Strikes Continue at The New School by Part-Time Faculty
The New School, which comprises the Mannes School of Music, is in meetings with representatives of its part-time faculty
Since last Wednesday, The New School's part-time faculty have been on strike — drawing thousands of union members, students, and supporters to a picket line outside the university.
The New School Part-time Faculty Union and the University are currently in meetings to come to a mutual agreement.
A source told the Violin Channel last week that the previous "Last, Best, Final offer of the University contained multiple 'clerical errors.' Some of these 'clerical errors' leave the Mannes and Mannes Prep private lessons teachers without health insurance."
The ACT-UAW Local 7902 Union and its members are still in talks with the university. As of Monday, November 28, an agreement has still not been made.
On Instagram today, the New School posted a message from its president, Dwight A. McBride. He said: "Now as to the situation presently at hand, we remain committed to achieving a fair and equitable contract as quickly as possible with our part-time faculty union. Several times we asked to bring in a mediator to avoid a strike and successfully get to a contract. Reaching an agreement has been and remains our goal in this process."
He continues to report that we will learn this week whether the union will accept the offer that the university has made. "If a contract is not ratified soon, we will ensure that our students can complete the semester," he added. "We also have a duty to put plans in place for the Spring semester, to ensure the continuity of excellent education for our students."
The part-time faculty are advocating for wage increases, no cuts to healthcare, and third-party protection from harassment and discrimination.
The union posted on Facebook today, showing the differences between the union's needs and the university's offer for healthcare.
Although 87% of The New School’s instructional staff is part-time faculty, the university's spending on their salaries comprises only 7.5% to 8.5% of its budget.
Compared to other universities in the country, The New School pays 2.3 times the national average on administration relative to instr
uction. Additionally, part-time faculty have not received a raise in over four years.
Founded in 2002, ACT-UAW Local 7902 represents over 5,000 part-time and adjunct teachers, student educators, and healthcare workers. It consists of four units: the NYU Adjuncts, New School part-time faculty, student employees at The New School, and New School student health service employees.
“It was heartbreaking to have to stand in front of my students and tell them I wouldn’t be able to teach,” said Laura Sansone, Parsons Part-time Faculty member. “I also found it degrading. The school has put us in the position of having to explain to our students that we are abused by their labor practices.”
The Violin Channel will update this story as it progresses.