NOTICE OF VACANCY ELECTION – UNION BARGAINING COMMITTEE (1 position)

Angela Woodall (Communications) has been elected by acclamation for the professional/other schools (School of the Arts, Journalism, SIPA, Business, Professional Studies, GSAPP, Social Work, and Law, etc) jurisdiction.

An election for the GWC-UAW Bargaining Committee (1 position) will take place on:

Election Date: Thursday, October 19, 2017

Voting Times and Locations

  • Morningside: 10am-6pm, in Nous Café/Graduate Student Center (Philosophy Hall)
  • CUMC: 10am-6pm, in Hammer Health Sciences Building Room LL1-104
  • Lamont: 10am-2pm, in Geosciences entrance

The following are the candidates. Please find their statements below.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences

Tania Bhattacharyya
Jeff Jacobs
Tim Lundy
Matt Mazewski

Voting in the election shall be at large and shall not be restricted by jurisdiction. Voters, regardless of department, shall be entitled to vote for up to one (1) candidate.

Voter Eligibility: Eligible voters have signed a GWC-UAW authorization card who 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). If you meet the above criteria and have not signed up for the Union previously, you may do so at the polls in order to vote.

Vote Count: Ballots will be counted after the polls close at Brownies Cafe (basement of Avery Hall).

A run-off election, if necessary, will be held on Wednesday, October 25, from 10am to 6pm. The locations will be announced if necessary.


Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences

Tania Bhattacharyya

I am a sixth year doctoral candidate in History, and an organizer with the Graduate Workers of Columbia. As a member of the GWC Bargaining Committee, I would bring to the table my experience organizing around workers’ issues across several departments (History, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Applied Mathematics & Applied Physics), as well as negotiating with Columbia University administrators as a member of the International Students’ Working Group. As a historian and an international student in USA at this political moment, I believe that our union is a means to our collective empowerment, as graduate workers and as members of a wider society. Having a union contract is a vital part of the movement to build a more equal, safe and inclusive working environment and a democratic political system. As long as Columbia’s workers have to go to court to settle sexual harassment complaints, or wait months to fly to their home country to get dental treatment that is affordable, this institution is failing us as educators and employers. With a union contract, we can begin to address that. I believe in a bargaining process that is transparent, efficient and responsible to the membership. I commit to fight particularly for a contract that protects Columbia’s DACA, international students and workers of colour in an increasingly racist, xenophobic climate, and empowers its LGBTQIA members and survivors of sexual assault in a hetero-patriarchal world. Beyond the bargaining table I am committed to keep organizing on the most pressing issues before us.


Jeff Jacobs

I am a 3rd-year PhD student in the Political Science department. In my research I use computational-linguistic tools to study how changes in labor law affect the benefits and restrictions workers are able to attain in their union contracts. As a complement to this “top-down” approach, however, I also have several years of on-the-ground organizing experience, starting in the fast food sector as part of SEIU Local 1021’s successful Fight for $15 campaign in Alameda County, CA, and continuing in academia as an organizer with GWC-UAW 2110 here at Columbia.

I have therefore seen, from multiple angles, the ways in which unions with attentive representatives can address the most pressing issues faced by workers, and win! Because my primary task will be to reflect your concerns at the bargaining table, I will work to make the process as open as possible, hopefully in the form of open bargaining meetings if Columbia eventually decides to negotiate.

Outside of open bargaining, I will fight to ensure Columbia provides support for all students affected by the rise of white supremacy in the era of Trump. In particular, I pledge to center Muslim students, women of color, and queer/trans students in my work. Concretely, this entails forcing Columbia to play an active role in addressing racial and sexual harassment, to provide robust childcare support, to take responsibility for climate change and other issues of global concern via its endowment, and to address the displacement of Harlem residents which accompanied the recent Manhattanville expansion.


Tim Lundy

I am a fourth-year PhD student in the English department as well as a University Writing instructor and have been an active member of the Graduate Workers of Columbia since beginning my program. I became involved with the union out of the deep belief that organizing and collective action are the best—if not the only— means by which instructors, researchers, employees, and students can fight back against the corporate university and its increasingly misguided priorities. I am running for the bargaining committee to ensure that our union continues to build power democratically and uses that power to support individual workers and win the improvements and protections we all deserve.


