SENS-UAW

A Timeline of SENS-UAW history and Bargaining Negotiations with THE NEWSCHOOL

2015-05-30 00:00:00

National Review Board

The National Labor Relation’s Board Regional Director made a decision on our case to re-establish the legal right to collective bargaining for student workers at private universities. Our petition was dismissed due to precedence set by the federal board in the 2004 Brown University decision. The decision upholding the rights of student workers to organize was re-established in the Columbia decision in August 2016.

2015-08-13 09:25:19

NEWSCHOOL Opposes Review

THE NEWSCHOOL Opposes Review REQUEST FOR REVIEW: SENS-UAW Request for Review [August 13, 2015] | The New School Opposition to Request for Review [August 20, 2015]

2015-10-21 09:25:19

NLRB Grants Review

The National Labor Review Board Grants our request to review our right to collectively bargain as student workers

2017-07-21 09:25:19

SENS-UAW Certified by NLRB

After our overwhelming vote in support of unionization in May, and despite years of legal obstructions by the New School’s administration, the NLRB certified our union in July 2017

2017-09-20 07:18:19

1st Bargaining Meeting :)

On Wednesday September 20th, our newly-elected bargaining committee sat down for our first negotiation session with The New School. Management responded to some of our initial proposals around basic contract language with no major additions or agreements. We are still waiting for The New School to give us some information about the unit from our initial info request, but now that we have an elected committee, we will start working through the information from our bargaining survey to start putting together our initial proposals around the issues that matter to us.

2017-10-12 22:07:41

Pay Discrepancies : /

On Thursday October 12, the Bargaining Committee met with New School management for the fifth time this semester. We continued to press the University to provide us with information about the unit from our initial information request. The Bargaining Committee then presented the University with a report regarding pay discrepancies based on data the University previously supplied. This report includes information from Spring 2014 through Spring 2017 and details numerous occasions in which Academic Student Workers (ASWs) were paid late and (possibly) not fully paid for work completed in their respective academic positions. The University is now investigating these matters, which we will continue to address at subsequent bargaining sessions. In addition, we presented concrete examples about how pay stubs don’t disaggregate wages if an ASW is working in multiple positions with the same title (TA, RA, etc.) and demonstrating that some workers have yet to be paid for work that started in late August. Lastly, we presented four proposals that address the following issues: Intellectual Property; Disability Access; Health and Safety & Labor Management Committee; and Office Space and Equipment. The University is currently reviewing these proposals. We are continuing to draft our key proposals, including economic items such as wages and healthcare.

2017-10-19 22:07:41

NEWSCHOOL Still Doesn't Provide Worker Info. >: 0

On Thursday October 19, the Bargaining Committee met with New School management for the sixth time this semester. The request for the University to provide information remains an open question – the nature and depth of the information that the University is willing to provide is still under discussion. New School management then presented the Bargaining Committee with three proposed responses on topics discussed last week: Intellectual Property, Disability Access and Office Space/Equipment. The nature and language of these proposals was discussed to some extent during the meeting, but will be subject to further review by the Bargaining Committee. The Bargaining Committee will continue to draft key proposals on economic issues such as healthcare and wages, as well as non-economic issues including grievance procedures, harassment, non-discrimination and job security. In our attempts to continue to shed light on the systemic, serious and pressing issue of late payments, four testimonials (including, in some cases, pay figures, data and communication records) were provided by student workers and discussed during the meeting. Issues touched upon during these discussions included late payments, non-payments, poorly defined or unclear work and payment specifications, as well as specific issues faced by international students in receiving payments. Between student pay databases, concrete examples and testimonials, the Bargaining Committee hopes to bring to light the seriousness of the pay gap issue at the New School.

