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Tea Party obstruction and liberal hypocrisy, defied: NYU grad students poised to make history

A vote being held tomorrow and Wednesday could secure union recognition for New York University graduate students, which the administration withdrew and then withheld from them — with help from congressional Republicans and Obama’s now-Treasury Secretary — for the past eight years. If the United Auto Workers emerges victorious in the vote, NYU will become only private sector U.S. university to bargain collectively with graduate student teachers and researchers — though such workers will remain excluded from U.S. labor law.

“We are a critical part of the university,” said Matthew Canfield, a leader of the UAW’s Graduate Student Organizing Committee at NYU. By “recognizing our rights,” he argued, NYU was moving closer to becoming “a better and more inclusive place for everyone.” Canfield told Salon it had become “incredibly difficult” for grad student workers to support families, and that GSOC was “pretty confident” of victory in Wednesday’s vote count.

“We felt there was a middle ground,” NYU Executive Vice President Robert Berne told Salon. He said NYU expects “that if the union wins, we will start to bargain right away.”

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