We would like to share with you that, as a result of hard work, including our current preparations for a possible strike, Columbia University at 12:30 PM today has offered to bargain with GWC and the Columbia Postdoctoral Workers subject to the terms highlighted below.

The proposed Framework Agreement Between the UAW and Columbia University would only go into effect if it is voted on and approved by GWC-UAW and CPW-UAW.

You can read the proposed framework agreement here.

This proposed framework must be approved by both GWC and CPW by November 28, 2018 (a date set by Columbia), and we will share details very soon about the voting process. In the meantime, we must continue to prepare for a strike.

The Framework Agreement includes the following:

  • Columbia would recognize and bargain with GWC-UAW and CPW-UAW as the exclusive bargaining representatives for the respective bargaining units certified by the NLRB over rates of pay, wages, hours, and other conditions of work. Though the agreement does not say Instructors of Record explicitly, they are “individuals included in the two respective NLRB-certified bargaining units.”
  • The University would withdraw its request for review in the postdoc NLRB case in which they were attempting to overturn the 2016 GWC-UAW (Columbia) decision.
  • Bargaining would commence no later than February 25, 2019; we would agree not to strike before April 6, 2020, allowing for both sides to bargain in good faith, but would be free to strike after that date.
  • Mutual understanding that, while the unions would be the bargaining representative for the NLRB certified units on employment matters, student government and related bodies (like the Columbia University Postdoctoral Society) would continue to exist as advocates on academic and other issues.
  • Mutual understanding that Columbia has the right to manage the academic mission of the University.
  • Mutual understanding that the University must maintain the integrity of its equal employment and affirmative action processes regardless of any collective bargaining agreement, but that the union may negotiate “additional procedures” for bargaining unit members.

In addition, two General Body Meetings will be held on Tuesday, November 20, to discuss the proposed agreement:  at 11:30 AM-1 PM at Hammer LL 103 (CUMC); and at 6-7:30 PM at Avery 114 (Morningside). Please let us know if you need childcare or any other accommodation in order to attend by responding to this email.

If you cannot make either meeting please send any questions by responding to this email.

Much work remains to be done in order to achieve a fair and just labor contract for all workers. However, we can all be proud of the hard work that has brought us to this position.

Thank you to each of you for your time and dedication.

In solidarity,

GWC Bargaining Committee