2017-10-30 01:22:05

Late Pay : /

On Monday October 30th, we met with The New School management for the seventh time this semester. We began by discussing the University’s failure to provide us vital information about the bargaining unit which is preventing us from putting together our key proposals. We also had to remind management that they have failed to provide a description of the procedure to be followed by workers who have not been paid or who have been underpaid, as discussed in the last bargaining session on October 19th. We then presented ten new proposals and one revised proposal to the management. These proposals are on Clear and Timely Payments, Travel and Meal Allowance, Job Training, Leaves of Absence, assistance for International Student Workers in obtaining a Social Security Number, Tax Preparation Services for International Student Workers, Job Postings, Employee Assistance Program, Financial Statements (for the purpose of demonstrating financial position when renting an apartment etc.), Hiring and Job Security, and a revision of Grievance and Arbitration proposal. We discussed the nature and language of these proposals and management expressed their reservations. In particular, they raised concerns about the proposal to increase the reporting period for cases of discriminatory harassment (including sexual harassment) from 20 days to 365 days, while at the same time their attorney said they would of course investigate a claim of sexual harassment even if it came in on day 367. The administration also said they are unwilling to consider paying a fee for late payments. This is despite the significant financial costs we bear as Academic Student Workers (ASWs), including a $150 fee if we pay our tuition late. Given management’s formal reiteration to solve the problem of late-payment of wages, we request all ASWs who are struggling with late pay or underpayment issues to contact the Union with their specific problems (giving as much detail about start of employment, paydays, payment received, and yet to receive, etc.) at sensuaw@gmail.com. Someone from the Union will get back to you and assist you with navigating the New School Human Resources procedures. If you are unsure about whether you are being properly paid, please contact the Union and we will assist you. Attached is a document to help you find out whether you might be missing any wages.

2017-11-14 01:22:05

Late Pay cont'd : /

Last Tuesday, the Union had another negotiation session with the New School administration. We made progress on several issues such as travel expenses, generally agreeing on the principle that academic student workers should be reimbursed for off-campus travel costs for work assignments. We have been organizing around the issue of late pay since we came together to form a union back in 2014. It remains a staggering issue, with hundreds of student workers across all five colleges having been paid late at some point in the past few semesters. Although we had proposed to the Administration a contract article that ensured our right to be paid on time, established consequences (i.e. late fees) if the school paid us late, and laid out a procedure for how to get late payments corrected, the administration responded by dismissing our suggestions. Instead, they said they’d fix the late pay issue, asked us to trust them, and proposed leaving the issue out of the contract so we wouldn’t have any power to enforce on-time payments in the future. We didn’t form a union to get the administration’s lukewarm policies to attend to issues which affect our livelihoods. We need a contract so we can hold them to their word and ensure that we get paid on time in the future. To bring attention to the importance of our work and getting paid on time, we will be having a work-in in the University Center on November 30, from 10 AM – 10 PM. Come and help make your work visible!

2017-12-04 01:22:05

SENS-UAW Economic Proposals :)

We had another bargaining session with The New School Administration, and we presented them with our demands for higher wages, healthcare, childcare, and retirement benefits! The demands included immediate raises for all academic student workers and annual raises each year afterwards, funds for childcare for all workers with dependents, and free access to The New School’s health insurance plan for any semesters while working. We explained to the administration that student workers have been underpaid and overworked for so long, these demands are meant to bring us up to the basic level of compensation we deserve for the critical work we do making the school run. In addition, we explained that providing for healthcare and childcare are absolutely essential for making the school a more inclusive environment and giving more people the chances to stay at the school, work, and participate in the school’s academic life. We won’t win these demands unless we have a strong showing of support from all our members. Sign the late pay letter! Come to a membership meeting! Talk to your coworkers! Let’s join together and win a contract with real economic gains!

2017-12-17 23:29:36

Non-Econ Proposals :)

On Tuesday December 12, we had our final negotiation session of the fall semester with the New School administration. During the session, we presented several new non-economic proposals and offered counters to proposals that the administration had previously responded to. We have made progress and are close to a full agreement on Travel & Meal Allowance and Bulletin Boards. However, for some proposals, such as Disability Rights and Access and Leaves of Absence (paid sick leave and family leave), the university only agrees to a bare minimum of following city and state regulation. As we have been talking more about economic demands, the administration continues to push the narrative that such demands are costly and potentially not realistic. We know The New School has plenty of financial capital-they’re paying David Van Zandt a salary of over one million dollars and hired legal counsel to fight our union efforts for over three years. Nonetheless, we won’t re-open the topic of economic demands until the administration offers counter-proposals. Today was the last bargaining session for Mark Rafferty and Katherine (Rose) Fox, as they are graduating this semester. Congrats, Mark and Rose! When we return from the break, bargaining committee nominations will open and we will have an election to fill their spots

