Date: April 26, 2021
TO: NYU Parents
FROM: NYU President Andrew Hamilton

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Loved Ones of NYU Students,

NYU graduate student employees — the part-time employees who belong to GSOC/UAW 2110 — have declared their intention to go on strike as of today, Monday, April 26.

NYU’s Provost and I wrote a comprehensive letter to your students and the rest of the University community outlining the University’s position. I want to share it with you, and I encourage you to read it to get a full understanding of the background.

In short, we believe the strike is unwarranted, untimely, and regrettable. And we think a mediator could have made and still can make a difference.

NYU’s graduate employees are among the best compensated in the US (recent contract settlements at other major private universities set an hourly wage 15% less than the $20/hr minimum that NYU currently pays its graduate student workers). We have proposed to pay them over 20% more, among other significant enhancements to their contract.

Unfortunately, after 10 months and 16 sessions of contract negotiations, they still have 70 new demands on the table, including a one-year increase in hourly pay of 60% (going up to nearly 80% over three years).

We think a mediator might have made a difference. A mediator helped settle our prior contract with our graduate employees, and helped settle recent agreements at Harvard and Columbia. However, the union steadfastly rejects the presence of a mediator.

And so we are confronted with the union’s decision to strike.

I want you to know that in the coming days — even as we continue negotiations and urge the union to agree to mediation — NYU’s focus will be the continued academic progress of its students and minimizing disruption to the fulfillment of our academic and research mission. We are mindful that your students have already had to bear a lot this year.

NYU has made a generous offer, remains committed to good-faith bargaining, continues to have the goal of achieving a fair contract, and will remain focused on our educational and scholarly missions. In addition, we are eager to avoid rancor or bitterness, for, whatever happens, our graduate employees will still be our students after all is said and done. We hope those on the other side of the bargaining table share our goals.

NYU will continue to be in touch about developments.


Andrew Hamilton
New York University