Andy asked for an extension on doing the right thing

On February 22nd, we gave Andrew Hamilton a clear deadline to do the right thing. We told the NYU administration that we expected a response to our petition within seven days. Six days later, they reached out — to ask for an extension:

This was not the response we were waiting for. On Wednesday, March 1st, we returned to Bobst with a few hundred of our closest friends from across our campus and our city to demand, once again, that the NYU administration agree to a fair and expeditious process to verify majority support for our union.

We told the crowd why a majority of contract faculty want to secure our jobs and our profession in an enforceable collective bargaining agreement.

Ahmed Ansari of Tandon spoke about how securing the terms and conditions of our employment in a legally-binding contract would protect academic freedom at NYU, and allow us to negotiate for fair wages, research support, and stronger rights for international faculty. As he and five of his Tandon colleagues told us earlier this week, with a union we can win respect for our expertise and our teaching.

Jacob Remes of Gallatin told Hyperallergic that without a union, contract faculty are “susceptible to arbitrary discipline and firing, which means we don’t have full academic freedom to teach and research our subjects.” 

Our students led the crowd in chants: What do we want? A UNION! When do we want it? NOW! 

While we were disappointed that NYU leadership was unable to meet our deadline, we were heartened to see that we have New York City labor on our side. We were joined by members of Laborer’s Local 79, by the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, UAW Local 2325, by Workers United New York New Jersey Regional Joint Board, and by the New York City Central Labor Council. And that’s not to mention the students, tenure-track colleagues, and members of ACT (adjuncts), GSOC (grad workers) and UCATS (clerical, administrative, and technical workers) who came to support us. Solidarity like this is unstoppable! 

Like us, NYC Comptroller Brad Lander was frustrated with the NYU administration’s lack of response. The administration’s response should have been easy, he pointed out. As he told the crowd, “You should not have to bargain or organize or rally to demand a fair, neutral, non-interfered process!”

Contract faculty have been united on the union question since 2020, and we’ve waited long enough for the NYU administration to respect our democratic decision to bargain collectively. This week, they asked us to keep waiting — but we showed we’ve gotten too big to ignore.

Elisabeth Fay of FAS said she had some “advice to President Hamilton as he continues work on this important midterm project in his last semester at NYU: Make good use of that extra time. Make sure that your response is something that the entire NYU community can be proud of.’”

To win our union, we’re going to need everyone standing together. Now’s your chance to get involved. Here’s three easy things you can do:

    • Pass along the CFU Solidarity Statement to colleagues and students and ask them to sign.
    • Use this template to take a picture of yourself explaining why you want a union and email it to us to use in emails and social media.
    • Wear your CFU button around campus! Respond to this email with the word “button” and we’ll get one to you!
  • Want to do even more? Reply to this email and let us know and we’ll tell you how you can help build the union in your school or department.

Most of these photos are by Alexandra Chan (  –  –