Momentum grows in New York City as New School RAs and TAs join colleagues at NYU and Columbia by voting overwhelmingly for UAW
New York City – Research and teaching assistants at The New School voted by an overwhelming margin – 502 to 2 – in favor of United Auto Workers representation in a recent union election, the National Labor Relations Board’s New York regional office confirmed today.
“We are extremely excited by this overwhelming vote in support of our Union,” said Zoe Carey, a PhD student in Sociology who has worked as an RA and TA and has been an active member of the Student Employees at the New School/UAW (SENS-UAW) organizing committee. “After nearly three years of legal delays, we look forward to starting to bargain with the administration for long overdue improvements to our teaching and research conditions.”
Today’s news is the latest in a string of recent academic organizing victories for UAW in the Northeastern region. Since late 2013, nearly 10,000 academic workers – student research and teaching assistants and contingent faculty – have become part of the UAW in the greater New York City area, including at New York University and its Tandon School of Engineering, Columbia University, Barnard College and the University of Connecticut.
Thousands of graduate workers are also organizing to join the UAW in the Boston region. Nearly 1,000 RAs and TAs will vote in an NLRB election on September 12 and 13, and a new election has been ordered at Harvard University after the regional NLRB determined that Harvard failed to provide an accurate voter list in an inconclusive vote last November.
In August of last year, the UAW won a historic NLRB decision at Columbia University that graduate research and teaching assistants at private universities are entitled to collective bargaining rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Despite an intense anti-union campaign by Columbia administrators, RAs and TAs voted by an overwhelming 1602-623 margin in a December 2016 NLRB election to unionize with the UAW. This decision opened the door to thousands of other graduate workers organizing, and also led to the May election at The New School. The United Auto Workers are proud to support them in these efforts.
“It’s very rewarding to see these millennials leading the way. Their determination to win their union is an inspiration to our UAW members and to union workers everywhere,” said Julie Kushner, Director of UAW Region 9A. “We have a long, successful history working with part-time faculty at The New School and look forward to building on that relationship as we move into bargaining a contract.”
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