We are writing to remind you of the ongoing ratification vote for our tentative agreement on the first contract for research and teaching assistants at Columbia. Please note that you should have received an email with subject line “Vote now: GWC-UAW Local 2110 Contract Ratification” and an individual code to access and cast your ballot. The vote will close on Friday, April 30, at 5 PM ET. You can read the full text of the agreement here and contract highlights here.

What is the contract ratification vote?

The contract ratification vote is a vote for all bargaining unit members to democratically determine whether or not to accept the terms of the agreement that has been tentatively agreed to by the University and the Union’s elected Bargaining Committee. A simple majority of those voting determines the outcome of the vote. However, for the vote to be representative and powerful, it is critical for a supermajority of student workers to participate.

Who is eligible to vote?

Eligible voters are Columbia graduate and undergraduate students who are currently employed by the university, have been employed by the university in the past, or whose program includes a degree requirement to be employed by the university in one of the categories outlined by the NLRB decision (i.e., graduate and undergraduate Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, Preceptors, Course Assistants, Readers, Graders, Graduate Research Assistants [including those on Training Grants], and All Departmental Research Assistants), and who have signed a union authorization card or similar card authorizing representation by GWC-UAW. If you have not done so already, you may fill out a union authorization card here.

If you do not satisfy the eligibility criteria but wish to participate in the vote, you will receive a challenged ballot. Challenged ballots are resolved and counted only if their number is determinative of the outcome of the vote.

What platform is used for the vote?

We will use ElectionBuddy. This electronic platform guarantees secrecy of ballots and makes sure that no one can vote more than once.

How can I access my ballot?

You should receive an email from ElectionBuddy with your ballot on Wednesday, April 21, 9 AM ET or soon after you sign a union card if the vote has already begun. Please check your spam, junk, and promotions folders if you cannot locate your ballot right away.

What if I cannot locate my ballot?

If you cannot locate the email from ElectionBuddy with the ballot, including in your spam, junk, and promotions folders, email us at columbiagradunion@gmail.com.

What is the quorum for the vote? How is the outcome decided?

There is no quorum for the vote and a simple majority decides the outcome. However, for the vote to be representative, it is crucial that the majority of student workers participate.

When will we know the results?

We will know the results shortly after the vote is closed on Friday, April 30, at 5 PM ET. Everyone can attend the ballot count via Zoom (more details will be provided soon).