Matt Mazewski

My name is Matt Mazewski and I am currently a third year Ph.D. student in Economics, where I have worked as a TA for three semesters and a grader for two. I have been involved in organizing within my department since last December’s union election and would be honored to serve on the GWC-UAW Local 2110 bargaining committee.

While I would certainly do my best to effectively advocate for the priorities of all graduate workers, there are several issues that have been particularly important in motivating my own support for the union:

1. Stipends and rent – When increases to both were announced during my first year, I was astonished to hear from older students that many could not remember stipends ever growing at least as quickly as rent. We need to keep up pressure on the administration to make sure that progress in this area continues.

2. Taxes – Columbia’s failure to withhold taxes from stipends for most student workers not only makes filing returns more complicated, but can cause other problems as well, such as difficulty documenting income when applying for credit.

3. Late pay – Late pay is a systemic issue. While I have mercifully avoided one of the worst horror stories myself, I have experienced a wait of over six months for a reimbursement from my department and understand that something must be done.

Please do not hesitate to contact me by email at matthew.mazewski@columbia.edu. I would be happy to hear from you and grateful to have your vote!


 

 

 

Click here to view the elections from Spring 2017

February 24, 2017

We are pleased to present the results of the first GWC-UAW Local 2110 Bargaining Committee election.  Thank you to everyone who participated in this historic step toward negotiating our first contract with Columbia University.

After the polls closed tonight at 6pm, the ballots were counted.  The following candidates received the largest number of votes in each of the five jurisdictions and have been elected to the Bargaining Committee:

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Natural Sciences
Trevor Hull – 323 votes
Daniel Iascone – 255 votes
Takaya Uchida – 361 votes

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences
Rana Baker – 254 votes
Kate Jackson – 437 votes
Sophie Wilkowske – 278 votes

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Olga Brudastova – 397 votes
Noura Farra – 397 votes

Mohammed Shaik – 163 votes

Columbia University Medical Center/Public Health
Christian Aurup – 188 votes
Ian Bradley-Perrin – 378 votes
Justin Steinfeld – 300 votes

Professional/other schools (School of the Arts, Journalism, SIPA, Business, Professional Studies, GSAPP, Social Work, and Law, etc).
Paul Carpenter – 169 votes
A.L. Hu – 275 votes
Joscelyn Jurich – 208 votes
Rosalie Ray – 297 votes


NOTICE OF ELECTION – UNION BARGAINING COMMITTEE (10 positions)

An election for the GWC-UAW Bargaining Committee (10 positions) will take place on:

Election Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017

Voting Times and Locations

  • Morningside: 10am-6pm, in Nous Café/Graduate Student Center (Philosophy Hall)
  • CUMC: 10am-6pm, in Hammer Health Sciences Building Room LL1-104
  • Lamont: 10am-2pm, in Geosciences entrance

The following are candidates in each of the five (5) jurisdictions. Each jurisdiction will have two (2) positions on the bargaining committee. Please find their statements below.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Natural Sciences
Trevor Hull
Daniel Iascone
Takaya Uchida

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences
Rana Baker
Kate Jackson
Sophie Wilkowske

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Olga Brudastova
Noura Farra
Mohammed Shaik

Columbia University Medical Center/Public Health
Christian Aurup
Ian Bradley-Perrin
Justin Steinfeld

Professional/other schools (School of the Arts, Journalism, SIPA, Business, Professional Studies, GSAPP, Social Work, and Law, etc).
Paul Carpenter
A.L. Hu
Joscelyn Jurich
Rosalie Ray

Voting in the election shall be at large and shall not be restricted by jurisdiction. Voters, regardless of department, shall be entitled to vote for up to two (2) candidates in each jurisdiction, for a total of ten (10) candidates.

Voter Eligibility: Eligible voters are union supporters who 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).  If you meet the above criteria and have not signed up for the Union previously, you may do so at the polls in order to vote.

Vote Count: Ballots will be counted after the polls close at Brownies Cafe (basement of Avery Hall).

A run-off election, if necessary, will be held on Wednesday, March 1, from 10am to 6pm. The locations will be announced if necessary.


The following are candidates in each of the five (5) jurisdictions. Each of which will have two (2) positions on the bargaining committee.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Natural Sciences

Trevor Hull

Hi Graduate Student Workers!

I’m a 3rd year graduate student in the chemistry department. I was first motivated to get involved in the Union after seeing the administrations blatant attempts to prevent us from gaining more power for ourselves. I was inspired by the union producing results even before it was formed. This convinced me that it could be a real channel to fix problems in the university.

