Letter to the NYU Faculty Updating the Status of the Negotiations Between the UAW and the University

October 17, 2003



Dear Faculty Members:


We are writing to update you on the status of negotiations between the UAW and the University since our last communication on May 5, 2003.


Over the course of the summer and throughout the month of September, we met in a number of closed sessions with representatives from the UAW. During these closed sessions, both parties sought to identify key issues and to find common ground. Today, we met in open session to review publicly where we both stand at this juncture in the negotiations, which have been on-going for more than a year.


Neither the UAW nor the University has significant changes in their non-economic and economic proposals for the agreement. We remain committed, however, to reaching an agreement in good faith. The University has the opportunity to draw from an exceptionally talented pool of people to teach our students. Our goal is to continue to attract and retain the most talented part-time faculty in the area. Because of our keen interest to finding common ground and resolving our differences effectively and respectfully, we proposed that the parties seek the assistance of a professional mediator in our negotiations. The UAW has indicated that they were prepared to embrace the assistance of such a mediator.


To review where we were and are, below is a summary of the critical areas of difference between the UAW and the University.


UAW and NYU Non-Economic Proposals


On [date], the UAW put forward its non-economic list of proposals, to which the University responded on [date]. Our key areas of difference then and now are in the areas of: management rights, job security and seniority, presumptive reappointment and discipline or discharge and space.


Management Rights

This clause of the agreement provides for the University’s right to establish, direct, plan and control its missions, programs, objectives, resources, priorities. This clause originated from an agreement at the University of California with the UAW and was incorporated in the GA contract with NYU.


  • The UAW has proposed an amended version of this clause, seeking to remove the following language: “decisions regarding who is taught, what is taught, how it is taught, and who does the teaching shall be made by the University.”
  • NYU has proposed maintaining the original language, previously agreed to by the UAW.


There has been no change in either party’s position on this issue.


Job Security/Seniority

This clause relates to the appointment and reappointment of part-time faculty to teach courses.


  • The UAW proposed a point system for part-time faculty members’ service, based upon length of service and courses taught. The proposed system provides that after 2 probationary semesters, a part-time faculty member is guaranteed the right to teach the same course the next time it is offered, as against all others, including full-time faculty and new part-time faculty.


  • For part-time faculty members who develop a course offered by NYU, there is no proposed probationary period – a part-time faculty member would own his or her course and have the right to teach it exclusively.


  • With respect to new or “open” courses or sections, the UAW has proposed that part-time faculty, on the basis of seniority, fill such openings. The UAW’s proposal defines open courses as ones in which: a former part-time faculty member declines to teach a course; a new course or section is offered (unless the course is designed by a full-time faculty member); a full-time faculty member declines to teach his/her course or goes on sabbatical, or a section that has been added to an existing course. The right to teach such open courses as presented by the UAW would be on a priority basis before considering all other faculty.


  • NYU has proposed that part-time faculty who are no longer on probation receive good faith consideration for reappointment for courses they have previously taught.


Neither party has changed its position on this issue.


Presumptive Reappointment and Discipline or Discharge

This clause relates to those instances in which a part-time faculty member may be disciplined or discharged.


  • The UAW has proposed that a part-time faculty member be discharged or disciplined only for just cause. The UAW defines discipline or discharge as not reappointing a part-time faculty member to teach a course they have previously taught. A part-time faculty member therefore would be presumptively reappointed unless the school or department proves that he or she is unqualified through a just cause hearing process, similar to the process you for other unionized employees (e.g., office clerical and technical employees, service employees).


  • NYU has also proposed that part-time faculty only be disciplined or discharged for just cause. However, we define discipline or discharge as termination of an on-going appointment or suspension from an on-going appointment without compensation. We therefore do not define a school or departmental decision not to reappoint a part-time faculty member to teach a course in a subsequent semester as discipline or discharge requiring a just cause determination before such a decision is made.


Again, neither party has changed its position on this issue.



This clause relates to space for part-time faculty members to meet with students, each other, union officials.


