We are writing to summarize a few points as many of us are back to work while the strike is on pause. If your questions remain unanswered, please do not hesitate to reach out by replying to this email.

  • Pay attestation. Though the strike is currently paused, the University is continuing its weekly attestation system for pay. We are asking everyone not to fill out the pay attestation forms for as long as possible in solidarity with workers who are continuing to strike. Columbia cannot legally withhold your pay if you are not on strike. Once the strike is over, you can retrieve wrongfully withheld pay by emailing gradpayassist@columbia.edu or filing a complaint with the NYS Department of Labor.

  • Those remaining on strike: You have a legal right to participate in a collective concerted activity. Retaliation for continuing to strike is illegal. You will also continue to be eligible to apply for the Hardship Fund here.

  • Back-pay attestation. The University has implemented an attestation system for work missed during the strike that you may choose to make up. Faculty and supervisors cannot intimidate you to make up strike work, or ask you to fill out attestation if you choose not to. Those attesting to making up strike work will receive retroactive pay for the full three weeks of the strike after providing a brief summary of the work they made up. Hourly workers can attest by recording additional hours in their timesheets. The attestation system does not have detailed guidelines for how to make up work and it is expected that workers make this assessment themselves considering the limited time left in the semester and the unique nature of their work.

  • Retaliation. We remind that any retaliation for participating in union activities and/or collective concerted activities is illegal. The university has asserted that all faculty have been directed to an FAQ that includes information on non-retaliation. Faculty shall not ask students if they are on strike or intimidate student workers to return to work. It is illegal to retaliate against workers on strike in terms of workload, academic opportunities, or through any other form of discrimination. If you encounter any retaliation, please do not hesitate to send us a more details by replying to this email or writing to columbiagradunion@gmail.com.

We are continuing to mobilize in case the University fails to address our core priorities in a timely manner and we are prepared to resume the strike if needed. Stay tuned and read the updates from mediation in the bargaining blog here.