An acrimonious strike is sparked by adjuncts at a new school’s push for better pay.

A group representing over 1,500 parents claims that angry parents are threatening a class-action lawsuit for “services not rendered” after the New School advised students to continue working. The parents are also thinking about delaying the final payment of the fall tuition, withholding the spring tuition, or forcing their children to change schools. Some people are asking the president to step down.

In a Zoom call to parents on Saturday, the president of the New School, Dwight A. McBride, stated that he was committed to resolving the dispute but that the union had rejected the school’s most recent offer to raise pay rates by 18 percent over five years and expand access to subsidized health care, which he claimed would result in a deficit in the operating budget.

“We are a somewhat little to fair size, very educational cost and enlistment reliant, low-blessing establishment working in one of the most costly housing markets in the country. That’s our reality,” he said, adding that the college spends a quarter of its budget on real estate and a lot on debt servicing.

However, university administrators refute the claim that part-time instructors, who account for approximately 90% of the faculty—significantly more than the national average of about 50%—have prioritized administrators over instructors and blame the administration for poor financial management.

At one point, the president, David Van Zandt, who left in 2020, was receiving $1,473,155 more than his Harvard counterpart. He also lived in a pricey townhouse in Greenwich Village that some faculty members believe the university should sell. He is argued to have been compensated at the market rate by the New School.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the New School’s total cost in 2021-2022, which includes tuition, fees, and living expenses on campus, was $78,744, an increase of 7% from the previous year. However, students typically pay significantly less when financial aid is taken into account. The number of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at Parsons includes approximately 10,800.

Unions that represent part-time faculty claim that adjunct professors at the New School are compensated $5,753 for a three-credit course, or about 135 hours of work. They also get paid more over time, going up from $6 an hour for 10 years of service to $10 an hour for 30 years. Time spent grading papers or counseling students is not covered by the university’s compensation policy.

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