Today we are galvanized to continue our preparations for the strike as the Bargaining Committee enters the last session before the deadline. Everything we can do in this final push towards the strike deadline on Monday, and once the strike begins, will contribute to winning a strong first contract for the 3,000+ student workers that this union represents.
Here are some action items for today:
Sign up for picketing virtually and/or in-person next week. We are going to let Columbia know that our labor matters. Deliveries of non-medical goods will be halted. Picket line policies can be found here. While we encourage everyone to spend 20 hours at the picket line, you must spend at least 10 hours (in-person and/or digitally) picketing in order to qualify for the strike benefits. If this is not an option for you, you may request an exemption through either of the picket sign-up forms. When you are picketing, remember to sign in and out of shifts.
Sign up for the strike fund to ensure that you are covered in the event that Columbia withholds pay while we are on strike.
Share inspiration. This week student workers launched a massive response to the administration’s anti-union messaging and organized the campaign for funds. This morning the NLRB announced it is withdrawing a proposed rule that would have challenged the rights of student workers. While essential protections are yet to be granted, in our time bargaining so far we have won real provisions for international student workers, a $4,000 childcare subsidy per child, and an additional paid sick leave of 2 weeks. It is in our power to collectively secure a strong first contract.
Attend the Bargaining Session Today!
We have one more bargaining session before the strike deadline: today, Friday, March 12, 12 noon-5 pm. If you would like to attend via Zoom, please use this form to RSVP. You can use the Zoom materials from the strike toolkit or this editable graphic to show your support for the contract demands and the strike.
Circulate Information about Pay
Earlier this week, Columbia announced they had developed a plan to dock pay for strikers, an anti-labor move by the university meant to intimidate. We will show up to bargaining with confidence and show Columbia that docking our pay will not deter us from striking. Our Bargaining Committee is in touch with legal counsel. What we know for certain is that we have a strike fund, and a rapidly growing crowd-funded hardship fund. Being paid is a necessity, whether it be from the university, or from these resources:
UAW strike benefits. All student workers going on strike and needing monetary assistance from our union’s UAW Strike Assistance Fund, should sign-up here. After filling out this form, you will receive a direct email from the UAW Strike Assistance Fund with a form you must complete. If your pay is docked, the $275/week strike assistance will begin on the 8th day of our strike. This $275 will cover the first week of the strike, as well as any future weeks, as long as the strike lasts for 8 days or more.To qualify for these benefits, you must spend 10 hours on the in person or virtual picket, unless you have an exemption.
Hardship fund. Our undergraduate students have set up a hardship fund in support of our strike that continues to grow by the hour. Striking workers will have access to these funds regardless of the length of the strike. More details about the application process are forthcoming soon.