We are ready to get to the bargaining table!
The GWC Organizing Committee endorses Open Bargaining as a fundamental principle for our contract negotiations with Columbia University. Open Bargaining is a union negotiation procedure where all contract engagement between workers and their employer is conducted in transparent meetings open to all members of the union’s bargaining unit. We believe that a commitment to Open Bargaining is an important part of GWC’s pledge to internal transparency and democracy. In addition, this negotiating strategy helps to prevent Columbia’s negotiators from isolating our leadership and putting undue pressure on them behind the scenes. It allows for maximum participation of the members of our unit, encourages opportunities for workers to get actively involved in bargaining, and bolsters our power as a collective. We don’t just want any contract – we want a strong contract!
Nothing for us without us.
Here are the specific provisions the GWC Organizing Committee endorses:
Fully open bargaining: All bargaining sessions will be open to all members.
Bargaining updates: The unit will be updated on the progress of bargaining after every session through a GWC bargaining blog.
Bargaining will be structured around specific issues:
- Working groups and department organizers will take point on liaising with Bargaining Committee (BC) members on specific issues. BC members will meet with them before entering bargaining on an issue.
- Testimonials and participation will be arranged in advance by working groups and department organizers.
- If other people wish to intervene during bargaining, they will pass a paper slip to one designated BC member. The BC will decide whether it is appropriate for that person to speak.
A bargaining session may be temporarily closed in the event that someone wishes to testify privately; the session will only be closed for the duration of their testimony.
In addition, the following timeline has been passed for putting details of the bargaining procedure to a unit-wide vote:
Jan 30 – Discussion of bargaining procedure at GBM
Feb 6-7 – Bargaining Committee elections and referendum on bargaining procedure. Upcoming bargaining committee vacancy election information to come soon.
The GWC Organizing Committee meets weekly throughout the year to report back on organizing, discuss working groups’ progress, vote on internal governance and strategy, and hear from the bargaining committee. All members of the bargaining unit can join the committee and attend all meetings. If you are interested in joining, please email us.