As a STEM student I was excited to see the union active in calling for more scientific funding, and imagined how it could improve my health (both mental and physical), and safety in lab. I was disappointed that the administrators thought they could win over STEM workers and pit us against other departments. Through union activities I’ve been able to meet graduate workers from across campus in other departments and realized we have a lot of similar needs. We all feel overworked, we all feel afraid to voice our concerns, we all would like to be paid on time and be able to afford our rent.

We’re stronger together than we are separate, and I want to help improve the working conditions for people working in labs, people working in libraries, and every where else on campus. Together we can help make Columbia a better place for us, since the administration won’t listen to our problems or doesn’t want to solve them.

I will work hard to get the best contract possible for all graduate workers!

Unions make us strong!


Daniel Iascone

It’s clear from Columbia’s unchanging adversarial stance against our union that they have no intention of bargaining fairly with us if they can avoid it. I believe that our bargaining committee will need to be similarly adversarial to protect our rights as workers.

As a Union member my top priorities are:

1. More affordable dependent health and dental coverage

2. Increased access to affordable housing

3. Promoting a safe work environment for graduate workers with a formal procedure for neutrally arbitrating grievances

4. Adequate support for graduate workers (especially international workers) affected by Trump’s travel restrictions

Thanks for your consideration,
Dan Iascone


Takaya Uchida

I’m a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. As an earth scientist, I believe that feedback systems matter, whether in natural systems or political organizations. That’s why I am committed to making sure the bargaining committee prioritizes communicating with the unit members, prioritizing rank and file concerns, and making sure leadership is always held accountable to the overwhelming mandate our unit has delivered.

I’ve been involved in organizing on the Lamont campus since early 2015, where we had to organize against a strident anti-union campaign. We were able to gain a strong majority of support because we were able to speak to concerns specific both to scientists and to international students. As an earth scientist, I’m committed to bringing Columbia to account on divestment from fossil fuel and military research, and as an international student, I will demand that Columbia vastly improves its treatment of our international community. I will push for vastly increased OPT granting, and protections for our Columbia community affected by the current US politics.

I became involved in organizing because I am a firm believer that welfare and education are basic human rights, not privileges. I look forward to bringing my mathematical proficiency, engagement with the scientific and international community, and passion for equity to our ongoing campaign. I am committed to building an academically vibrant environment. I promise to fight to make our workplace harassment free, and to both protect and expand current health benefits and stipends in STEM.


Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences

Rana Baker

I will run on a platform that advocates for labour rights and direct political action.

I will make sure I represent the best interests of international, working-class, undocumented, and LGBTQ students, as well as migrant workers and women and men of colour.

In addition to advocating housing subsidies, childcare, unconditional OPT for all, and summer fellowships for international students especially those affected by the racist Muslim ban, I will demand that strict procedures be put into place to eradicate and thoroughly investigate sexual harassment and racism, the practice and propagation of which must entail immediate termination of whatever programme/contract the harasser/racist is on.

It is also my priority to push Columbia to explicitly declare that under no circumstances will it collaborate with Homeland Security in reporting undocumented students or Muslims targeted by the racist Muslim ban. To this effect, an official body must be created to ensure the return of those stranded outside of the US as well as full mobility rights to those who need to leave to reunite with their families or undertake research. Columbia must declare its campus sanctuary.

Finally, I will do everything I can to force Columbia to divest from fossil fuels and prisons, and to cut ties with, and find alternatives for, all institutions which are involved in such investments and which operate as research labs for militaries and prison industries.

I am committed to regularly meet with any individual or group who would like to discuss this agenda on theoretical and enforcement levels.


Kate Jackson

Before coming to Columbia to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science, I practiced corporate law for seven years. Drawing from this experience, I will fight for a contract that guarantees graduate workers the compensation and working conditions they deserve. We, graduate workers, play a key role in delivering the education that makes Columbia one of the best universities in the world. Our contract must reflect our contribution. As a political theorist, I will also fight for a contract that realizes Columbia’s core democratic values. One that protects the fundamental rights and interests of our entire community.

As a lawyer, I witnessed the temptations faced by corporate leaders as they operate complex organizations within financial and legal constraints. I expect Columbia will use these constraints as justifications to deny our reasonable demands. I also know, first-hand, how to find creative contractual solutions to such constraints while dealing with legal teams on their own terrain. My experience tells me we should not settle for anything less than our bargaining platform.

