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ACT-UAW–Part-Time Faculty Successor Contract Negotiations Update: Mediation Session 5

Extensive Union and University Mediation this Week – Mediation to Continue at 2:30pm This Afternoon

The New School and Local 7902 met with a federal mediator for the fifth time yesterday as we work towards a new agreement for part-time faculty. Wednesday’s mediation session began at 5:00pm.

We greatly appreciate the mediator’s continued dedication and skilled efforts to bring both parties closer together in our positions, particularly during lengthy sessions this week.

Earlier this week, Monday’s extensive fourth mediation session continued until 3:00am on Tuesday, during which Local 7902’s bargaining team presented a thoughtful response to the concept advanced by the university and promised to present a set of ideas later in the day.

After reconvening for one hour at 10:00am on Tuesday, the union presented what it characterized as its bottom line, which unfortunately still leaves the parties significantly far apart on key economic and noneconomic terms. 

During the Wednesday session, the university responded to the union’s plan and demonstrated how the university’s most recent position on compensation, retirement, medical and dental benefits, and the guarantees of course assignments already built into the existing contract compares extremely favorably to peer institutions. The university asked the union to strongly consider the strength of its total package, and then suggested potential modifications during this mediation session.

Unfortunately, the union again rejected the university’s response and declared that its stated position from the Tuesday session was, in fact, its bottom line. The union then asked to caucus around 8:30pm. The parties remained in separate caucuses until approximately midnight and will resume mediation at 2:30pm on Thursday, December 8, and again on Friday, December 9 at 9:30am. 

While the mediation process continues, the union has the ability to call off the strike at any time so that part-time faculty can return to the classroom to support our students and ensure that they have a strong end to the semester.

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