September 28 2017
President Andrew Hamilton
70 Washington Square South
New York, New York 10012
Sabrina Ellis, Vice President for Human Resources
Sandy Dubin, Associate General Counsel and Director of Labor Relations
Dear President Hamilton,
As the representatives of the student body, we are writing to you about NYU's "other" affordability crisis. Members of the Union of Clerical, Administrative, and Technical Staff (UCATS) at NYU have had their wages suppressed by NYU for too long. While the cost of living in New York City skyrockets and NYU asks for more employee benefit contributions, wages have simply not kept up. This is unacceptable.
We believe decent pay and benefits for the more than 1,350 employees represented by UCATS will not drive up the cost of tuition. We understand that the salary and benefits UCATS receives consists of less than 1% of NYU's budget.
Further, many of our student constituents are UCATS members themselves. Nearly 20% of UCATS members are currently enrolled students, and at least 20% more are alumni. With a membership that's two-thirds women and over 60% people of color, UCATS is also the most diverse entity on campus. We implore you to make NYU's support for diversity a concrete reality.
We appreciate your efforts to make NYU more affordable for students. We especially applaud your decision to raise student worker pay by 40% over the last year. That's why we're hopeful that you and your appointed negotiating team will do the right thing and settle a fair contract with your clerical, administrative, and technical employees represented by UCATS. The student body stands with them. It's time to make NYU affordable for all of us.
UCATS’ current contract can be accessed here: http://ucats3882.org/wp-content/themes/union/assets/files/local3882-2011-2017.pdf
- Wage increases in last contract (pp. 8-9) :
- September 5, 2011 – 1% September 3, 2012 – 2.5% September 2, 2013 – 3% September 1, 2014 – 2.75% August 31, 2015 – 2.75% August 29, 2016 – 3.0%
- Previous to 2011 contract, UCATS never took less than a 3% increase.
- Wages vary by job. See page 9 of the contract for current wages by job classification. Most UCATS employees are grade 8 or 9, meaning they make a base wage of between $49,000 and $51,000 per year before taxes and expenses. The highest base wage, for legal secretaries, is $66,000. This is not a common job at the university.
- Healthcare: UCATS’ health insurance costs and info are on page 49-50 of the contract. Monthly premiums range from $45/month to $185 per month. There are copays for visits as well as 10% or 30% "co-insurance" on many procedures and on hospital visits.
- Dental: While UCATS’ dental premiums are inexpensive, there are many copays and and co-insurance on procedures beyond routine cleaning.
- Childcare: NYU offers paid parental bonding time (maternity/paternity leave) to administrators. UCATS members, however, are not offered this paid time off.
Salaries amounting to less than 1% of NYU’s budget:
- A UCATS member first made this calculation in 1987. In 2011, UCATS asked Terry Nolan, NYU's chief negotiator at the bargaining table, if the less than 1% of one per cent of the budget statistic still held true, and he confirmed that it did.
- Further, If you look at NYU's most recent IRS 990 form, the total assets is $10.2 billion. (http://www.eri-nonprofit-salaries.com/?FuseAction=NPO.Summary&EIN=135562308&BMF=1&Cobrandid=0&Syndicate=No) ; (http://990.erieri.com/EINS/135562308/135562308_2014_0cca38b8.PDF).
- A grade 9 base salary for 2014 (about the average of grades 6-10), multiply by 1.285 (because NYU's standard calculation for all benefits is 28.5%) and multiply that by 1,375 (the average size of the bargaining unit throughout a year), the resulting number is $88 Million, which is less than 1% of NYU’s budget. Furthermore, UCATS assumes that NYU’s revenue has grown since 2014, the most recently available date.
- UCATS is not releasing information about specific demands for strategic reasons, as it is unstrategic for NYU to know all of UCATS’ asks before negotiations.