Columbia still needs to do better!  Since Tuesday night, when Columbia finally tried to give clearer advice on how to handle their mis-reporting of taxes for international grad workers, many of us have called the IRS.   Many grad workers who followed the university’s advice and asked the IRS to put a “hold” on their account report that, after spending many hours on the phone, IRS agents say they do not know how to place a “hold” or what a “hold” on an account even means.

We have only heard from one person who was able to speak to an agent who knew what a hold was.  We cannot say if it will work again but they called this IRS number: 1-800-829-0922.

taxirsissue 20160304Graduate workers who have reached out to Columbia’s human resources for help, after making the IRS call, have been met with responses that have ranged from thanking them for their feedback to reiterating the steps on the Tuesday e-mail.

Columbia showed it could do better when they finally listened to our demands to communicate appropriate steps to address our concerns. But all of this continues to show that Columbia can do much better and needs to. Columbia started making progress in helping international graduate workers when we organized an emergency meeting, sent delegations to Dean Alonso and Provost Coatsworth’s offices, had over 500 grad workers sign onto a petition, and had a letter sent on our behalf to the administration by elected officials – Columbia can still do better. Sign the petition now!

Please keep sharing your experiences with us.  One of the main points of having a union is sharing our experiences and deciding what to do about collective problems we face.  Collectively, we can get Columbia to do better!