New School was scheduled to bargain with ACT-UAW Local 7902, the union representing part-time faculty during an eleven hour session.   

The university came to the table at 9:00 AM for the fifth day of consecutive bargaining, prepared to provide the union with responses to three proposals the union presented the day before: Pay Day, Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, and Emergency Instance/Safe & Sick Leave. In turn, the university’s bargaining team expected to hear the union’s presentation on the twelve proposals to which the union owed the university a response.    

When the session began, the union’s bargaining committee said that it had nothing to present to the university at that time, and asked for time during the negotiations session to prepare. The university agreed to a caucus and returned after lunch to exchange proposals with the union. The university made movement toward reaching agreement on the outstanding non-economic proposals named above, and reached tentative agreements on the union’s bundled proposals on Bargaining Unit Info, Dues, and V-Cap (UAW’s political action fund). 

After the university’s presentation, the union once again advised the university that it needed to caucus in order to work on its proposals. Despite being afforded nearly eight hours to prepare, the union remained unprepared and canceled the meeting at 6:00pm without providing any responses or updated proposals to the university.

We have now been at the table for 25 sessions, and the union has demonstrated little to no movement on outstanding items, while the university has repeatedly shown its willingness to move in the direction of the union’s requests.

To help us move closer to an agreement that works for everyone, The New School has strongly suggested to the union that we engage a jointly selected, independent mediator; however, the union continues to insist that more progress be made before it is willing to engage a mediator—despite its own delay. We urge the union to agree to help get negotiations to a swift resolution.

While we still remain apart on key issues, we know that the members of Local 7902 care deeply about the institution and our students’ academic experience. We also know our part-time faculty— as do all of our community members—understand that educating our students is our mission; that is what has brought all of us together at this university. Therefore, we expectantly await the union’s responses to outstanding proposals during today’s full-day session.

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