2018-02-07 23:29:36

Onboarding Process >: 0

Since the end of the fall term, the SENS-UAW Bargaining Committee has met with The New School management four more times. At our most recent session, management presented us with a proposal about “Hiring & Job Security.” While management recognizes the need to improve their onboarding processes and has outlined steps to do so in their response to several of our proposals, they have not addressed the problem of late pay. While they admit that we are the only group of workers at The New School that experience such difficulties with payment, they will not agree to include protections against late pay in the contract. The protections we proposed included notification of payment options in the case of a missed or inaccurate paycheck, prompt replies to inquiries about missed or inaccurate pay, and a small fee. Management has responded to several other proposals and for the most part has refused the terms of our demands. For example, we have proposed that all Academic Student Workers (ASWs) have access to the Faculty Resource Center in the University Center to which they replied that only Teaching Fellows shall have access, which is the current policy. Management also rejected our proposal that ASWs who require accommodations not have to submit paperwork to two offices (Student Disabilities Services and Human Resources). Management argues that such a demand is unreasonable because it would require communication between SDS and HR. In addition, we have not yet agreed to a dispute and grievance procedure because management is resisting our insistence that workers should have the right to file grievances related to sexual harassment and discrimination through the union’s grievance procedure in addition to filing a Title IX complaint. Instead, management wants to limit ASWs to one route of redress. In the coming weeks, we expect to hear back from management about our economic proposals including wage increases, tuition and fee waivers, healthcare benefits, childcare subsidies, and retirement benefits. Please make sure to sign our letter about late pay, which will be presented to President Van Zandt and management. Lastly, congratulations to Raven Hetzler and Louisa Strothman on being elected to the SENS-UAW Bargaining Committee!

2018-02-13 23:29:36

Discrimination and Harrassment : /

Yesterday we met with management and presented six updated proposals covering health and safety, the union grievance procedure, tax preparation services for workers, family and sick leave, and hiring and job security. We also presented our open letter regarding late pay, signed by 440 students, and reiterated to the administration the importance of including strong protections against late payment in our contract. Finally, we stressed the need for a robust procedure for addressing discriminatory harassment (including sexual harassment) and informed the administration that their current position — limiting harassment victims’ options for redress — is unacceptable. On the other side of the table, the administration presented a single proposal in which they removed language requiring the university to provide offer letters to hired students. The most outrageous part — this was language that they had proposed themselves! We will continue to fight our hardest to win a fair contract for us at the bargaining table, but if we are to win a truly strong collective agreement we will all need to be ready to take the fight beyond the bargaining table. Stay tuned!

2018-02-28 23:29:36

Strike Authorizaiton Vote

We want a fair contract this semester! A strong vote will empower the bargaining committee to set a strike deadline, should the administration continue to prolong the bargaining process. In addition, There are three ways you can cast your ballot: At the roving ballot boxes which SENS-UAW members will be taking around the campus between Monday - Friday, February 26th - March 2nd. Voting stations will be located in the lobbies of the List Center (6 East 16th St), the University Center (63 5th Ave), and Arnhold Hall (55 West 13th St) from 12:00 to 4:00 on February 28th, March 1st, and March 2nd. At the membership meeting on Friday, March 2nd in the Social Justice Hub, from 3pm - 5pm. Make sure your voice is heard and send a strong message to the university administration that we will not stop until we reach an agreement for a just and fair contract.

