We are pleased to present the results of our GWC-UAW Local 2110 Bargaining Committee vacancy election.  Thank you to everyone who participated.

The following candidates received the largest number of votes and have been elected to the Bargaining Committee:

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Natural Sciences

Daniel Blatter (elected by acclamation)

GSAS Humanities and Social Sciences

Rebecca Glade (80)
Susannah Glickman (120)
Jim LaBelle (87)
Matt Mazewski (176)
Dominic Walker (216)
Helen Zhao (254)

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Yash Amonkar (293)
Jake Rabinowitz (140)

Biomedical Sciences/Columbia University Medical Center/Public Health

Batul Hassan (311)
Miles Richardson (183)

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

Nicandro Iannacci (158)
Eva Schreiner (311)


Daniel Blatter (Earth and Environmental Sciences) has been elected by acclamation for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Natural Sciences jurisdiction.

An election for the GWC-UAW Bargaining Committee (5 positions) will take place on:

Election Dates: Wednesday and Thursday, February 6 and 7, 2018

Voting Times and Locations

  • Morningside: Feb. 6, 7; 10am-6pm, Nous Café/Graduate Student Center (Philosophy Hall)
  • CUMC: Feb. 6, 7; 10am-6pm, Hammer Health Sciences Building Room LL1-104
  • Lamont: Feb. 6; 10am-2pm, Cafeteria
  • Manhattanville: Feb. 7; 10am-2pm, The Forum (in the cafe)

The following are candidates in each of the four (4) jurisdictions, and their respective number of open positions on the bargaining committee. Please find their statements below.

GSAS Humanities and Social sciences, two (2) positions
Rebecca Glade
Susannah Glickman
Jim LaBelle
Matt Mazewski
Dominic Walker
Helen Zhao

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, one (1) position
Yash Amonkar
Jake Rabinowitz

Biomedical Sciences/Columbia University Medical Center/Public Health, one (1) position
Batul Hassan
Miles Richardson

Professional/other schools (School of the Arts, Journalism, SIPA, Business, Professional Studies, GSAPP, Social Work, and Law, etc), one (1) position

Nicandro Iannacci
Eva Schreiner

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 the number of candidates not exceeding the number of vacancies in each jurisdiction, for a total of five [5] candidates.

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, February 13, from 10am-6pm at Morningside and CUMC, and 10am to 2pm at Lamont and the Forum. The locations will be announced accordingly.

The following are candidates in each of the four (4) jurisdictions, and their respective number of open positions on the bargaining committee.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, two (2) positions

Rebecca Glade
I am a 3rd year PhD student in the history department studying history of 1960s and 70s political protest in Sudan. Much of my political and organizational orientation has been guided by the history of unions and organizing in Sudan, in which civil uprisings (including protests and general strikes) overthrew two separate military regimes. I take that focus on the grassroots and that understanding of unions’ potential into my organizing efforts.

I was co-president of the Graduate History Association where I worked on issues of sexual harassment and pushed the department to form a Diversity and Inclusion committee to address student concerns. I have been an active member of the Sexual Harassment Working Group, and I will continue to prioritize the creation of a clear grievance procedure and of institutional protections for issues of sexual harassment in the bargaining process.

I believe in an open bargaining process, meaning not only open access to bargaining sessions, but also an inclusive approach to platform development and constant conversation with the general membership on priorities as bargaining occurs. Communication will be essential for helping get us the contract we need: that includes both listening to union members and keeping them up to date on developments. I will be traveling for portions of the next academic year; however, I am committed to maintaining constant communication when I am away, and I take seriously the process of research and analysis necessary in order to develop a platform and successfully bargain for a contract.

