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CAUT Bulletin Archives

May 2006

AAUP Leaders Arrested at Protest Rally

American Association of University Professors president Jane Buck and president-elect Cary Nelson were arrested April 27 in New York City. Buck and Nelson were detained by police for their participation in an act of civil disobedience in support for striking graduate assistants at New York University.

“It is the policy of AAUP,” Buck said, “that graduate assistants, like other campus employees, should e the right to bargain collectively. Under no circumstances should they be subject to retaliation for their collective bargaining activity.”

Nelson, addressing a group of students and labour leaders at Judson Memorial Church, called the action “a watershed moment in the struggle for employee rights.”

“The NYU administration has recklessly maximized the tension with its graduate employees,” Nelson said. “Those of us who support them must now stand our ground or there will be no ground left on which to stand.”

He called upon the NYU administration to negotiate a contract with the graduate assistants and to recognize the Graduate Student Organizing Committee/Local 2110 UAW, the graduate students’ democratically affirmed and legal choice of union representation.

Nelson and Buck were charged with disorderly conduct for blocking the street in front of the Washington Square Arch before the NYU administration building. They will appear in court at a future date yet to be specified.

Delegates to CAUT’s spring Council meeting unanimously passed a motion that “CAUT Council express solidarity with the president and president-elect of AAUP and convey support for their efforts to defend the rights of striking graduate assistants at New York University.”