2018-03-03 23:29:36

VICTORY! Grievance Procedures :)

Great news! We made good progress last week and reached a tentative agreement on an important contractual agreement that lays out our grievance, dispute and arbitration procedure. This agreement makes significant progress in a matter of critical importance to student workers at the New School and in universities across the country. Additionally, we reached a tentative agreement securing our rights to unrestricted access to all and any available recourse for victims of sexual harassment and discrimination. This will allow student workers to use the contracted grievance and arbitration procedure to address harassment and discrimination in addition to any university policies, Title IX, and any legal or civil processes they want to pursue. Congratulations on this huge victory! It should come as no surprise that we made progress the week after we announced the results of our overwhelmingly successful strike authorization vote. Our wins as a union have always come as a result of our show of strength as a unit at the bargaining table and beyond. However, the university still refuses to seriously engage our proposals on wages, benefits and late pay. We need to stay engaged and keep pushing to win this contract and show the administration how important these issues are to us.

2018-03-05 23:29:36

Strike Authorization PASSED!

A huge congratulations to all: We had a massive turnout and overwhelming support for our strike authorization vote! 99.4% and a majority of student workers from all departments, across all colleges, voted YES to authorize our bargaining committee to call a strike! The bargaining committee is now empowered to call for a strike if necessary in order to win a fair contract. Stay tuned for upcoming news from the bargaining table.

2018-04-05 23:29:36

NEWSCHOOL Refuses To Give Economic Proposals

Yesterday, the administration refused to give us their economic proposals, despite having assured us previously that we would have something to negotiate over this week. Furthermore they refused to commit to giving us any economic proposals next week. At this point, we no longer believe The New School can claim to be bargaining in good faith. We want a contract this semester and they are willfully stalling. They have fought our right to unionize for years, and now they are stonewalling us at the bargaining table. Under the same, costly legal counsel of Doug Catalano, the administration is also in the process of laying off our unionized cafeteria workers, threatening to replace them with non-unionized workers. These are valued members of our community, some of whom have been with us for over 15 years. The belligerent anti-union stance of The New School administration violates the values of this institution. We have shown repeatedly, and democratically, that we want a strong contract and we will not accept any more delays. We won our union with a massive majority, and now our membership has authorized the bargaining committee to set a strike deadline if necessary. If The New School continues to bargain in bad faith, the struggle can no longer take place just at the table. We will have no choice but to take action.

2018-04-11 23:29:36

HR Sit-In!!!!!!

On 4/11/2018 SENS-UAW organized a sit-in at HR in 80 fifth ave in reaction to the administration’s failure to respond to the Union’s economic proposals on 4/4/2018. Our economic proposals regarding student wages, health care, and other financial concerns had been offered over 5 months ago, and the although the administration promised to present their own proposals on the 4/4/2018 meeting, their failure to do so demonstrated a long standing concern that the administration has been bargaining in bad faith with no intention to negotiate our economic demands. Thus, student workers in NSSR and undergrad supporters occupied HR and filed a series of late pay grievances from various students. Within an hour of the sit-in the administration sent down a representative from their bargaining committee who guaranteed that the administration will have counter economic proposals to present at the next bargaining meeting on 4/12/2018. With our demand met, the sit-in dissipated and some student workers moved to David Van Zandt’s office in 66 west 12th to do a teach-in in front of his office demonstrating student labour. Discussions and organizing were also held in solidarity and inclusion of other labour concerns being faced by New School cafeteria workers and Graduate Student Advisors. Further updates will be provided as to the deliverance of economic proposals from the administration at the bargaining meeting on 4/12/2018. If the administration again fails to negotiate student workers’ economic demands, further demonstrations and actions will be organized for Thursday 4/12 and Friday 4/13. Contact sensuaw@gmail.com for questions and involvement.

2018-04-11 23:29:36

Standing with Cafeteria Workers!

GFSS and SENs-UAW have been organizing in solidarity around the cafeteria workers having their contracts terminated and the administration not planning to re-hire any workers who were previously apart of the Unite 100 food service union. Thus, the administration is discriminating in its re-hiring practice against previous workers who have been associated with the Unite 100 food service union and who they think would potentially organize in future positions. People are organizing and putting up flyers in support of the current workers and GFSS stands in solidarity with the workers and has drafted a statement accordingly that will be sent to the administration.

