NYU Grad Students go on Strike and Issue Laundry List of Demands
“The university will focus on helping students and sustaining the research mission with as little disruption as possible during the strike”
Let grad students unionize, they said. What could go wrong? Note that one of their demands is getting rid of the police.
Inside Higher Ed reports:
NYU Grad Employees Declare Work Stoppage
New York University’s graduate employee union, which is affiliated with the United Auto Workers, went on strike Monday over stalled negotiations for a new contract. Ninety-six percent of voting union members approved the strike ahead of time, with leaders accusing the university of “stalling” during the past 10 months of bargaining.
The union’s demands include a living wage for one of the country’s most expensive cities, affordable health care with limited out-of-pocket costs, more support for families, redress for discrimination and harassment, paid vacation and leave for all, help for members to secure housing and access to transportation, and other improvements to working conditions. Grad workers also want low-cost legal and tax help for international students, and no campus access for federal agents. They’re seeking a police-free campus, as well.
John Beckman, university spokesperson, said the administration believes the strike is “unwarranted, untimely and regrettable, and we believe it could have been avoided if the union had not been intransigent about bringing in a mediator to aid the negotiation process.” The university will focus on helping students and sustaining the research mission with as little disruption as possible during the strike, he added.
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Things sure are different from when I was a grad student. Back then, we considered ourselves lucky to get a waiver of tuition and fees, and a pittance to live on. ($2,400 per year, plus $1000 per year for teaching an extra lab session)
I can’t agree with all they are asking for, but I think grad assistants have a point — they pick up a lot of teaching, grading, and scut-work for tenured professors who at NYU are making fine incomes. The tenured profs only teach two or so classes a term and all they really have to do is dust off last term’s notes and leave the grading and the recitations/discussions to the grad assistants. There really is an imbalance here.
But the grad students wouldn’t like my solution either, which would be to close down a lot of the graduate programs in the country and limit the rest — we have a glut of Ph.D.’s, especially in the humanities, and no demand for them.
But the ready availability of grad students hoping in vain for a tenure-track position at a Research I institution keeps the supply of potential grad assistants high, and therefore the wage low.
Is it even legal to bar government legal entities, i.e. police and federal agents, at a publicly funded uni?
Universities have only themselves to blame for the proliferation of bloated faculties and programs purporting to educate students in nonsense subject matter, expecting to pay students in the currency of degrees that qualify them to do absolutely nothing other then to be the next generation of a broken education system.