NYU Adjuncts Rally At President’s Inaugural Event

By Arthur Schwartz

MEMBERS OF THE NYU COMMUNITY gathered outside the Paulson Center, looking to send a strong message that NYU is a union campus. Photo courtesy of ACT-UAW Local 7902.

On Tuesday, October 17th, Linda Mills began her term as President of NY University. NYU adjuncts are unhappy with Mills’ response to the collective action letter delivered to her in September, as it does not address their demands regarding adequate adjunct faculty pay, restoring adjunct jobs and honoring their right to job security.
Currently, there are over 6,000 union members at NYU, and thousands more joining the growing union movement on campus. Members of the NYU community gathered outside the Paulson Center during Mills’ inauguration to send a strong message that NYU is a union campus!
This is the letter delivered by the union to President Mills.
A letter from NYU’s adjunct union to President Mills
From ACT-UAW Local 7902 Members
Sept. 19, 2023
We appreciate your commitment to leading by listening to the diverse voices of the university. We took it to heart when, in the March 30, 2023 issue of the  Washington Square News, you said that you “believe that all employees of NYU, unionized or otherwise, should be treated with dignity,” and that “NYU respects and values their contributions.” In the spirit of creating a healthy environment of belonging for our students and the entire NYU community, we, the undersigned, call on you to listen to the concerns of the adjunct faculty.
Adjuncts make up approximately a third of the NYU faculty. They are at the core of the collegiate experience. Through their labor and devotion to their students, colleagues, departments and schools, adjuncts make vital contributions to making NYU the sterling institution it is.
After decades of scandalously low wages, last fall adjuncts won a historic contract, finally moving closer to a living wage, recognition of the extensive work that adjuncts perform outside of the classroom and a modicum of job security. With the ink on the contract barely dry, NYU is stripping numerous adjuncts of the little bit of job security that was gained. We are deeply concerned and stand with the many adjunct faculty who have already lost either all or some portion of their teaching assignments for the fall 2023 semester. NYU can afford to honor the contract to which it agreed without eliminating adjunct jobs. From the reports we have received and patterns we have observed since May, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the university has chosen a course of action that is creating a culture of fear among the adjunct population. These actions hurt the entire NYU community.
With these sudden and unnecessary developments, the administration sends a punishing message by chipping away at adjuncts’ hard-won gains. Adjunct faculty are hard-working, highly qualified, talented and dedicated to our students and to NYU. Adjuncts deserve the same respect and care that they bring to their teaching.
We demand that NYU:
• Adequately fund its schools to pay adjunct faculty;
• Restore jobs that it has taken from adjuncts;
• Honor adjuncts’ right to job security.
Finally, we ask that you honor adjuncts’ contributions to the university by meeting with members of the adjunct faculty to discuss how adjuncts’ needs can be addressed.
(As of Sept. 19, 2023, over 1,850 have signed on, including more than 800 NYU adjuncts 100 FT faculty, 90 staff, 200 undergraduate students, over 200 alumni, over 50 graduate students, parents and emeritus professors and several hundred academic, union allies, and community members.)