  • The UAW has modified its original request, to seek reasonable access for every part-time faculty member to a desk, file space, computer, voicemail, email; part-time faculty lounges in the following buildings: Woolworth, Puck, Silver, Tisch, School of Education, School of Social Work, Kimmel, Shimkin, 721 Broadway, 5 Washington Place, Barney, in addition to all other spaces presently designated for part-time faculty; a fully equipped office for the UAW in the Washington Square campus area with NYU provided cleaning services; NYU hosting service for a UAW website; and access to NYU discounts for UAW purchases.


  • The University has proposed access to equipped office space, email and voicemail for all part-time faculty teaching credit courses in degree programs as well as a creating a standing committee to address specific space and facility needs as they arise in any given year.


While there has not been much movement with regard to our differences on other non-economic proposals made by the UAW, the areas listed above have been the key areas of challenge for both parties.


UAW and NYU Economic Proposals


On March 5, 2003, the UAW put forward its economic proposal on behalf of the part-time faculty; NYU responded to this proposal on April 5.


As we previously indicated, the UAW proposed an economic package that, fully implemented, would cost the University in excess of $200 million and necessitate at a minimum a 27% increase in tuition, assuming no cuts in current programs, salaries and services. The University’s counterproposal provided for the highest minimum salaries for part-time faculty in the New York city area, 2 % pay increases for part-time faculty already earning in excess of the minimum, health insurance for those who regularly teach at the University.


The UAW has made no movements in the key economic elements of their proposal; the University has responded to that lack of movement in kind. Thus, our key areas of difference remain: wages, health care, pension.



This clause relates to the pay proposed by each of the parties for teaching and related duties performed by the part-time faculty.


The UAW proposed the following wages:


  • Classroom Instruction: A minimum salary of $150 per classroom instruction hour, with an additional hour of compensation for preparation for every three classroom hours taught, for an effective classroom instruction rate of $200 per classroom hour (i.e., starting part-time faculty members would receive a minimum of $8,400 for teaching a three-hour course; the prevailing New York City region minimum unionized three-hour classroom instruction rate is approximately $2,100);


  • Individualized Instruction: A minimum salary of $100 per hour for individualized instruction (e.g., music lesson, voice lesson), with an additional hour of compensation for every five hours of instruction, for an effective rate of $120 per hour of instruction (i.e., starting part-time faculty members would receive a minimum of $1,680 for a one-hour lesson per week for the semester);


  • Annual Increases: An annual salary increase for all part-time faculty, applied to the new minimum salary or current salary for those whose salaries exceed the minimum, of 3.5% in 2003 and 4% in 2004;


  • Longevity Salary Bonus: A longevity pay increase of 10% - applied after annual increases - for every five years of service that a part-time faculty member has taught at the university since their first date of employment (teaching one course in any prior semester in any given year counts as a year of service);


    • The minimum three-hour classroom instruction rate for part-time faculty members who have taught at least one course in any prior five or ten years since their first date of employment:


      • Five year minimum course rate: $ 9,240 (10% increase);
      • Ten year minimum course rate: $10,164 (20% increase).


  • Over-Enrollment Pay: An increase of 15% of the total course cost for every student enrolled over a negotiated course maximum – f or every seven students over a negotiated maximum, the course compensation paid to the part-time faculty member would double.


  • Sick Leave Pay: Accrual of sick leave at a rate that permits a part-time faculty member to miss one of every five classes with pay and payment to a substitute instructor for those classes missed by the part-time faculty member.


  • Substitute Pay: Payment, at the hourly rate paid to the instructor of record, to part-time faculty members who teach as a substitute in another course in the university.


  • Course Development Pay: Payment of $2,500 for any classroom course developed by a part-time faculty member to which he or she retains the right to teach that course each time it is offered; $5,000 for any classroom course developed by the part-time faculty member to which he or she waives the right to teach that course.


  • Course Cancellation Pay: Payment of a cancellation fee of 25% of the cost of the course for any course cancelled without notice 60 days prior to the first day and a prohibition on canceling classes that exceed negotiated departmental minimum class enrollments.


NYU proposed the following wages:


  • Traditional Lecture Instruction: We proposed a minimum hourly rate for traditional lecture classes of $68 per contact hour (i.e., 36% more than prevailing area unionized minimum rates of approximately $50 per contact hour translates to $2,856 for a three-hour lecture class offered for credit (as opposed to prevailing area unionized rates of $2,100).