Susannah Glickman

I am a third year in the history PhD program focusing on US history and history of science. I have backgrounds in anthropology and mathematics (specifically quantum algorithms) and so have an understanding of the challenges both humanities and STEM workers face. I am committed to representing the interests of the entire union in getting the best possible contract and preserving and amplifying the power of labor. I have previously been in a service workers union (Unite Here Local 9) and so have experience with a healthy, mature and well-functioning union which fosters community and maximizes worker benefits. In addition, I am aware of the unique challenges involved in existing as a union in the weak labor environment provided by the U.S. in this period. As a historian, however, the potential power of labor is equally visible. I have dealt as an individual with university administrations in the past on sexual assault and harassment and therefore am particularly concerned with these issues in the workplace. I do not believe the university has shown a good faith effort to correct their deeply flawed system. I am excited by the gains our union and unions around the country have made in recent years and aim to extend them as much as possible.

Jim LaBelle

I am a TA in Political Science involved with GWC since arriving on campus August 2017. I organized last year’s strike authorization vote, the April strike, and the threatened strike that brought Columbia to the bargaining table. I participate weekly in union governance on the organizing and process committees. I have also spoken to nearly everyone in my own department on behalf of our unionization at least once, and I look forward to meeting more rank and file members throughout the unit.

I have firsthand experience with contract negotiations, a perspective I think would be helpful at the bargaining table. Before Columbia I worked for a San Francisco law firm that devoted a lot of my research labor to negotiations against unions. This work impressed on me that producing knowledge is not enough to make fair decisions happen. That requires everyday people pressing demands backed up by coordinated direct action: unions.

Open bargaining with widespread engagement by members is the highest priority for me. Enthusiastic activism demonstrating our resolve is more important for strengthening our bargaining position than who Bollinger meets with. That said, BC has a special role: representing our reasonable demands firmly and patiently, until we have a fair contract. That means actively seeking out our priorities and giving special attention to concerns marginalized by the structure of society (race, gender) and our own unit (one- or two-year masters’ students). I will do this.

Matt Mazewski

I am currently a fourth year Ph.D. student in Economics and have been volunteering as an organizer for GWC-UAW since 2016. My organizing work has involved leading turnout efforts in my department for our representation election two years ago and for the successful strike authorization vote and strike last April, and assisting in the second round of strike planning that finally brought Columbia to the bargaining table late last year.

As a result of this work, I am deeply familiar with the issues animating our fight and am well-versed in communicating with others about what is at stake. I have closely followed the legal developments throughout our campaign and have consistently been a part of strategic discussions at organizing meetings about how to counter the university’s stalling tactics.

My academic background and organizing experience have given me complementary perspectives on GWC’s struggle. As an economist, I often think about it in a “game theoretic” sense: the last several years have made clear that labor law is not self-enforcing and that Columbia will only feel compelled to meet our demands when we can credibly threaten to impose real costs on the administration for its intransigence. But as an organizer, I understand what it takes to actually build our collective power, one conversation at a time.

I would be grateful to have the opportunity to serve on the bargaining committee and finally take us over the finish line to get the contract we deserve. I hope I can count on your vote!

Dominic Walker

I’m a second year PhD student and TA in Sociology, and an organizer with the Graduate Workers of Columbia. I’m running for a seat on the Bargaining Committee because I want to fight not only for the contract we want, but the kind of union we want.

If elected, I pledge to center the everyday issues of graduate and undergraduate workers in fully open bargaining sessions like making sure we’re paid on time and paid for work that exceeds clear expectations of our jobs. Robust, and equal healthcare plans that allow us to take care of ourselves so we can teach our students. Protections against harassment and discrimination that help eradicate the ways that heteropatriarchy and white supremacy enter into our working conditions.

This past year, both Columbia University and UAW executives’ willingness to broker deals behind the backs of our entire union unit show that our union must not only be prepared to struggle against a recalcitrant employer, but to defend that no decisions about us will be made without us. With my fellow CAWDU candidates, I will protect your voice at the bargaining table.

We are in a moment in the U.S. where teachers, adjunct faculty, and other graduate workers are rising up to demand the dignity of fair wages, and protection from harassment and exploitation. The fight for us and our students today, ensures a better university tomorrow. It would be an honor for me to help build that future with you on the Bargaining Committee.

