Sunday, August 27, 2006

Since Nerds have been away...

There have been few posts. But the academic year is about to start, and the coming week will feature some of the first GSOC actions in a while. So our loyal readers will know what's what, we'll let you know that as the year begins we will not be on strike. This is primarily because the turnover the bargaining unit is so large each year (probably about a quarter of workers are replaced) that last year's strike authorization vote would no longer have legitimacy. Our pressure campaign continues, however, as we work to organize the group of brand new employees who start work over the next two weeks, and we expect exciting things to happen this semester.

As for the dorm scandal referred to in the last post? A lawsuit has now been filed against the developer, Hudson Co., charging it with violation of zoning laws. The plaintiffs in the case include many local residents, and GSOC is involved with supporting the lawsuit.

Insidehighered.com features an article on the annual conference of the Coalition of Graduate Employees Unions. It talks of the fact that many groups attending the conference have pledged to dedicate time and resources to our struggle during the 2006-2007 year--because, as GSOCers have been saying from the beginning, the fight for a union at NYU is not only about us--it's about all universities.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you have a real job yet? I think the GAP is hiring.

8/28/2006 3:04 PM  
Blogger zach said...

re: the daily news piece

I find Jon Beckmann baseless and inflamatory

8/28/2006 5:23 PM  
Blogger kstrna said...

If turnover is so high in the bargaining unit, what incentive is there for the administration to ever negotiate during the school year? Especially when the strikers find places off-campus for professors and students to have classes in so as not to "cross the picket-line". As long as the universities can keep churning out students branded with their seal of approval they keep taking in money. The highest quality educational experience is not needed to bring in "top" students so why would the university care if the quality suffers during a strike? It would take either a prolonged strike as NYU had to see significant changes in admissions or one that shut the university down. Grad student unions need to figure out a way to overcome this barrier. They have to reload each new school year while the university keeps going. That is a huge advantage. General student strike would be more effective but would take longer to build.

9/04/2006 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If turnover is so high in the bargaining unit, what incentive is there for the administration to ever negotiate during the school year?

What incentive is there for them to bargain at all?

9/05/2006 2:57 PM  
Blogger Bread and Roses said...

Kstrna, there's an interesting trade off in what you suggest. In a general student strike, the university would definately experience more disruption and would probably be forced to respond in some way. However, the coalition needed would be built on top of issues that might not really be GSOC's--for instance, undergraduates and professional school students demanding tuition reform, progressive students demanding better affirmative action programs, students of color demanding more funding for ethnic studies, etc. The university could choose to respond to some of those issues, thus weakening the coalition and undermining the effort. At the same time, we would have access to fewer resources, as the support GSOC has received from the UAW and from other local unions is predicated on our identities as WORKERS not students.

I think there is a role for mass student movements in the graduate employee unionization effort, but in part this must be a national effort aimed at developing the type of student unions that exist in Britain or France. And it would really require overcoming the combination of apathy and pessimissm that makes so many undergraduate students feel like nothing can ever be done, and that even if it could, their participation would ruin their futures.

9/08/2006 2:06 PM  

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