    • Any part-time faculty member earning less would be raised to this rate; this is principally relevant to the School of Social Work and the Steinhardt School of Education, where typical pay rates currently mirror minimum unionized rates paid by other New York City area universities.


    • For all other part-time faculty members earning more than the minimum rate – typical pay rates for traditional 3-hour lecture courses range from $3,500 at Tisch School of the Arts to $9,300 at Stern School of Business – we proposed guaranteed annual pay increases of 2% from their current compensation.


  • Individual, group/ensemble music or voice lessons and performing/studio arts: We proposed minimum hourly pay rates of $50 per contact hour (which is comparable or better than other union and non-union rates in the New York City area);
  • Independent study supervision: We proposed minimum rates of $100 per credit hour for each student supervised;
  • Individual student advisement, fieldwork and internship supervision: We proposed minimum rates of $100 for each student per semester;
  • Non-credit courses: We proposed minimum hourly pay rates of $40 per contact hour (54% higher than union rates in the New York City area).


Health Care


This clause relates to health benefits for qualified part-time faculty.


The UAW proposed:


  • Payment by NYU, at the same percentage and for the same health care options as available to full-time faculty, of the costs for health and dental care coverage for all part-time faculty teaching one course per year, with 50% payment by NYU of their dependant health care costs;


  • Payment by NYU, at the same percentage and for the same health and dental care options as available to full-time faculty, of the costs for health care coverage for all part-time faculty teaching two courses per year, with 100% payment by NYU of their dependant health care costs;


  • Payment of $50 per month to part-time faculty members who provide proof of health insurance under another policy during semesters in which they are teaching.


NYU proposed:


·        Payment by NYU of 66% of the costs for individual health care benefits coverage through any of the HMOs available to University employees for part-time faculty who teach regularly at our University – i.e., those members who teach the equivalent of two traditional lecture courses each Fall and Spring semester for three or more consecutive semesters.


·        NYU would continue to make available to part-time faculty who teach six credits during the academic year (September 1 – August 31) the opportunity to purchase low cost health care coverage through the HIP Health Plan, one of the HMOS available to University employees.



This clause relates to tax-deferred savings and contributions for retirement funds.


  • The UAW proposed participation in a prescribed defined benefit pension plan, fully funded by NYU, with vesting based upon teaching one course in an academic year for five years (which need not be continuous years of service);


  • The University proposed obligating itself, through the union agreement, to provide for part-time faculty to be eligible to participate in the NYU Supplemental Tax Deferred Annuity Plan.



We have sought to provide compensation and quality benefits that encourage and support a relationship in which teaching excellence and compensation are partners in creating the education experiences that our students and faculty not only want, but expect at NYU. And we have proposed the highest minimum salaries paid in the New York City region to unionized part-time faculty and health care for those who regularly teach at our University.


Nevertheless, we have not made much progress in the negotiations over the last several months and mediation seems an appropriate route where both parties are committed to reaching and agreement that values the contribution that part-time faculty make to the University. We are heartened that the UAW has greed to mediations. As the negotiations progress, we have every expectation that we will reach an agreement that benefits the entire university community and reflects the many contributions that part-time faculty make.


We will continue to provide periodic updates as negotiations (and mediation) proceed and again, please feel free to contact us at negotiation.team@nyu.edu. For a review of the UAW and NYU proposals, please see the attached May 5, 2003 communication. To review all our communications, please go to:




As a reminder, faculty members who are on the Faculty Bargaining Committee are:


Marisa Carrasco FAS

Alma Carten Social Work

Ned Elton Stern

Larry Ferrara Steinhardt

Phil Furmanski FAS

Marjorie Kalter SCPS

Carl Lebowitz SCPS

Robert Nickson Tisch

Kathy O’Regan Wagner

James Ramsey FAS

Kathleen Ross FAS

Jalal Shatah Courant

Sue Turk SCPS


We hope this update is helpful.


Cheryl Mills

Terry Nolan


Press Contact

John Beckman
John Beckman
(212) 998-6848