Students at The New School (TNS), a liberal arts university in New York City, launched an indefinite occupation of a campus building on Thursday to support faculty who recently lost wages as their strike drags on for a third week.
Student-Faculty Solidarity, a student-led group supporting the strikers, announced the occupation of TNS’ University Center in an Instagram post on Thursday and intend to remain in the building “until the administration resumes pay, full healthcare protections and retirement benefits to all school employees” and until the strike ends, according to the post. TNS announced in an email on Monday that it would withhold wages and benefits from all part-time faculty members who continued with the strike and did not return to their classrooms.
“Part-time faculty at [TNS] have been on strike for 23 days fighting for a fair new contract – the longest adjunct strike in the nation’s history,” the post read. “The administration has shown a complete disregard for its students staff and faculty, it offered nothing of substance and retaliated violently.”
“This abuse of power by the administration is exemplary of a long history of New School administration betraying its founding mission, radical history and declared values,” the post continued. “Enough is enough. We no longer recognize this administration as representative of [TNS]. We are [TNS]. This recent attack from the administration on [TNS] community leave us with no option but to escalate student action. We are now occupying the University Center.”
The student group claimed it did not make the decision to occupy the building “lightly” and defined it as “a necessary response to the administration’s violent escalations.”
The students asked for donations including non-perishable food, beverages, sleeping mats, blankets and monetary donations. Occupying students were also asked by the group to wear face masks, according to its Instagram story.
UAW Local 7902, which represents the academic worker union, tweeted Thursday night that it received TNS’ latest offer. The offer, however, was rejected on Friday morning.
Part-time faculty are striking for higher pay and health insurance, ABC News reported.
The union’s original compensation ask cost upward of “$200 million over the course of the contract,” which TNS claimed is “almost 50% of the total university annual operating budget of around $460 million.” Part-time faculty are currently paid between $71.31 to &127.85 per hour, TNS reports.
TNS, Student-Faculty Solidarity and the union did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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