Apr 12, 2024 | News Story

Fordham Graduate Student Workers Vote for Strike Authorization

Members of the Fordham Graduate Student Workers union (FGSW-CWA Local 1104) have voted by an overwhelming 98 percent supermajority to give union leaders the authority to call a strike if negotiations between FGSW-CWA and university leadership fail to reach a fair settlement. FGSW-CWA union members have spent 19 months negotiating for a union contract as Fordham President Tetlow and her bargaining team delay and fail to offer proposals in line with other universities.

“The results of this strike authorization vote show us and the university that workers at Fordham are done waiting for them to meet very reasonable demands,“ said Apa Duenas, a 2nd year in Philosophy and a member of the union bargaining committee. “Our strength lies in our unity, and we’re united in our willingness to walk out and show management who makes this university run.”

Top economic issues include stipends, health insurance subsidies, and the high fees that university management charges to graduate students. Fees can cost student workers 15 percent of their pay, and pay, in real wages, has been cut by 9.5 percent over the last six years. Fordham graduate student workers currently have among the lowest pay in the nation, when adjusted for the local cost of living. Fordham is losing top candidates for its grad programs because of low pay and high fees.

“It is disappointing that a top-ranked Catholic university refuses to recognize the value of our graduate workers when it comes to wages and healthcare in one of the most expensive cities in the country,” said Mike Ippoliti, President of CWA Local 1104. “Our members have been extremely patient through nearly two years of negotiations, but now we are willing to sacrifice and strike, if necessary, for a fair and livable contract.” Read more here and scroll down to for info on informational pickets today and Sunday.