Two weeks into GWC-UAW’s historic hearings at the regional National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on our right to collective bargaining, we are disappointed that the Columbia administration continues to waste valuable resources attempting to deny a basic fact: The research and teaching we do for Columbia is work.
While the administration’s expensive anti-union law firm, Proskauer Rose L.L.P., argues that we are not workers, their witnesses so far have helped confirm that we are both students and employees. We believe their testimony will help us achieve a historic decision restoring the legal right of RAs and TAs at private universities to engage in collective bargaining.
The Director of the Center for the Core Curriculum, for example, conceded in his testimony that graduate student employees have the same duties and responsibilities, training, evaluations, and hiring processes as other employees (faculty, adjuncts, postdocs, etc.) who teach in that program. Yet, Columbia still insists on denying our status as employees.
The administration’s lawyers have called our union a “shell game” and “charade” orchestrated by the UAW. As a grad worker-run union that delivered boxes of 1,700 signed support cards from the majority of graduate student workers to the NLRB, we call on the administration to stop wasting precious resources in this attempt to block our democratic decision. And we encourage you, our members, to come to our weekly organizing meetings to see the “charade” for yourselves and take an active role in leading your union.
Check out the press coverage of the hearings and several recent op-eds about our campaign, and come to our next town hall on Friday April 17th, from 4 to 6pm, to talk more about the hearings and the future of your union. Location TBD; you can RSVP on Facebook here.