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Update on Negotiations with SENS-UAW Local 7902, Academic Student Workers Union

A Message from Sonya Williams, Vice President for Human Resources

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

We are writing to share an update on our progress with SENS-UAW Local 7902—the union representing our 1,000 Academic Student Workers, including teaching assistants, teaching fellows, research assistants, course assistants, and tutors.

Since our meeting last Monday, the university has worked quickly to be responsive to the union’s requests and issues raised. As of today, we have responded to the union’s July 12th extensive information request and are working to produce, on a rolling basis, those documents the union is entitled to receive.

In addition, the university is in alignment with the union’s bargaining committee that bargaining sessions should be open to any member of our community who wishes to view negotiations. We have offered to make the necessary logistical and technical arrangements to provide this option in real time. A link to video recordings would also be made available on our Union Negotiations page after each session so that anyone who does not have the flexibility to watch live can catch up later. As a further step towards ensuring mutual transparency, we have asked that the union also commit to publishing their written proposals on their website, just like the university is doing.   

As a reminder, while the university is ready and available to meet any time, the union’s bargaining team has still not provided any dates for bargaining other than August 7—which will only be our second bargaining session, despite our repeated efforts and offers to meet since June 1. Whenever a collective bargaining agreement is about to expire, the months leading up to the expiration date are generally a key period for negotiations. With only five weeks left to bargain towards a new contract, we hope the union’s bargaining team will demonstrate it is acting in good faith by returning to the table on August 7 with substantive responses and suggested modifications to our opening offer. We value the contributions that our academic student workers make to the university and take seriously the experiences of student workers that were shared at our first meeting, which is why we hope that the union’s bargaining team will present a concrete set of proposals at our next meeting.

We are committed to remaining transparent throughout the process and will share updates on our Union Negotiations page. You can also stay updated by signing up for email updates here and by following @knowournewschool on Twitter and Instagram.

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