NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ877509
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2946
The Antiunion Devil in the Details
Jaleel, Rana
Academe, v96 n1 p21-24 Jan-Feb 2010
Rightly or wrongly, a language of "firsts" has long permeated graduate student labor at New York University (NYU). In 2002, NYU's graduate student employees were the first in the nation to secure a union contract at a private university. In 2005, they were also the first to lose their contract, precipitating a bitter six-month-long strike. Since 2005, NYU graduate employees have worked without the security of a union contract. They have taught classes, run labs, graded papers, held office hours, and performed administrative and other work. Now, they are once again at the forefront of an academic labor controversy that they believe has far-reaching consequences for graduate employee unions. In late March, there was a drastic administrative proposal to restructure the way graduate employee teaching and, therefore, undergraduate classes and learning would occur at NYU. The plan involved a change in the graduate fellowship package for students enrolled in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). At that time, GSAS fellowships were five-year packages with two years of required teaching or other work. In this article, the author discusses the proposal--Financial Aid Restructuring 4 (FAR4)--which seemed on its face promising but a far cry from a decent labor contract. FAR4 would decouple the teaching requirement from the fellowship package and provide GSAS graduate students with five years of uninterrupted funding, which, by theoretically eliminating any work requirement, would reduce time to degree. There would be no more "teaching assistants." Instead, the administration was saying that all graduate teaching would be considered adjunct work. If they chose to teach, they would be paid on top of their fellowship according to the rate established by the adjunct contract--and they would all be eligible to join the adjunct union, ACTUAW Local 7902. The NYU administration planned to implement FAR4 by the fall 2009 semester.
American Association of University Professors. 1012 Fourteenth Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 800-424-2973; Tel: 202-737-5900; Fax: 202-737-5526; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: National Labor Relations Act