Tell us what matters to you on Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day! In a week when we celebrate the labor movement’s contributions — the weekend, the 40-hour work week, health and safety regulations — we’re also excited to be growing and strengthening our own union. We are proud to join our labor siblings in a movement that has long stood at the forefront of defending and strengthening American democracy. Unions of academic workers are among the strongest organizations working to stop the erosion of higher education through casualization and other attacks on academic freedom. 

Contract faculty play an increasingly vital role at NYU: we are experts in our fields, we are accomplished classroom teachers, and we do essential administrative work across schools and programs. Despite the high value of our labor, we find ourselves entering another academic year without the protections of tenure or a collective bargaining agreement. As we continue to grow our majority support and organize to win our union, we need to hear from you. Please take a minute to share your recent experiences and perspective in a brief survey to help determine the most useful next steps:

Contract Faculty United – Working Conditions Survey 

The NYU administration would prefer not to bargain with us, for the same reason a majority of contract faculty support a union: we all know that collective bargaining helps equalize the power imbalance between faculty and administrators. To win recognition, we have to continue building support and solidarity. To that end, this Labor Day, we ask you to recommit to helping build our union: share this survey with colleagues, and invite them to join a larger conversation about organizing to protect the important work that happens in our classrooms, labs and offices.


Pledge Your Support for NYU Adjunct Faculty!

Our adjunct colleagues have been bargaining with the NYU administration since last April. Negotiations come on the heels of a pandemic which has disproportionately burdened part-time faculty, who were not compensated for remote course preparation and were excluded from the one-time bonus payment given to full-time faculty. Our part-time colleagues have gone to great lengths to support our shared students during the pandemic and, as we know, the cost of living is skyrocketing. Yet the NYU administration refuses to budge on key economic proposals (learn more about bargaining here).

Like NYU’s AAUP Executive Committee, we are troubled by the NYU administration’s increasingly predictable recalcitrance at the bargaining table. Faculty on all lines — full-time contract, part-time, and tenure-track — gave their all during the pandemic, and we should all be fairly compensated. 

Please add your name to the pledge and tell NYU to agree to a fair contract for adjunct faculty!

As one of our adjunct colleagues noted at a recent labor event organized by students,“Our feeling is that if you’re teaching four to six classes at NYU, you should pretty much be getting enough money to survive in New York City, which we all know is not easy.”

We know that good conditions and more respect for one group of campus workers makes things better for all of us. That’s why, alongside the AAUP and other campus organizations, we’re standing together with our adjunct colleagues as they demand a fair contract. Will you join us?


Contract Faculty Need A Real Voice at NYU

On Monday, NYU announced new salary floors for Clinical and Clinical Associate Professors in the Faculty of Arts and Science, just a few days after Barnard Contingent Faculty-UAW announced a tentative collective bargaining agreement. Under the new agreement, all full-time non-tenure track faculty at Barnard see an immediate 7% salary floor increase, with guaranteed annual increases to the new minimum adding up to a 27% raise over six years, and bringing Barnard’s base salary to $89,000 by 2026.

This isn’t the first time that NYU administrators have been moved to action by negotiations uptown: in April 2017, Barnard contract faculty secured a $60,000 minimum in their first collective bargaining agreement; a month later, our salary floor went up to $60,000. While it’s nice that some of us have benefitted from BCF-UAW’s contract gains, we don’t think that NYU salaries should hinge on bargaining at Barnard — and we know that the NYU administration would much rather keep pace with Barnard than bargain collectively with us.

Contract faculty at unionized institutions are setting new citywide standards, and NYU is paying attention. However, unlike our unionized Barnard colleagues, we are at-will employees, and the NYU administration unilaterally determines all aspects of our working conditions. With collective bargaining, we would bargain as equals to secure meaningful rights and protections, such as equitable compensation for all contract faculty, to ensure that our salaries reflect the rising cost of living in New York City and the tri-state area. 

We are in the midst of a huge wave of academic worker organizing, including a majority of us signing up in support of our union, CFU-UAW. To win recognition and bargain a strong contract, we will need to continue expanding and making more visible our support for CFU-UAW and a real voice at NYU. Click here to get more involved.


