On Friday, we met with the CU bargaining team for our first bargaining session of the semester. It’s been almost a year since we began the process—you can check out the current status of all the articles, as well as the full proposals, on our website here: https://columbiagradunion.org/bargaining/

In Friday’s session, our bargaining team presented three counterproposals: Workspace and Materials; Training; and Intellectual Property, Scholarly and Research Misconduct. Columbia’s bargaining team presented four counterproposals on Workspace and Materials; Training; Appointments; and Leaves.

We reached a tentative agreement with the University on Workspace and Materials, an article which will ensure access to workspace, deskspace, facilities, equipment and other services required for unit members to perform their assigned duties. It also guarantees reimbursement for required materials, equipment, or services and commits the University to providing advance notice if workspaces are changed.

Columbia’s latest counterproposal on Leaves still does not acknowledge an immigration leave for student workers and does not provide paid medical or disability leaves. We engaged in a longer discussion about international workers and leave policies and reiterated the additional challenges international workers face, especially when ISSO’s services fall short.

Once again, we raised our demand for the University to establish a medical fund for those of us who were impacted after the elimination of the 100 Plan. The University’s response? “That would defeat the purpose of the change.” Clearly, Columbia administration values its bottom line more than the health and wellness of individual workers who make it the world-renowned institution. As your Bargaining Committee, we continue to fight for more inclusive, accessible, and affordable healthcare.

We are still waiting for the University’s response to the economic proposals we presented last year, including compensation and family friendly benefits.

Our next bargaining session is on Friday, January 31, 9:30am-1pm in Studebaker 469. As always, you’re welcome to join us at the session or to reach out at gwc.bargaining@gmail.com if you have any questions or experiences to share!

In solidarity,

GWC-UAW Local 2110 Bargaining Committee