2018-04-25 01:22:05

STRIKE DEADLINE SET!!!!

Empowered by a 99.4% strike authorization vote, we are calling for a strike by all academic student workers beginning at 10am on Tuesday May 8th, unless The New School agrees to a contract with a comprehensive economic package before this deadline. Calling for a strike is not something we do lightly. However, The New School refuses to bring a realistic economic proposal to the table, and, contrary to prior indications, appears determined to stall negotiations over the summer, rather than reach a fair agreement before the end of the semester. This is unacceptable and undemocratic, and accordingly we have determined that setting a strike deadline has become necessary. You will find below resources we can use to prepare and execute a successful strike -- as graduate student workers at Columbia are doing this week. We will meet regularly to discuss preparations (see below for times), and we welcome any questions, comments or concerns via email. In the coming days, we will all need to engage proactively with the broader New School community to educate them about the strike and our reasons for calling it, counteract any misleading claims made by the administration, and draw broader public attention to the ongoing exploitation of precarious academic student workers by this multi-million dollar institution. The Bargaining Committee will continue to work diligently and in good faith to resolve our remaining disagreements with the administration prior to May 8th, and thereafter if required. After three and a half years of fighting to get the contract we deserve, the end is finally in sight. It is time for the final push!

2018-04-30 23:29:36

NEWSCHOOL Delays Econ. Proposals

In the ten days between the administration's email of 17 April and its most recent email of 27 April, it provided ZERO additional written economic proposals. We are thus unsure what the administration considers it contributed to the "continued progress" its message of the 27th refers to. They are making a mockery of our need for better working conditions and protections. Indeed, from the outset of the democratic drive to unionize academic student labor at The New School in 2014, the administration has pursued costly legal measures to obstruct and delay our right to unionize (read more on our website). It is critical that students, faculty and the broader public understand why SENS-UAW is going on strike. We do not want to go on strike. We have been driven to this position, at this time, by the administration's intransigence at the bargaining table. Contrary to prior indications, we are no longer confident they will conclude a fair contract with us this semester to take effect in the Fall. We are withdrawing our labor in order to demonstrate to the administration how critical it is to the university's functioning. Clearly, it remains open to the administration to recognize the value of our labor without the need for a strike. To date, however, they have chosen not to do so. We intend to picket major university buildings. We encourage students, faculty, and others who might otherwise visit the campus to stand in solidarity with us and not cross the picket line. We encourage affected students and faculty members to contact their department chairs or directors of undergraduate studies to discuss any contingency plans they may be putting in place. More importantly, contact the administration to urge them to avoid a strike by coming to the table and negotiating a fair contract.

2018-05-02 01:22:05

NEWSCHOOL Won't Negotiate Childcare

Thank you to everyone who came out in support of both student and cafeteria workers yesterday! We had a huge and boisterous May Day rally outside the University Center and afterwards a large crowd went up to the second floor to join the occupation in support of the cafeteria workers. SENS-UAW continues to stand firmly in solidarity with cafeteria workers, and with the students taking action to support them. We also wish to the acknowledge the phenomenal support of New School faculty, over 270 of whom have signed a letter in support of our right to strike. The activation of the broader New School community in support of its unionized workers has had a clear impact at the bargaining table, with the university finally beginning to engage seriously on economic issues. After two negotiating sessions this week, and thanks to considerable pressure from the community for our strike deadline, the university finally gave us a more comprehensive proposal, including specifics on health care, tuition remission, and wages. Unfortunately their numbers are still far too low. While we are very close to agreements on many non-economic issues, the university has not agreed to our terms on protections for students to be paid on time. A key issue we wish to communicate to the membership is the administration's intransigence regarding childcare support. They continue to insist that they will not provide any support for childcare whatsoever, despite this being an indispensable component of making the New School an inclusive institution for students and workers with families. On Wednesday, the university expressed a will to conclude negotiations quickly. We intend to hold them to this. We have two more bargaining sessions scheduled this week and will remain available to bargain over the weekend and on Monday. As we move into this critical and fast-moving stage of negotiations, starting today we will be providing daily updates to the membership on progress at the table. We continue to encourage members to: Consult our guide to speaking to faculty about the strike here; Encourage students to sign our letter of support here; Read the letter of support from faculty here and encourage those faculty who have not yet signed to do so here; Consult our website for further information; Contact us directly with any further questions, concerns, ideas, or offers of assistance.

