Adjunct union reaches tentative contract with NYU

After a marathon bargaining session, the union representing adjunct faculty has reached a tentative agreement with the university. If ratified, the new contract promises higher compensation, administrative pay and other employment benefits.

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Samson Tu

File photo: The adjunct union at a rally in April 2022. (Samson Tu for WSN)

Abby Wilson, News Editor

The union representing adjunct faculty at NYU reached a tentative contract with the university shortly after 3 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1. After a bargaining session that stretched over 15 hours, the union has gained higher compensation rates, additional health care coverage and other employment benefits in a contract that will be voted on by the union’s membership.

“These significant raises are in direct response to NYU adjuncts’ organizing efforts and collective pressure on the university,” Zoe Carey, the union’s president, wrote Tuesday afternoon. “Contingent academic labor has become a pillar of the neoliberal university, and this agreement goes a long way toward raising standards for precarious academic workers everywhere.”

Carey said that after the contract’s language is finalized, the union will hold town halls and schedule a vote to ratify the agreement. The union has not yet set a timeline for ratification. 

If passed, the six-year contract will include compensation for the work that faculty do outside of the classroom, according to the union. The minimum rate for a four credit course will increase from $6,268.50 to $10,200 per semester, and this rate will increase over the span of the new contract. By the third year of the contract, studio and performing arts adjunct faculty will be paid at the same rate as instructors who lead lecture-based courses.

The contract also promises compensation for the time spent preparing for classes that are canceled before the beginning of the semester, bonuses of at least $2,000 for instructors who worked during the pandemic and more comprehensive health care benefits for adjunct faculty.

“For the first time, the university is contributing to healthcare premiums for all adjuncts, and offering meaningful dependent coverage,” Zoe Carey, the union’s president, told WSN. “In previous contracts, the university offered a slightly higher contribution to individual adjuncts’ premiums with dependents enrolled at full-cost. Now, they are contributing to dependent coverage as well.”

The union’s current contract, which was established in 2016, expired at midnight on Monday, Oct. 31. Last week, 95% of voting members elected to authorize a strike, which would have allowed the union to initiate one if it was unable to reach an agreement with the university before the contract’s expiration.

[Read more: The contract dispute between NYU and its adjunct faculty union]

The agreement concluded months of negotiations between the union, known as ACT-UAW Local 7902, and NYU. The union’s previous contract, which was established in 2016, was extended twice in the past year to allow more time for negotiations.

“The university is pleased to have reached agreement on a tentative accord with UAW Local 7902,” NYU spokesperson John Beckman wrote to WSN.

This is a developing story.

Contact Abby Wilson at [email protected]