The Stony Brook Worker

FALL 2022, ISSUE 2

Stony Brook Worker Editorial


All graduate students who are paid employees as TAs, GAs, or RAs at Stony Brook are represented by the Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU) and Research Assistants Union (RAU). GSEU and RAU collectively bargain for and negotiate with New York State and the Research Foundation (respectively), over our labor contracts that govern our employment here at Stony Brook University. This contract determines our pay, benefits, and working conditions. GSEU safeguards our rights as workers, and it ensures that our employers cannot take advantage of, harass, overwork, discriminate against, or unfairly dismiss us. GSEU is also the reason that we have benefits like health, dental, and vision insurance as part of our employment package. Continue >>

Benjamin Van Dyne, FGSW Coordinating Committee

This fall, after a landslide victory in the election for recognition of our union in April, Fordham Graduate Student Workers (FGSW, now also part of CWA 1104) began bargaining toward a contract with Fordham University. In our first five bargaining sessions, Fordham responded to our comprehensive proposals with stonewalling, willful misunderstanding, deception, and a patronizing attitude. We are going into the spring more determined than ever to build our power and to demonstrate to Fordham that our members should be—and will be—treated with respect.

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Anna Zarra Aldrich, Debjani Chakrabarty, Matthew Dickinson, Matthew Heidtmann, and Amy Kahng

It is no secret that wages for working people have remained stagnant for decades, while the cost of living has precipitously increased. As one of the most vulnerable classes of workers, graduate students at U.S. universities are no exception to this trend. While our employers have fully embraced neoliberal axioms and premises under which they continue to marketize and commodify higher education, many graduate students are unable to sustain themselves. 

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Stony Brook Worker Editorial and Andrew Solar-Greco

SBW: Can you introduce UUP, who you represent, the structure of the union, and how many members you have? 

ASG: We represent the faculty and staff at the main campus, Stony Brook West Campus. We have about 2,400 members, and we represent full-time faculty, part-time faculty, faculty who are not tenured or on the tenure track, and the professional staff in academic departments advising, athletics, et cetera. 

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Stony Brook Worker Editorial

Stony Brook is just one of sixty-four institutions in the SUNY system–the largest state university system in the United States. We spoke to graduate worker representatives from GSEU chapters at SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Albany, and SUNY Binghamton to learn about recent and current campaigns, difficulties, and victories. Continue >>

Mae Saslaw

On Friday November 4, New York University Adjuncts Union, ACT-UAW Local 7902 held a victory rally at Schwartz Plaza on NYU’s West Village campus. The rally was originally planned as a picketing event, but union members had just approved a new tentative agreement hours after the previous contract expired on November 1. The union prevailed in bargaining and won significant improvements to their pay and benefits after authorizing a strike with 95% of voting members in favor. With the raises guaranteed by their new contract, NYU adjuncts are now some of the highest paid unionized contingent instructors in the U.S., according to their press release announcing the tentative agreement. 

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Stony Brook Worker Editorial and Brandworkers Staff Union 

SBW:Can you tell our readers about Brandworkers?

Cody: Brandworkers is a nonprofit worker center that supports food and beverage production workers to build their own unions.

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