Not settling also means protecting our international students as a sanctuary campus. It means establishing Title IX procedures attentive to the acute harms faced by complainants. It means protecting and respecting our hard work with intellectual property rights. It means transparency and a willingness to listen and respond with active responsibility. It means, at the end of the day, recognizing that our union can help preserve the University as a University, a community not just of workers, bosses and balance sheets, but also of learning and dynamic civic engagement.


Sophie Wilkowske

I am a student worker and an undergraduate at Columbia College. For the last three semesters, I’ve been a Teaching Assistant in American Studies, and for the past two years I have worked as a Research Assistant in History (before that, I was an RA in Economics). Like so many of us, I have faced employment issues that are hard to address on my own as a very junior employee. Right now, around 400 undergraduate TAs who do the same work as their graduate peers are part of our bargaining unit. I am running especially to be an advocate for my fellow undergrad student workers and the issues that we most often face: late paychecks, unclear terms of employment, and drastically uneven pay rates and policies across departments and positions.

The University depends on student workers to teach its classes and produce the research that makes it a world-class institution. In return, we deserve to bargain democratically over the terms of our employment. Solidarity across departments, schools, and disciplines will win us the strongest contract possible.

I became involved in GWC by organizing undergraduates around the election, and believe that strong organizing is the best preparation for representative and effective bargaining. I’m excited to learn more about the experiences and needs of student workers at Columbia, and to advocate for all of us in an efficient, effective, and representative way.


School of Engineering and Applied Science

Olga Brudastova

I am a fourth year MS/PhD student in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, currently serving as a TA, working in the field of stochastic mechanics. In the past I have been a recipient of the Presidential Fellowship, and I am currently serving as a department representative on the Engineering Graduate Student Council (EGSC).

I became involved in organizing from very early on, Spring 2014, after having repeatedly experienced late payment and learning that a union contract can be an easy solution to this and many other problems that graduate and undergraduate workers face on a daily basis.

Even though most of my organizing activity was dedicated to the Engineering School, I have participated in town halls and panels organized by GWC, as well as EGSC and the Student Affairs Committee of the University Senate covering all departments and campuses. After the successful authorization card­-drive, I have had a pleasure to serve as a spokesperson, representing the union in such media outlets as The New York Times, Associated Press, Chronicle of Higher Education, etc. My other activities throughout the campaign included working on the Communications Committee, as well as participating in delegations to administration with the International Students’ Working Group and No Red Tape.

Being an international student myself, I cannot underestimate the importance of fair and well­-stated policies that define not only our work, but also our life conditions. I am committed to following the results of the bargaining surveys if I am elected to the Bargaining Committee.


Noura Farra

All of us graduate workers, who contribute so much to our universities, deserve fair and just working conditions. I’m committed to ensuring that at Columbia we will have a union contract which clearly secures such conditions along with a healthy and productive work environment.

During our union campaign I was an active campus organizer. I organized and got out the vote in the computer science department where I am a PhD student. I co-wrote the engineering student op-ed arguing for why collective bargaining is so important for engineering graduate employees and for academic employees in general. I’ve seen that everyone stands to gain from a strong contract, whether it’s pay increases, quality healthcare and dependent care, security, or protections for vulnerable workers, among them international students who have a lot of stake. I am also a member of the union’s International Student working group. We organized the university rally to protest the recent immigration ban, negotiated with and urged administrators to ensure protections for those who are affected, and we are now gearing up for a fight to preserve OPT. It’s become even more urgent now to have a fair bargaining process to protect all our graduate workers who give so much to our academic communities.

Let’s join in solidarity and negotiate a strong contract that will not only protect vulnerable workers but that will also create an environment for all of us to produce our best work.


Mohammed Shaik

Very recently, the GWC powerfully organized against Trump’s Muslim ban – an issue that hit close to home. I am a first generation immigrant who once held a visa and a green card before recently becoming an American citizen. Beyond financial stability, our union has been a powerful advocate for social issues on campus. Currently, our undergraduate peers are experiencing a terrible suicide epidemic. Together with the administration, undergraduate leaders and I have already devised a plan for suicide prevention training for TAs and graduate mentors, in addition to sexual violence response and multi-cultural sensitivity training. This is the first of many critical issues I will work on as your voice on the bargaining committee.

