To: NYU Undergraduates
From: NYU Graduate Student Workers
We teach your recitations and some of your classes. We grade your papers and exams. We prepare your labs. We sit next to you in the library. And NYU is giving us a hard time. They will not compensate us with what we deserve — adequate health care and child care, tuition remission and just pay for our hours spent working. In our classes we discuss race, class, gender, poverty, war, economics, technology, science, education, the environment and other important topics, but at night we ride the subway to our homes in Brooklyn, Queens, or North Jersey and face the banal responsibilities of covering the cost of rent, feeding our young families and going to the dentist.
University of Massachusetts Amherst offers graduate-workers and their families dental care and vision insurance. Michigan State University covers up to 70 percent of the health care premiums for the families of graduate workers. The University of California system offers parents six weeks of paid leave after childbirth and a childcare reimbursement of $1,300 per semester. NYU provides none of this. NYU executives walk off with million dollar bonuses and vacation homes. We have had conversations with administration, sent petitions, picketed, chanted in Bobst, held open bargaining, organized press conferences and written newspaper articles. Our union has bargained with the administration for almost a year, and they are barely budging.
We’ve had enough. We are prepared to strike if necessary.
We care about you and your education. Our working conditions are your learning conditions. This is the university’s responsibility and, with your support, we will push them to fulfill our demands.
There are several things you can do to amplify the call for fair labor practices at our university. Actually, NYU is most worried of your activism because you pay tuition. Last year NYU accumulated close to $1.8 billion in tuition. Together we possess a crucial amount of power.
We ask that you join us for our
Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 12 p.m. at Washington Square
Tell your TAs you support their demands. Sign these letters in support of our contract campaign. Call John Sexton (212-998-2345) and Terrance Nolan (212-998-2257). Tell them you support us and that you are telling your friends. Tell them that your parents are upset, and say that you value our work as teaching assistants, graders, research assistants and graduate assistants.
Thank you for your support.
NYU Graduate Student Workers