Unions beyond NYU have our backs!
On Wednesday, February 22, we put Andrew Hamilton and the NYU administration in the spotlight with our petition, signed by a majority of us – over 500 contract faculty from around the university – calling on them to do the right thing and agree to a fair process for recognizing our union.
In the meantime our support continues to grow!
Last week we told you how our circle of public support at NYU has expanded to include other campus unions and groups from ACT adjunct faculty to the grad workers of GSOC to the clerical, administrative, and technical workers of UCATS. They know how collective bargaining has made their NYU jobs better, and they join our call that the administration respect our collective bargaining rights.
Today we’re turning up the pressure with allies from around the region and the country. Joining the chorus of groups uniting with us in our call for a fair process for recognition are the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) national organization, and AAUP Rutgers. Their letters to President Hamilton and Board Chair William Berkley are testimony that while our union is local, we draw strength from unionized faculty nationally.
Randi Weingarten, the president of AFT, wrote on behalf of 1.7 million educators, school and higher education staff, nurses, healthcare professionals, and public employees around the country: “Full-time contract faculty deserve the same opportunity to have a voice in the workplace that creates meaningful improvements in their own lives and in the communities they are educating.” She told President Hamilton and Board Chair Berkley: “Leave the decision where it belongs-in the hands of contract faculty-and agree on a fair process to verify majority support for the union.”
Irene Mulvey, the national president of the American Association of University Professors told the president and board chair that “the Association promotes collective bargaining to reinforce and secure the principles of academic freedom and tenure, fair workplace procedures, and the economic security of the profession. Moreover, a union can provide all those who teach and conduct research in higher education with an effective voice in decisions that vitally affect its members’ professional well-being.”
Hamilton and Berkley also got a letter from Rebecca Given, the president of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT affiliate. The more than 5,000 members of Rutgers AAUP-AFT, she wrote, “know that a union and binding contracts we collectively bargain with our employers are the best way to ensure that we have a voice at work and make our jobs better and more secure.”
Just today, Frederick Kowal, the president of United University Professors, wrote to Hamilton and Berkley on behalf of 37,000 professors and professional employees at SUNY across the state. He praised our work to “preserve, protect and defend union rights, working conditions and quality education.” And he told the president and board chair: “It is now your turn to commit to the common good of the students, community and faculty.”
We are grateful to have the support of our fellow faculty from around the nation. We are grateful to have the support of our fellow faculty from around the country as we keep moving forward!
We and our allies will be waiting on Wednesday for an answer from President Hamilton. We’ll join together on Schwartz Plaza to tell the NYU administration: we demand a fair process, and we need a union.