James deBoer

Let NYU Sergeants Have a Voice!

James deBoer
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Dear NYU President Dr. Andrew D. Hamilton:

We the undersigned request that your administration immediately recognize the Security Professionals of Greater New York (SPGNY) as the union of the NYU security sergeants.

We realize that the pandemic has created unique challenges for you and your administration. However, it has also highlighted how important it is for all workers, and especially essential frontline workers like the sergeants, to have a collective voice in their working conditions. Many of the sergeants have continued to report to campus every day in order to support the university’s operations, throughout the pandemic. Yet in March, as the pandemic was spreading in New York City, they were initially prohibited from wearing masks. Without any recourse to challenge this health-threatening directive, one third of the sergeants became sick with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. A union would allow these employees, who have worked tirelessly to keep the NYU family safe, a chance to insist on what they need to keep themselves safe, too.

There are currently approximately 40 security sergeants at NYU. Although they are nominally ranked higher than other public safety officers, they are comparable to those public safety officers in the content of the work that they do, the risks they are exposed to, and the compensation packages they receive. In fact, in recent years, the non-sergeant officers—who have their own union—have received more benefits than the security sergeants. The sergeants are deeply aware that their status as the only hourly employees of NYU without a union is exceptional and unwarranted. As the majority of the sergeants have already expressed through signing cards, a union is critical to ensuring that they are treated fairly.

We have appreciated the statements of gratitude for NYU’s essential workers that you have published. But these words will ring hollow until you allow the sergeants to have a voice so that they can articulate their needs and protect their families.

Ps. Recognizing that sergeants deserve the right to unionize, ACT-UAW Local 7902, OPEIU Local 135, and UCATS, three of NYU’s largest and longest-standing unions, have endorsed the sergeants' efforts.

Pps. When you click to sign the petition, there's a request to donate to the ipetitions.com site that we're using to host this petition. Please make a contribution or not as you'd like, but just note that money goes to the website, not the sergeants, and the sergeants are not requesting financial support at this time.

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