As graduate employees, we play a critical role in maintaining Columbia as a world-class research and teaching university.
Without collective bargaining, we have experienced precarious funding, late paychecks, unmanageable rent increases, inadequate medical coverage for ourselves and our families, job and wage insecurity, a lack of transparency in administrative policies, and a lack of professionalism that stems from our labor not being recognized as work. If our benefits and working conditions are secured, Columbia will need our consent to set the terms of our employment. When we are able to communicate and negotiate as equals with Columbia, and as a result live more securely, we will be able to focus more on quality research and teaching.
As graduate employees from across Columbia, we are therefore forming a union in order to improve our working conditions and to make the university a better and more accessible institution for teaching, research, and learning. Like hundreds of employees at Columbia and tens of thousands of graduate employees who already have unions at more than 60 university campuses across the US, we deserve the voice and respect we gain through collective bargaining.