The union representing New York University teaching assistants voted Tuesday to authorize a strike as it continues its attempt to negotiate its first contract.

The union’s leadership now has the authority to set a deadline for satisfactory progress in negotiations, after which time the group could strike if they were not satisfied.

The Graduate Students Organizing Committee has complained about the slow pace of negotiations with NYU.

NYU spokesman John Beckman told the Yale Daily News earlier this month that negotiating sessions had been productive and declined to comment on the strike authorization vote.

GSOC is the first union representing teaching assistants at a private university in the United States. In a precedent-shattering ruling in 2000, the National Labor Relations Board said NYU TAs are employees and have the right to bargain collectively.

Last spring GSOC also planned to hold a strike authorization vote, but NYU narrowly averted the vote by recognizing the union and agreeing to bargain with it.

Yale’s Graduate Employees and Students Organization, which has been attempting to form a TA union at the University for more than a decade, has been watching events at NYU and other schools closely.

On Nov. 16, the regional NLRB upheld the NYU precedent in a case in which Brown University TAs filed for a union election. Next week, Brown will have the first NLRB election for a potential TA union at an Ivy League school.

–Yale Daily News