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ACT-UAW Local 7902 Delays Vote on Tentative Agreement

A Message from Dr. Dwight A. McBride, President and University Professor

To The New School Community,

On December 10th, The New School and ACT-UAW Local 7902 reached a ground-breaking tentative agreement for our part-time faculty. With the help of a federal mediator, both sides found common ground and finalized all aspects of this new contract – from higher compensation to expanded healthcare coverage. (Read the 12/10/22 agreement and the 12/20/22 clarified versions in response to questions posed by the union.)

In the signed tentative agreement, the union’s leadership pledged to bring the contract to its members for a vote by December 17th. Unfortunately, they did not honor this commitment regarding the vote. The time has come for union leadership to bring this tentative agreement to its members for ratification.  

The union’s leadership team is now demanding new changes that alter both the scope of the tentative agreement and the cost of the contract in significant ways. The tentative agreement is a strong, fair contract that demonstrates deep respect for the contributions of our part-time faculty, as well as one that sets new standards for part-time faculty nationwide. The contract will put significant strain on university finances, but we believe it is an important step forward in our collective mission of teaching and learning.

The contract includes all of the union’s compensation demands, plus additional compensation for part-time faculty’s work to prepare for courses in advance of the semester start. The contract also provides a supplemental bonus of $2,100 recognizing the work of part-time faculty union members who taught during the pandemic. Other key components of the contract include:

  • Significant enhancements to healthcare and retirement benefits;  
  • Annualized status after 10 semesters, down from the current contract threshold, a benefit that is extremely uncommon at most universities;
  • Additional pathways to full-time faculty appointments exclusively available for members of our part-time faculty;
  • A new mechanism by which part-time faculty may grieve any disciplinary decisions stemming from an internal sexual harassment investigation; and
  • Enhanced tuition benefits.

Every section of the contract was discussed in great detail and fine-tuned under the watchful eye of a federal mediator before the union and the university reached this joint agreement on December 10th.

Once again, our sincere hope is that the union’s bargaining committee will move forward as both parties agreed and bring the tentative agreement to members for a ratification vote without further delay. Any further delay could significantly interfere with future enrollment and the start of the Spring semester.

We want nothing more than for the mission of teaching and learning to continue, and this contract demonstrates the vital and respected role that part-time faculty play at The New School. We know that our faculty want to be teaching their students, and students in return want to be learning from their instructors, both full-time and part-time.

The time for further delays or unexpected new changes to the signed tentative agreement has passed. It is time to vote on the contract and create a strong path forward for the university, our faculty, staff, and the students we serve, today and for generations to come.

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