2018-05-06 01:22:05

STRIKE!!!!!!!!

Negotiations with The New School administration today failed to resolve the differences between us. Accordingly, members of SENS-UAW will be on strike from 10am Tuesday May 8th. There will be a strike prep meeting on Monday, May 7 at 8:30pm in Wolff Conference Room on the 11th floor of 16 East 16th Street. We are asking all members of our unit, as well as anyone wishing to stand in solidarity with us, to join us to finalize our strike plans. We will also be sending out more information shortly about picket lines and strike conduct. We have done everything we can to negotiate a fair contract without taking this step. At today’s bargaining session, in a final effort to get through to the administration, members of our unit shared powerful personal testimony. They spoke about their commitment to the ideals that brought them to The New School and to the work they do as academics, teachers, and researchers. They spoke directly to some of the issues on the negotiating table; their struggles with healthcare, childcare, and financial hardship, illustrating to the administration the urgency of our demands. The New School administration remained silent, and left it to the their external legal counsel to counter these deeply personal testimonials with an entirely predictable evasion of responsibility for the living conditions of the school’s own employees.

2018-05-07 01:22:05

Correcting the Administration's Story

We are deeply disappointed that the university has chosen to mischaracterize the course of events in bargaining in its most recent communication to the community. On Saturday, we had a mediated, on-the-record negotiation session, to which both parties brought and exchanged written economic proposals, both of which included movement from prior positions. At the time, neither party elected to shift position further, following that exchange. However, at the conclusion of this session, the administration indicated an openness to bargain on the evening of Monday 7 May 2018; this was a substantial shift on their part, from a previously categorical declaration that they were not able to bargain in the week of 7 May. While we are continuing strike preparations, we, of course, remain open to meet with the administration and hear what they have to say, and have never indicated otherwise. The Path Forward: Our proposals are more than fair in the context of student worker contracts in our peer institutions. We want our work to be recognized, valued and compensated and we want the New School to thrive as a bastion of progressive research and learning. This is what we are fighting for. In a gesture of good faith, we offered The New School new proposals on Saturday, at the same time making it clear that nothing other than a substantial, economically meaningful proposal on their part would keep us from the picket line. This is where both parties’ current proposals stand. Our strike deadline remains in place. We will send out more information about our strike and picket line plans later today

2018-05-08 01:22:05

Bargaining While On Strike

Dear SENS-UAW members We are encouraged by the incredible spirit and positive energy on our picket line, which stands in stark contrast to the admin’s cynical efforts to turn the campus community against our bargaining priorities. We are on strike because The New School thus far has failed to put a fair offer on the table that reflects the value we bring as teachers and researchers to this university. While we worked in earnest to reach an agreement last night that could have averted the strike, we are disappointed to see the admin continue to spend energy on misconstruing the bargaining process and the cost of our proposals, especially since we spent much of last night dealing with the fact that they had made significant errors in their calculations of those costs. We remain far apart on major economic issues, but we made very clear to the admin team that we have room to bargain and in fact communicated an important change in our position on tuition/fee waivers that they failed to take into account in their latest effort to publicly misconstrue the cost of our proposals. Unfortunately, their refusal to provide fair, affordable access to Academic Student Workers for health insurance is creating major obstacles to reaching an agreement. Their erroneous costing calculations are also a barrier to an agreement. For example, we discovered last night that they had overestimated the cost of our health insurance proposal by $1 million. As ever, we remain open to continue bargaining, but until we have significant movement, we will remain on strike.

2018-05-08 01:22:05

PICKET LINE!!

