GSOC/UAW Local 2110 is the union of teaching, research and graduate assistants at New York University. As the chosen representative of the majority of NYU graduate employees, the Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC) is committed to restoring collective bargaining rights for our membership and forcing NYU to once again recognize our union, as it did when GSOC and NYU signed a contract governing graduate employment in 2002.
We're building our Union because graduate employees at NYU deserve a real say in the conditions of our work. From wages, to benefits, to working conditions like health and safety in university labs, we think we can do better, and we know we deserve an equal seat at the table when these matters are decided.
We are the Graduate Student Organizing Committee-UAW Local 2110 (GSOC-UAW), the Union for graduate employees at NYU. This includes all NYU graduate students who work as Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, and Graduate Assistants. A majority of graduate employees have supported GSOC-UAW for 14 years now, but the NYU administration is blocking our path to collective bargaining. As of fall 2012, our case is under review with the National Labor Relations Board, and we hope to have the chance to vote and win back our Union as soon as this semester. But we're not waiting to hear from Washington. We're building our union every day and we need your help!
A union is employees joining together to have a stronger voice in their workplace. When a union is recognized by the employer, workers can engage in collective bargaining and negotiate as equals over important issues such as wages, healthcare benefits, and working conditions. Most importantly, they can put what is negotiated into a binding contract. Once employees vote to ratify a contract, the employer cannot change the terms without agreement by the workers.
Our goal is to bargain a union contract with the NYU administration because only collective bargaining gives us a real say in the conditions of our work, and only a contract can guarantee steady improvement in our pay and benefits.
As it stands, the NYU administration sets our pay and benefit structure unilaterally and just this summer they raised co-pays on a number of health services. The Bush administration interfered with our right to have a union in 2004, but the National Labor Relations Board recently announced that it is revisiting that decision.
This moves us one step closer to getting our union certified and means we could have an opportunity to vote to win back our union before the end of the 2012/2013 academic year.
When this happens, we hope to bargain collectively over a range of issues, including:
Through GSOC-UAW we have made major improvements to our work lives at NYU. We originally won the right to collective bargaining in a landmark decision by the Federal NLRB in 2000.
After a majority of graduate employees voted to have GSOC-UAW as our union, we negotiated an historic first contract with NYU that included dramatic improvements to graduate employee working conditions, such as:
In 2004, a politically motivated decision by the Bush-appointed NLRB rescinded our right to collective bargaining, allowing NYU to ignore our majority mandate and refuse to negotiate a second contract with GSOC-UAW. While we maintained many of the economic improvements won through collective bargaining, NYU continues to refuse to respect our mandate to bargain a contract that puts our terms of employment in a legally-binding agreement.
We, as GSOC-UAW, join tens of thousands of graduate employees who have formed unions across the US in recent decades in order to create better conditions for research and teaching. The UAW represents more graduate employees than any other union, including at UMass, the University of Washington, University of California and universities in the California State system. The UAW also represents thousands of adjunct faculty (including at NYU and the New School), post-doctoral researchers (at UC and UMass), and university staff (at Columbia, Oberlin College, and others). In total, the UAW represents more than 45,000 academic employees across the country.