Rally for Adjunct Faculty Wage Justice – Union Square,…

We share a call to action from our adjunct colleagues:

Join NYU Adjunct’s Union ACT-UAW 7902 for a rally for wage justice. Adjuncts have been in bargaining for three months and our contract is about to expire. Meanwhile, inflation is at eight percent and our wages have not increased to meet the cost of living. Many adjuncts cannot even afford the university’s own health insurance plan. We are rallying outside our bargaining space to demand a living wage and better working conditions from the university. Wednesday, July 20, 6:00 pm in Union Square, Northeast Corner.

NYU can afford to pay all faculty competitive wages that keep up with inflation and the high cost of living in the tristate area. Join us this Wednesday, as we call on NYU to pay adjunct faculty what they’re owed.


Join Us! Rally for Adjunct Faculty

On Thursday, the union for adjuncts at NYU (ACT-UAW) will sit down with the University to begin negotiating their new contract. While our adjunct colleagues raise initial demands at the bargaining table, we’ll be raising our voices in support of their efforts to secure more economic justice at NYU. 

We ask you to join us at a Rally for NYU Adjunct Faculty as they begin negotiations. The rally will start at 6:00 pm on Thurs. 4/14. We’ll meet at the Washington Square Park arch and move through the Village campus to Union Square, just two blocks from the bargaining committee in negotiations.

Adjunct faculty have been disproportionately burdened during the pandemic. Their work converting courses to new modalities has been entirely uncompensated, because NYU contends that teaching remotely does not constitute “course conversion.” Having spent time adapting courses ourselves over the past few years — much of that time similarly uncompensated, as those of us on 9 month contracts were enjoined to work through spring and summer break — we know that this is wrong. Our adjunct colleagues are right. NYU owes them. 

NYU owes us too, and we deserve the right to negotiate for needed improvements. Every conversation and support card builds more power for our union. Turning out on behalf of our colleagues is another way to build power and strengthen the muscles we’ll need to win our campaign for recognition – the more of us who show up in support, the stronger message it sends to NYU that we are united for a more equitable University.


Talk to One Colleague Today!

Recent victories by academic workers at Howard University and MIT show that talking to colleagues and building broad support is how we can win our union, and have the power to negotiate meaningful protections, rights and improvements to our working conditions. A majority of contract faculty already support our union, but NYU isn’t going to make it easy. The more of us who sign up in support – and talk to our colleagues about expanding our collective voice at NYU – the more leverage we’ll have to win recognition for our union!

Please check out our latest video on building strong majority support for our union — it’s a great resource to send to colleagues who are looking to sign or re-sign. Take a moment to like and share to spread the word on social media:




When we stand together, we win. How about asking just one colleague to sign an authorization card supporting our union today? 


Crisis Teaching: Faculty Flexibility Has Limits

Omicron has irrevocably disrupted the start of spring semester. Many of our students will be delayed returning to campus. Many of our children will be home because of illness or school closure. Many of us will be sick, quarantining, or caring for loved ones. Many of us have urgent questions about classroom transmission.

Nonetheless, as our Provost noted last week, the NYU administration’s “plan is to restart in person, and so in person classes should begin in person.” To bridge the considerable gap between this prerogative and the reality that in-person classes cannot begin as scheduled for many members of our community, NYU has found a familiar solution: faculty flexibility.

We have been told that “Omicron-related disruptions will require that an uncommon degree of flexibility be built into your teaching,” and given less than two weeks notice to prepare multiple contingency plans across modalities. We do this knowing that NYU has not extended us the same degree of flexibility, nor compensated us fairly for this additional work.

Over four semesters of crisis teaching, the NYU administration has refused to include faculty in a transparent decision-making process. Instead, they announce unilateral changes and demand that we absorb the impact, presenting the contradictions and impracticalities of university policy as problems we must solve individually in our labs and classrooms. 

We can’t solve these problems as individuals, and nothing will change until we assert our collective power and demand recognition from the University. We need the active participation of faculty in all schools and departments in order to be able to establish our union and win a strong contract. Update your card if you haven’t already, talk to your colleagues about the union, and reply to this email to get involved in organizing.


A Union Means Secure & Expanded Benefits

Currently, NYU cuts our benefits without consulting us in advance, and in some cases, without informing us directly. Over the past five years, contract faculty have lost several valuable benefits like tuition remission and green card eligibility. During the pandemic, many fringe benefits were suspended as part of NYU’s pre-emptive austerity program. Over two-thirds of faculty across the country are now contingent, and face increased precarity. With a union, our benefits are protected in a legally binding contract that we bargain with the University:

  • We would elect a bargaining committee from our ranks to sit across the table and negotiate NYU, and we vote to approve proposals that best reflect our priorities.
  • Once a majority of contract faculty vote to ratify our contract, NYU cannot change the terms and conditions of our employment.

