SLAM is not only disappointed but also outraged by the misinformation being spread by the NYU administration regarding Provost David McLaughlin’s email today at 12:44pm. We are rallying at 4pm in Bobst to demand he meets with students!
You can find his original message here and our response directly below
1. David McLaughlin claims the University recognized the union voluntarily.
The University BUSTED the union in 2005, and only agreed to recognize it again after YEARS of diligent organizing on campus, despite a majority of grad workers repeatedly voting for union representation.
2. David McLaughlin claims the University has bargained in good faith and intends to continue to do so.
The University was intransigent for almost a year. It recently hired a mediator to help get graduate workers to demand less. Presumably even the mediator was appalled at the University’s behavior. I’ve attended bargaining sessions; the petulance of University bargainers like General Counsel Terry Nolan is shocking and unacceptable.
3. David McLaughlin presents misleading numbers and gives the impression that “fully-funded PhD students” are spoiled crybabies.
First of all, they’re not. Even “fully-funded” PhD students are denied adequate health care, childcare, and benefits. My friend Sean is a fully-funded PhD student in a language department; he recently had to chose between having emergency dental surgery and attending an academic conference. He chose the conference, because he prioritized education over health. He is still living with pain.
Second off all, fully-funded PhD students are only part of the bargaining unit. Hundreds of grad workers have lower paid, precarious positions and those that are international students are banned from working off campus. Masters workers at Poly make less than a living wage, despite being overworked in labs. Some don’t even have a place to stay because their wages are so abysmal.