WSN Archive
Adjuncts approve New School merger
Laura de la Torre
10/14/04 0:00

The small portion of the NYU adjunct union that voted on a proposal to merge the union with the New School University adjuncts local was overwhelmingly in favor of the merger, a union official said.

Although 3,404 ballots were sent out, only 156 votes were received by the Oct. 4 deadline, said Ward Regan, an School of Continuing and Professional Studies adjunct and interim president of the executive board. About 82 percent of those who voted favored amalgamation, with the final tally showing 128 for, 16 against and 12 votes that were invalidated because they either arrived after the ballot had closed or were cast by non-adjuncts or non-union members, he said.

Each school will retain separate contracts with the universities and leadership, but the two groups will elect a panel of officers who will run the amalgamated Local 7902. The combined local, part of the International United Auto Workers Union, will now have a combined membership of 5,000 adjuncts at the two schools, according to a union Web site.

In addition to pooling financial resources, Regan said the merger will allow the local to shared resources that will better serve their members.

Only NYU part-timers who are members of the union were eligible to vote on whether to join with New School adjuncts, who are in the early stages of bargaining for union recognition. Union leaders held two informational meetings before the vote to answer NYU adjuncts' questions. Adjuncts then had a week to vote, either by e-mail or paper ballot.

Some adjuncts complained the union did a poor job of accurately informing members of the issues concerned with amalgamation and accused the union of being un-democratic in its voting methods by using an open-ballot system.

'In a real democracy, ballots are private and secret,' said Dan Meltzer, an adjunct in the journalism department. 'I complained about the open ballot before, when they used it for the contract ratification, and nothing has changed.'

Regan said the ballot count was open to observers and ballots were counted by two designated observers: Gallatin adjunct Patrick McCreery and a Gallatin student intern.

The NYU adjuncts are now in the process of finalizing contract details with the university and will hold an election for the executive board of the shared local in the coming weeks.

'Now we move on to the next challenge: an election of the executive board, New School negotiations and beginning to administer and enforce the contract,' Regan said.