Benefits and salary are often opaque and inconsistent. Right now, we have some of the same core benefits as tenured faculty (healthcare, retirement, childcare), but many other significant benefits (research funds, sabbaticals, office space, housing subsidies) depend on the favor of individual deans and chairs. With a union, we can bargain for fair minimums for salary and benefits:

  • Bargaining as a group and in alliance with contract faculty senators and representatives gives us more power to push for changes we’ve been waiting for.
  • NYU is required to share salary and employment data, allowing us to better understand how our benefits are structured and determine our priorities.
  • As graduate and adjunct colleagues have already won, we can secure the right to use neutral arbitration to resolve grievances.
  • A union contract sets minimum expectations to ensure that everyone has decent benefits and knows how to access them. A union contract won’t eliminate differences between faculty in different ranks and schools; it won’t prevent individual faculty from negotiating offers above established minimums.

Building a strong union will take all of us; to get involved, please contact us.



Pitt Faculty Just Won Their Union, and So Can…

On Wednesday, faculty at the University of Pittsburgh voted overwhelmingly to unionize with the United Steelworkers, with 71% of voters casting ballots in favor of a union. The Pitt Faculty Union, which includes 3,355 full-time and part-time faculty across Pitt’s campuses, will be the largest new faculty union certified in over a decade. This is an important victory, and we believe that there are many more to come. A pro-labor NLRB has opened up new possibilities for organizing efforts currently underway at dozens of campuses in our region, and hundreds of universities across the country. 

Pitt faculty began organizing in earnest a few years before NYU contract faculty did, and as Inside Higher Ed notes, “the road to unionization was long, even by labor organizing standards. Paul Johnson, an assistant professor of communication who has been on the union organizing committee since 2015, said that even with thousands of members, ‘In order to build a really, truly inclusive and democratic union, you’ve got to talk to basically all of those people.’”

There are a thousand full-time continuing contract faculty at NYU, and a majority have signed up to support our union. We’re beyond eager to move towards our own election, but like Pitt faculty, we know that the key to winning is building a “really, truly inclusive and democratic union”and we know that most contract faculty who haven’t signed cards are people we haven’t yet talked to. The more people we bring into our union, the more power we have to secure recognition. 

The return to in-person instruction has made it easier for us to reach uncontacted colleagues and bring new contract faculty organizers into the field; we will continue to scale up outreach as the semester progresses. To win our union by the end of this academic year, we’ll all need to talk to each other more—about our working lives, and about our goals in coming together to form a union. To learn more and get involved with organizing, please contact us.


A Union Means Power

Contract faculty have a number of long-standing priorities concerning workload, salary compression, and job security– among many others. The pandemic has only exacerbated these issues, and emphasized our exclusion from decision-making over our working conditions. We continue to air grievances in listening sessions, but administrators are rarely moved to act on what they hear.

Throughout the pandemic, we have had to adapt our labs and classrooms to conditions we had no say in determining, and accept a host of changes made without our input. Currently, NYU has no incentive to take our concerns seriously. A union will equalize the power relationship between contract faculty and the NYU administration, allowing us to more effectively advocate for ourselves, our students, and the work we do together.

  • With a union, if another global pandemic arises, we’ll be able to call NYU to the table in special impact bargaining sessions to address issues not covered by the existing contract. Rather than making personal appeals to our chairs and deans, we’ll work together to determine the conditions we need to do our jobs safely and well, and negotiate mutually acceptable terms with the NYU administration.
  • Through collective bargaining, we democratically decide what we want to pursue in negotiation, and NYU is required to share salary and employment data, allowing us to better determine our priorities. After a majority of faculty vote to ratify the contract, NYU cannot change the terms agreed to in negotiation.
  • By coming together to form a union, we gain a stronger political voice, working with tens of thousands of academic UAW members–in New York, and across the country–to protect academic freedom and expand funding for education and research.

Contract faculty perform essential teaching, research, and administrative work in every NYU school. That gives us power, if we choose to claim it. Please contact us to get involved in organizing–building a powerful union will take all of us.