We are excited to begin bargaining next month! As we ramp up preparations to begin bargaining in February please find information below on how you can be involved in the ongoing fight for a strong and fair contract. If you have any questions and/or want to learn more on how you can more involved, please feel free to reach out by responding to this email. We look forward to hearing from you.

1. Go vote and encourage others to vote too!

GWC-UAW members will be electing 5 new bargaining committee members, who will be responsible for negotiating a strong first contract with Columbia University.

Bargaining Committee Vacancy Elections will be held Wednesday, February 6, and Thursday, February 7. Please find the candidates and their candidate statements, along with election information here.

Voting Times and Locations

Morningside: Feb. 6, 7; 10am-6pm, Nous Café/Graduate Student Center (Philosophy Hall)

CUMC: Feb. 6, 7; 10am-6pm, Hammer Health Sciences Building Room LL1-104

Lamont: Feb. 6; 10am-2pm, Cafeteria

Manhattanville: Feb. 7; 10am-2pm, The Forum (in the cafe)


2. Come to General Body Meetings in January

The first GBMs of the semester will be dedicated to discussing the union’s vision for the bargaining process. Among other agenda items, we will finalize the language of the Open Bargaining Referendum, which will be included on the Bargaining Committee ballot. We want to hear from you!

January 30, Wednesday, 12:45pm, IAB 1201

January 30, Wednesday, 6:30pm, IAB 707

January 31, Thursday, 11:30am, B2 Conference Room, 60 Haven (CUMC)

Please let us know if you need childcare or any other accommodation in order to attend by responding to this email.

3. Come to Organizing Meetings in Spring 2019

This semester, starting February 6, the GWC Organizing Committee will meet every Wednesday at 6pm, location TBD. 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 are welcome to join the committee and attend all meetings.


4. Happy Hour on Thursday, January 31

Happy Hour prices at Floridita and just good fun union bonding. Candidates running for the bargaining committee vacancy election have been invited to join us and answer your questions.

If you plan on attending, please try to RSVP so we can let Floridita know. If you don’t have Facebook, please RSVP by responding to this email.

Thursday, January 31, 5-7pm at Floridita (2276 12th Ave).


5. Fill out a Bargaining Survey

Over 2,500 graduate workers have filled out bargaining surveys and we continue to ask ask everyone in the unit to fill out our bargaining survey, as one form of continued feedback and so that we will be able to represent the key issues on campus and working conditions.


6. Contribute to the Working Group addressing Sexual Harassment

As our Sexual Harassment Working Group moves forward on gathering information about the scope of workplace harassment and gender-based misconduct on campus, formulating demands to present to Columbia during contract bargaining sessions, and organizing our union’s own internal policies and structures of support for survivors, we want to hear what you have to say.

If you have encountered harassment in any form during your time at Columbia, have supported a friend or colleague through such an experience, or have experienced and coped with trauma or other mental health concerns related to sexual assault and harassment as a graduate worker here, please consider filling out our Discrimination, Harassment and Assault Survey.

The raw survey data will be accessible only to two grad-workers on the Harassment Working Group; anonymised, statistical reports based on the data may be shared at GWC organising meetings to help refine bargaining demands, identify institutional/structural problems at Columbia, and better serve union members. Almost all questions are optional, and you may request that identifying data regarding the circumstances of your report (such as your name) be removed at any time. If you would prefer to speak to us about your experiences in person or by email, please contact us at shwg.gwc@gmail.com.