NYU has been in the news regarding labor.Inside Higher Ed of December 12 reports: “Earlier this week, members of the GSOC (Graduate Student Organizing Committee) -UAW bargaining unit at New York University voted overwhelmingly (620 to 10) for union recognition. The result means that GSOC is (once again) the first graduate-employee union at a private university.” The article, by Andrew Ross, notes that the union victory occurred only after a protracted battle, with NYU throwing considerable time and money against it. Ross suggests that the final result, after nearly 15 years of struggle, could have arisen from the intense opposition not only to the NYU expansion plan but to questionable practices on the part of President Sexton in granting enormous perks to a few favored faculty members, and the university is weary of fighting on multiple fronts.
Previously, graduate teachers had not been granted the status of employees. Ross notes that this new development is setting a precedent sure to encourage similar graduate teacher demands at other universities. Furthermore, any gain for one group of workers will result in the strengthening of the labor movement as a whole.