Graduate student workers at New York Universityaffiliated with the United Auto Workers Local 2110 union averted a strike after signing a deal with the administration, according to an email sent from NYU President John Sexton to students. The move comes after a petition signed by 614 NYU graduate students was circulated.
The petition explained that while graduate students had voted with a 98.4 percent majority in December 2013 to unionize, the administration had not settled a contract with them since then. Graduate students had been on strike since December 2014, and the petition said that if the administration did not offer a better contract to graduate workers by Tuesday, NYU students would go on strike with them.
The petition said NYU had made $399 million in "profit" in 2013, although as a nonprofit organization the term technically does not apply.
The petition urged the administration to provide graduate student workers with increased annual wages, Ph.D. tuition remission, a shorter contract length for workers, 100 percent health care coverage and family health care and child care benefits. Students noted that NYU creates more student debt than any other American university.
Details of the actual agreement were not immediately available and were expected to be released on Wednesday.