I’ve also demonstrated that I will work tirelessly to ensure that our contract benefits us financially. My research into Columbia’s rent records revealed that we pay a whopping 40% of our stipends towards rent. Stabilized rent to income ratios, reasonable yearly rent increases, and rent deadline extensions in instances of late pay are therefore extremely important specifics to include in our contract.  In fact, my repeated advocacy towards this issue is why these specifics are currently in our bargaining survey. We will ensure that rent protections be included in any contract we sign — a first of its kind and a truly historic achievement for a graduate union.

I will strive for us to have a detailed contract that fulfills our labor demands and ensures a Columbia graduate worker culture of inclusivity and diversity.


Columbia University Medical Center/Public Health

Christian Aurup

I am a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering.  Though my academic life has always centered around engineering, my extracurricular involvement during my undergraduate tenure at the University of Delaware was often revolved around politics.  As a freshman and sophomore, I ran analysis of voter data for a state treasurer candidate that went on to become the first African-American voted to statewide office in Delaware.  As a senior, I successfully managed a grassroots campaign for a State Senate seat that had been held by a long-time serving President Pro-Tempore, beating that person in a lopsided primary.

I spent a great deal of time on people’s doorsteps hearing their concerns and strategizing solutions to them.  I am a strong supporter of unions and believe that what we accomplish at Columbia will reverberate into the future.  I am very concerned with salary and stipend issues.  I do not believe that graduate workers are compensated adequately to account for the amount of debt that was accrued to get to that point in their careers.  Increasing compensation or creating a system to allow temporary student debt relief will allow more students to compete for positions and a richer academic atmosphere.

I hope to get the chance to be a member of the bargaining committee to fight for these matters and others that the graduate workers union deem important.  I do not give up easily and always fight for what is right.


Ian Bradley-Perrin

I am a second year PhD Student in Sociomedical Sciences, studying the history of the pharmaceutical industry and its relationship to AIDS activists in the 1990s and 2000s. I already hold an MA in History and am currently Social Science and Research Council of Canada Fellow. As an international student, I am keenly aware of the particular challenges that international students face on the medical campus from the time they arrive at Columbia. I have been heavily involved in the Union campaign on the medical campus for the past year and a half initiating several small campaigns around late pay at the School of Public Health and across the University. Throughout the Union YES campaign I attended several townhalls expressing the specific concerns of CUMC students to various members of the administration. I also represented the Union campaign alongside Olga Brudastova for various press and media outlets including the New York Times, AP, The Chronicle of Higher Ed and more.

In addition to my work with the Union, I currently serve as Senator for the School of Public Health as well as the Vice President of the Graduate Student Advisory Council where I have also served as SMS representative. From these experiences I have learned how to engage effectively with the administration and with other student groups to produce the results that students and workers want and need to see. I am committed to seeing the needs expressed in the bargaining survey come to fruition through tough and fair bargaining.


Justin Steinfeld 

I imagine they’ve put these in alphabetical order so you’ve already read several—I’ll try not to be trite.  I’m a 5th year MD/PhD candidate in the Integrated Program. I got involved in the union during my second attempt to get meaningful renovations done to the infamously third-world state of the William Black Building. While in the process of petitions to OSHA and NYC-EPA, Jason Resnikoff and Bradley Gorski came to me suggesting the union can help. From there we organized a 60+ person signed petition within the building which yielded at least a minimal response from the administration. The reality is we need a contract to actuate change in this institution, which means we need a good contract. I’m not going to make empty promises of what we can deliver but I can guarantee I will listen to everyone’s desires and integrate that into a realistic platform. Plus, I grew up in a family full of lawyers so I can be stubbornly unwavering when necessary. Feel free to read some of the things I helped write or was quoted in: https://medium.com/@justinsteinfeld/were-voting-for-the-union-at-columbia-university-medical-center-3ca808a06492#.nlno4uic1

http://www.chronicle.com/article/Graduate-Student-Union-Efforts/238659?cid=cp53 (need to be connected to CU network due to paywall)

I would like to represent CUMC well in this bargaining committee so please vote for me and don’t be afraid to email me @ jbs2214@cumc.columbia.edu if you have any questions.


Professional/other schools (School of the Arts, Journalism, SIPA, Business, Professional Studies, GSAPP, Social Work, and Law, etc).

