How Graduate Students At NYU Organized A Union

The news arrived the day before Thanksgiving—most students probably missed it, focused on getting home for the holiday. In an email to the NYU community, University President John Sexton made an announcement that many had been waiting eight years to receive: the administration had reached an agreement with the United Auto Workers to hold an election to determine if a majority of graduate employees wished to be represented by the Graduate Student Organizing Committee/UAW and Scientists and Engineers Together/UAW (GSOC/UAW andSET/UAW). The turnaround was rapid: the American Arbitration Association oversaw the election two weeks later, on December 10 and 11. The results arrived via email less than two hours after the polls closed: 620 votes for the union, 10 against it. This makes NYU the only private university in the country with a recognized graduate employee union.

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