Dec 9, 2022 | News Story

The New School Suspends Wages and Healthcare Premium Contributions for Striking Workers

1700 part-time faculty members at The New School, members of UAW Local 7902, are still on strike demanding a contract that provides real raises, expanded health coverage, greater job security, more input into curricula, and real recourse against harassment and discrimination. The strike began on Wednesday, November 16.

Rather than openly engage the union's concerns and work to build something better together, the university's leaders have chosen to meet workers' calls for change with punitive action.

First, shortly before the Thanksgiving break, the university cut off negotiations and threatened to unilaterally implement a Last, Best, and Final offer without workers' consent. This offer would have harmed part-time faculty by causing drastic hikes to healthcare costs and pushing some workers' families onto a costly and risky plan. When part-time faculty voted down this offer last week by an overwhelming margin (1,821 NO to 88 YES), the university returned to the bargaining table with a mediator.

The bargaining committee has since worked around the clock to reach a deal with the university, and was encouraged by the university’s movement toward an agreement, too. Then this week, the University's leaders announced that they’d not only be suspending pay, but also that they would no longer contribute their share towards health insurance premiums.

Not only is this irresponsible leadership, it represents the university leaders' indifference to their own employees' basic human needs. If the university's leaders truly cared about part-time faculty, they would not repeatedly seek to strip away workers' healthcare.

A picket line is up at The New School University Center (63 5th Ave) from 12PM to 3PM every day; follow the union on Twitter for additional ways to show support. And click here to read a piece on the strike by full-time faculty member McKenzie Wark.