“In a July 13, 2004 ruling, the National Labor Relations Board determined that graduate assistants are not employees under the National Labor Relations Act, and that it erred when it ruled against NYU on the same issue in 2000.

“In its decision, the NLRB wrote ‘we return to the Board’s pre-NYU precedent that graduate student assistants are not statutory employees… we reconsider NYU and conclude that the 25-year precedent was correct, and that NYU was wrongly decided and should be overruled.’ To date, no other private institutions have unionized graduate assistants.

“In light of the upcoming expiration of our contract with the United Auto Workers, which represents our graduate students who serve as graduate and teaching assistants, NYU is considering whether or not to continue recognizing it, although it is under no legal obligation to do so.

“Two University committees have been gathering input and reviewing the issues from the University community, and will share their recommendations later this month. In early May, the University leadership will publish its recommended decision for community notice and comment, and will announce its final decision in early June.

“What is not up for debate is our commitment to continue attracting the best graduate students in the nation, and support them, with or without the presence of a union. We remain committed to providing competitive stipends, quality health care coverage, and fair processes for resolving disputes that may arise between graduate students and faculty members or their schools.

“Ultimately, we must reach a decision regarding our relationship with our graduate students as a community, and NYU’s leadership is ensuring that this decision is informed by the views and perspectives of our faculty, staff and students.”

— Josh Taylor, spokesman

Press Contact