What Are We Fighting For?

The Bargaining Committee is crafting demands for our first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) based on the needs expressed by our SENS-UAW members. Hundreds of Academic Student Workers (ASWs) have given their input through one-on-one conversations, open-air meetings, and our widely-circulated bargaining survey. Although our demands will develop during negotiations and with ongoing input and support from members, the responses so far have given us a clear idea of our members’ priorities.

Timely and accurate payment of wages

Many ASWs report late, as well as potentially inaccurate, payment of wages. This is a function of administrative delays, inaccurate job classification on the school’s payment platform, MyDay, and opaque pay grades. Pay stubs should lay out clearly what jobs the ASW is being paid for and how many hours they’ve worked. We are fighting for transparent appointment letters for all ASWs which lay out job expectation and duties, and timely payment of wages and stipends.

Clear Job Requirements and Reasonable Workloads

ASWs deserve clear job expectations from the outset, as well as compensation for pre-semester job requirements such as prep work, meetings, and trainings. We are demanding fair compensation for all required job activity to ensure that no ASW is unfairly pressured to do unpaid work.

Grievance and Arbitration Procedures

Sexual harassment and discrimination are workplace realities. We are demanding strengthened protections for ASWs through grievance and arbitration procedures, which will set clear guidelines for workplace protections and allow ASWs to report and pursue grievances with the full support of union members and resources.

Strong Non-discrimination and Harassment Protections

ASWs are protected by The New School’s non-discrimination and harassment policies in their capacity as students; we are fighting to supplement these protections by addressing the particular challenges and vulnerabilities we encounter as workers in the workplace.

Intellectual Property Rights

The materials we develop in our capacities as instructional and research workers should be attributed and protected as such. We are fighting for recognition of our contributions to The New School’s intellectual and creative community through fair intellectual property rights. This means workers should be given credit and/or rights to the works that they help create commensurate with their contribution.

Office Space and Equipment

ASWs should have the resources they need to do their jobs. Just like in any other workplace, the responsibility for maintaining the workplace and equipment should be the employer’s, not the worker’s.

Disability Rights and Access

No one should be prevented from doing their job by a disability. If an ASW needs extra arrangements or equipment to help them do their job, the university should provide it, just as they do for students.

Job Training

ASWs should receive compensation for any training necessary to do their jobs that is completed outside of their weekly workload requirement. We are fighting for fair compensation for all required trainings and orientations.

Job Security

ASWs should not have to be concerned with the security and stability of their positions. We are fighting for clear, continuous job assignments that will allow them to maintain a decent standard of living and to do their jobs effectively.