After years of legal delays by the Columbia University administration, a majority of graduate workers voted 93% (1832 to 136) to authorize their bargaining committee to call a strike and after a missed strike deadline we went on strike from April 24 to April 30. For a week over 1500 graduate workers went on strike and picketed our campus. When the strike ended, we knew what our next steps would be. We continued organizing and vowed to escalate in the fall, prepared to strike again until Columbia respects our labor, our rights as workers, and our democratic election, and agrees to negotiate a contract with us. Despite nine private universities agreeing to bargain with their graduate workers–including contracts won at Brandeis, Tufts, and New York University and contract negotiations underway at Harvard University and The New School–Columbia continues to stand on the wrong side of history.
We have sent President Bollinger a letter demanding that the university declare its intention to bargain by 5:00 pm on November 30. If the university continues to defy both labor law and the democratic voice of its workers and does not agree to bargain by that date, we will go on strike on December 4.
Employees in our union who will be striking include: all student employees who provide instructional services, including graduate and undergraduate Teaching Assistants (Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, Preceptors, Course Assistants, Readers and Graders): All Graduate Research Assistants (including those compensated through Training Grants) and All Departmental Research Assistants.
Please also find:
- Suggestions on how to talk to your students.
- Suggestions on how to talk to your faculty.
- Our letter to faculty.