We ask that all SENS members join us on strike and do not perform their work as TAs, TFs, CAs, Tutors and RAs. We ask that other members of the New School community do not cross the picket line, and refuse to make contingency plans to carry out the work of striking SENS workers We remain open to continuing negotiations with the university during this time. Picket line times and locations ALL NEW SCHOOL BUILDINGS ON CAMPUS ARE SUBJECT TO THE PICKET LINE However, we will not be picketing outside of 80 Fifth Avenue today, out of respect for the tragic passing of Professor Jeremy Safran last night. We are deeply saddened by his passing and send our heartfelt condolences to his family and the New School psychology community. The picket line will run from 10am to 6pm every day. Our main picket line will be in front of the University Center from 10am - 3pm today, and from 11am - 3pm every day thereafter. Sign up here to let us know you will join us. We are asking that all SENS-UAW members and community allies join us on the picket line during this time. This will be our main event, our chance to show the administration our collective strength and power. There will be additional picket line presence from 10am - 6pm at the following locations 16 East 16th Street. 66 West 12th Street. Picket line support: If you are not a SENS member, we ask that you support our strike and not cross the picket line. This means: Communicate to students, fellow faculty, and the administration that you support their right to go on strike. Faculty should not make any contingency plans nor carry out any work on behalf of the academic student workers. Faculty should cancel classes/meetings/events or hold them off-campus If entering a picketed building, find an alternative entrance, or join the picket line for a few turns and chants before entering. Join the picket line in front of the UC every day of the strike from 11 – 3 daily. People will also be stationed at 16th St. and 12th St.

2018-05-09 01:22:05

Strike Day 2

The second day of our strike was a great success. Members and allies showed up from across the various schools, divisions and departments and held down vibrant picket lines in front of the University Center, 6 East 16th Street, and 66 West 12th Street. Tomorrow we will picket in front of the University Center from 11-3pm. We look forward to seeing you all again tomorrow from 11am to 3pm, with friends SENS-UAW member Zoe Carey travelled to Washington D.C. today to join Senator Bernie Sanders for the introduction of his new Workplace Democracy Act. Zoe spoke eloquently on the floor of the Senate, relating our first-hand experience of the importance of ensuring that employers do not use delay tactics and prevent workers getting the rights, protections, benefits and wages they deserve. Watch Zoe’s powerful speech here - and please share it far and wide! We also met with the University again tonight in a further effort to find a path to a fair agreement. Unfortunately, we cannot report any substantial progress on our major bargaining issues, including access to affordable health benefits for Academic Student Workers. We remain committed to winning a fair agreement and will not accept anything less than that. We will bargain with the university again on Friday. Between now and then, we urge everyone to join us in demonstrating our passion, determination and solidarity on the picket lines. There will be a membership and strike debrief meeting at 6pm on Friday, location TBD. Join fellow picketers and bargaining committee to discuss next steps.

2018-05-09 01:22:05

Speaking to Congress

This morning, Zoe introduced Bernie Sanders's new bill, the Workplace Democracy Act, by speaking to the state of negotiations at The New School. Video attached.

2018-05-10 01:22:05

Strike Day 3

Yesterday our picket line at the University Center stretched all the way from 13th Street to CVS. We heard reports from across campus and schools of classes and events that had been cancelled or moved off-campus, and we were joined by allies from other unions including GWC-UAW, Fordham Contingent Faculty, and the Writers Guild. See more photos from yesterday’s picket here. Please join your coworkers on the main picket line, today 11am-3pm in front of the University Center. The bargaining committee will be meeting with the university at 2pm today, so we will be taking our demands directly from the picket line to the negotiations. Let’s make today’s picket the best yet! Additional pickets will be held at 6 East 16th Street and 66 West 12th Street and will remain until 6pm

