After their contract expiration earlier in the week, part-time faculty voted by 97% to authorize a strike over meaningful wage increases
The Manhattan-based New School, which includes the Mannes School of Music, will continue to see strikes from the majority of its part-time faculty in the coming days.
According to the press release sent by the New School Part-time Faculty Union, “an overwhelming 1,307 part-time faculty majority of the roughly 1,678 part-time faculty working this semester are willing to withhold labor to fight for meaningful wage increases, no cuts to healthcare, and third-party protection from harassment and discrimination.”
The release also states that although 87% of The New School’s instructional staff is part-time faculty, the university’s spending on their salaries comprises only 7.5% to 8.5% of its budget.
Compared to other universities in the country, The New School pays 2.3 times the national average on administration relative to instruction. Additionally, part-time faculty have not received a raise in over four years.
After making only three compensation proposals in over 28 sessions, the university’s final offer includes a 3.5% wage increase.
“With my income from teaching grossing at $8,598 per year for two semester-long courses,” said Annie Lee Larson, machine knitting professor at Parsons School of Fashion and Unit Chair for the Part-Time Faculty, “I am forced to take on 2 to 3 other jobs outside of teaching in order to make ends meet.”
Other needs that have been rejected for the part-time faculty include getting compensated for the work they perform outside the classroom, plus essential union demands for basic recourse against harassment, discrimination, and other workplace abuses.
Founded in 2002, ACT-UAW Local 7902 represents over 5,000 part-time and adjunct teachers, student educators, and healthcare workers. It consists of four units: the NYU Adjuncts, New School part-time faculty, student employees at The New School, and New School student health service employees.