Classical Music

The New School Reaches Tentative Agreement with Part-Time Faculty



Following seven months of negotiations and 25 days on strike, the part-time faculty at The New School has suspended the strike and intend to return to their classes.

On December 10, The New School, which includes its conservatory, The Mannes School of Music, reached a tentative agreement with its part-time faculty with the help of a federal mediator.

This comes after the majority of the part-time faculty and its union, ACT-UAW Local 7902, turned down the university’s “last, best, and final” offer on pay and health insurance in late November. The school was also facing a boycott from international performers, designers, and authors, and the threat of a class action lawsuit from 1,500 parents.

The new, tentative agreement includes multiple achievements for the part-time faculty. While wage increases will vary depending on the number of contact hours, faculty who teach a 45 hour studio course will see a 60% raise over five years — seeing their pay rise from $4,300 to $6,875 per course by 2026.

Adjuncts getting paid the previously highest amount for a three-credit course, would see pay rates rise by 13 percent in the first year. By the fifth year, the adjunct would receive $7,820, a 36% rise.

According to the New York Times, some adjuncts at Mannes Prep, the pre-college branch of the conservatory, would receive a 31% raise in the first year of the contract.

Health insurance will be expanded to faculty who teach only one course, and the health insurance plan will have no hikes to out-of-pocket costs and caps on increases to premiums.

Part-time faculty will also achieve job security sooner and be guaranteed two or more courses per year after teaching for five years. Finally, part-time faculty will be given 12 weeks of paid family leave.



“This contract is going to be transformational for part-time faculty and will help raise the bar for contingent faculty everywhere,” said Union Unit Chair and Lead Negotiator Annie Lee Larson. “The part-time faculty organized an incredible campaign and held the line in solidarity with the entire New School community to win a fair contract.”

Yesterday, ACT-UAW Local 7902 posted that, in solidarity with the students, they are demanding that no students are to be penalized for not attending class and submitting work during the strike.


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