2018-05-13 01:22:05

Ending the Strike

After a phenomenal four day strike this week, we have engaged with members extensively over the last 36 hours to seek their input on the path forward. This engagement has included meetings, one on one conversations, an electronic straw poll and phone banks. We will also be having a further Organizing Committee meeting on Tuesday from 11-1 in the Social Justice Hub. Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to us. While we have been successful in shifting the administration from their initial economic proposal of April 12, the reality is we remain far apart in our understanding of what amounts to a fair contract for academic student workers. Accordingly, while we will certainly make ourselves known at graduation and through continued direct action, we will not continue the strike on Monday. The university has still not recognized how important healthcare is, and continues to offer insufficient proposals on other economic matters. We believe that continuing the strike next week will not change this dynamic sufficiently to reach an agreement this semester. We will be offering the University bargaining dates this week in good faith. More importantly we must plan and strategize on how to build on this powerful foundation of solidarity and strength in order to come back strong in the Fall prepared to negotiate at the bargaining table, raise our voices, strike our labor and disrupt the campus for a fair contract. We encourage everyone to come to Tuesday’s OC meeting, where we will discuss further actions. Over the week of the strike we had incredible picket line captains leading chants until they had no voice, making sure people were fed, watered and sun screened, and keeping us all safe. We shamed The New School on the streets of New York City and on a national level, which will have lasting impact and is impetus for further disruption. Our voices have been heard even on the floor of the U.S. Senate. And we successfully engaged the broader New School community to educate them on the legitimacy and importance of our struggle. We also want to say how much we enjoyed the food prepared in the New School cafeteria this week, acknowledge those who cooked it, and express our hope that a way can be found to continue this radical experiment in the new academic year. Mostly, we want to express a huge thank you to everyone who showed up to the picket line, who struck their work, and to the many faculty who rearranged their classes and helped make this strike such a success. When the call went out, it was answered, and answered loudly. As Senator Bernie Sander said in his letter of 10 May 2018 to President Van Zandt, “It is critically important that colleges and universities recognize the significant contributions these workers make by supporting their right to form unions, engage in collective bargaining, and negotiate contracts that provide essential benefits like health care." We have been incredibly inspired by the energy, enthusiasm and solidarity we have seen on the picket line. We remain immovably committed: we will not let this administration perpetuate a status quo built on the exploitation of precarious student labor. We know our worth. We know our strength. And we are not done.

2018-05-22 01:22:05

Summer Bargaining

On Monday, we met with The New School administration. They made minimal movement on healthcare and wages, but these shifts remain dramatically below an offer that we can recommend to our membership. The university has indicated a desire to meet multiple times per week over the summer. We have notified them in writing that we will do everything we can to meet their request. We are committed to keeping negotiations and lines of communication open, but given their continued failure to offer meaningful economic proposals, we anticipate the need for renewed collective engagement to push for our contract in the Fall.

2018-05-31 01:22:05

Childcare and Bargaining Survey

On Tuesday we met with the administration. We began by underlining our commitment to the importance of childcare as a means of supporting parents and fostering an inclusive university. We also had further negotiations around hiring and job security, reminding the administration that hiring procedures must not impede students’ ability to start and complete their work, and that this must be reflected in the contract. The administration continues to resist committing to the kind of improvements to its systems and procedures that would make this possible. The administration has still not provided us with information about summer and fall hires. As usual, we are taking matters into our own hands...

2018-06-08 01:22:05

Healthcare and University Finances

Yesterday, we met with the university, joined by two SENS members in an open bargaining session. We discussed hiring and onboarding processes. The university brought a revised proposal to the table that, again, did not reflect the critical protections we had underlined last week; that the university ensure ASWs can start work promptly, be paid on time, and are clearly informed of their roles and responsibilities in relation to the work they will be doing. We remain committed to securing a contract that will remedy the substantial inadequacies in the university’s current hiring and onboarding processes. On Tuesday, the university offered us partial response to our information request on healthcare, and assured us yesterday that we would receive the outstanding information soon. They also gave us a full set of the university's audited financial statements for the last five years, and are happy to provide these to any members of the unit who is interested in reviewing them. The last two years’ statements can also now be found on the TNS website.

2018-06-08 01:22:05

Hardship Fund

Since May, members of our communities at The New School, the UAW, and the larger labor movement across the country have donated to our hardship fund in order to provide support to striking SENS-UAW workers who faced financial difficulty by going on strike. If you would like to contribute to the hardship fund, use this link. If you are a SENS member who lost wages while on strike May 8-11, please get in touch with us.

SENS-UAW

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