Paul Carpenter

As a third year Film MFA student, I have had ample opportunity to observe and understand the way the administration’s policies impede our efforts to work, learn, and grow as both students and workers. And I’ve already fought for change: last year, I helped lead an effort within the film department to fight back against deteriorating facilities and enormous sneakily hidden fees. Acting together, we won a significant, immediate financial aid boost and several other concessions.

Our struggle proved that Columbia, no matter what they may say, can do more for us. But I also discovered firsthand that the university’s use of disinformation, intimidation, and sidetracking as negotiating tools knows no bounds. We learned that it’s possible to pierce through their tactics with laser focus on our demands, but our stumbles along the way cost us a full victory. In the coming negotiation, with the entire university involved, the administration will redouble its efforts. Both my mistakes and successes during our fight in Film have prepared me for what is sure to be a tough, acrimonious battle.

Since I became a TA, my organizing efforts with the union have shown me how universal many of our worries are. We now have a chance to raise those issues. We need a bargaining committee that is prepared to fight for every inch of ground. If elected, I will be a tireless advocate for those collective needs, and I won’t back down until we have a fair contract.

I can be contacted at palmcarp@gmail.com and 507-581-4121.


A.L. Hu

As a 3rd year Master of Architecture student at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), I have witnessed firsthand the need for a graduate worker union. I have worked as an hourly employee and an RA, and I am currently employed as a TA. I have advocated for my cohort for three years as one of two elected members of GSAPP’s Program Council, including on issues of transparency regarding assistantships at GSAPP. As a first generation person of color and a member of the Race, Ethnicity and Inclusion Task Force, I am attuned to the intersectional, cross-cultural concerns that many international students may have. As a transgender person and a member of the organizing committee of Queer Students of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (QSAPP), I am keenly aware of the particular struggles of the LGBTQ community.

Above all, through my on-the-ground and organizing committee work for GWC-UAW since enrolling at Columbia in 2014, I have listened to countless stories of my coworkers and colleagues across GSAPP and other departments across the university, all of them personal, all of them unique. As a member of the bargaining committee, I will work to ensure that the contract represents all of our voices and specific needs. We deserve a strong first contract to assert our power as graduate workers, and I am willing to fight for all of us. I am ready to serve and look forward to the opportunity to work with you in the upcoming months.


Joscelyn Jurich

As an active member of the union for the past three years, I believe that a strong union and a comprehensive, fair contract is essential, both for the well-being and flourishing of the university, and for the larger national and international movement to recognize and protect academic workers’ rights.  For doctoral students in the professional schools, it is essential that we create and codify a contract that gives us full fellowship parity with GSAS students, giving us five years of guaranteed fellowship funding instead of the three years of funding our students currently have. This will greatly improve our research capacities and the quality of life for student workers, and especially international student workers who currently suffer under our funding allocation.  The contract should also reflect the rights that we, as professional school student workers, have been arguing for consistently:  childcare and maternity benefits equal to those of GSAS; summer funding for international students; access to all of the academic resources (such as research grants and dissertation write- up fellowships) for which we are currently ineligible.  All student workers need the right to fair, due process for labor-related disputes and grievances as well as a strike protection fund.  More broadly, I am completely committed to fair and comprehensive processes for investigating any and all sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity or sexuality and to ensuring that the administration takes every measure necessary to make Columbia University a sanctuary campus.


Rosalie Ray

I am running for the bargaining committee for the Graduate Workers of Columbia (GWC) UAW Local 2110 to be your eyes, ears, and voice. I got involved in the union after Trump was elected because it gave me the chance to make a concrete difference. I organized my department (Urban Planning PhDs) for election turnout, helped to draft the bargaining survey, and have spread out beyond my department as a campus organizer collecting those same surveys. I enjoy meeting new people, telling them about the union, hearing their stories, and bringing their concerns back to the union.

As a member of the bargaining committee, I would maintain that same practice of going out, hearing concerns, and sharing updates. Moreover, I would push for open bargaining, so that interested members could observe the procedures at any time. Everyone should have the right to be in the room where it happens.

I chose to run on the Progressive slate because the slate stands for open, transparent bargaining and views the union as a chance to not only win economic victories for ourselves but to participate in the larger political struggles of our time. I relish the opportunity to push Columbia toward being a sanctuary campus and to use its considerable resources to protect its most vulnerable community members. I believe the union will make Columbia a better place to work and study and I hope I can get your vote to make it happen.