Helen Zhao

I’m a second-year PhD student and TA in Philosophy with interests in feminist philosophy of science, John Dewey’s Logic, and metaethics. After organizing in GWC for a year and a half, I strongly believe that all workers in the bargaining unit deserve a larger say in the internal governance, strategic decisions, and contract negotiations of our union. All members should feel welcome and able to participate in shaping GWC’s direction according to desire and capacity, and should enjoy transparent access to important union information. I’m a member of Columbia Academic Workers for a Democratic Union, and if I’m elected, I pledge to center and amplify unit members’ voices and demands, take criticism and learn from my mistakes, and fight as hard and creatively as I can for a strong and just contract for all members of the unit.

During negotiations, I intend to push, among many other things, for guaranteed sixth and seventh year funding for doctoral workers who need it, a subsidy that actually makes full-time child care for working parents affordable, reasonable access for all TAs to functional teaching facilities, real recourse – not silence – for sexual harassment and other grievances that respects people’s preferences for anonymity, and timely, fair, and proportionate compensation for our labor. I believe that, after nearly two decades of fighting, GWC has the potential to win a contract that sets a new standard for undergraduate and graduate working conditions across the country, and I am excited to be a part of that project.

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, one (1) position

Yash Amonkar

It would be a pleasure for me to serve as a member of the bargaining committee to convey the demands of the general Columbia student worker body and SEAS student workers in particular. Having been in Columbia for some time, this being my third year, I have worked at various positions throughout my time, giving me a unique perspective of the concerns of our members. I look forward to your support of my candidature.

Jake Rabinowitz

I am a 3rd-year PhD candidate in the electrical engineering department who will ardently represent SEAS and all union members in our negotiation for fair working conditions, compensation, and treatment. It is imperative that we band together to collectively attain a contract reflective of the reality that without our efforts, the University could not prosper. I will prioritize increased compensation, clear definition of union members’ rights, affordable housing and childcare, and the development of impartial and impactful grievance procedures to prevent workplace harassment, hostility, and exploitation. I will provide a voice for all union constituents and will ensure that UAW and University staff never again come to a back-door agreement without our input.

Biomedical Sciences/Columbia University Medical Center/Public Health, one (1) position

Batul Hassan

I’m a first-year MPH candidate studying forced migration and a TA in Mailman’s Department of Population and Family Health. I became involved with GWC at the beginning of my program after realizing many of our peers are chronically paid late or not at all. This unacceptable condition is one of many pervasive abuses of power I hope to help the union address by negotiating a transformative contract. My experiences in the nonprofit sector, including organizing against exploitation in the midst of the European refugee crisis, and in the service industry have shaped my understanding of workplace injustice and collective action. As a BC member, I would bring a willingness to learn from and be accountable to my fellow graduate and undergraduate workers throughout the bargaining process.

Driven by workers’ priorities, my goals on the BC would be to negotiate the strongest possible protections for GWC members and give voice to my colleagues at CUMC and in other Masters programs. As a member of C-AWDU, I’m committed to fully open bargaining without secret negotiations. If elected, I’ll fight to ensure transparency within the union so regular GWC members can meaningfully participate in building a safe environment that supports and respects each of us. Any contract worth ratifying will implement effective grievance procedures, rightful health care benefits (dental, vision, and mental health) and increased payment. By aiming higher, we can strengthen our own rights and benefits, lift economic inclusion in higher education, and advance broader labor and social justice movements.

Miles Richardson

I am a second year Ph.D. candidate in the CMBS department running for the CUMC seat on the bargaining committee. As the vice president of the GSO, the student government for biomedical Ph.D. students, I have spent time trying to improve the conditions of graduate students. I have heard a litany of struggles that students have endured on Columbia’s behalf. Students not receiving stipends for months, at the mercy of bad PIs, and fighting bureaucratic nightmares. This also personal for me; I have missed a paycheck due to administrative incompetence, and further, as I write this, I am owed thousands of dollars by Columbia University.

I am running for GWC bargaining committee to end these sorts of abuses of graduate students by Columbia University.

  1. I want to set hard deadlines for payment and reimbursement to grad students, with enforceable penalties. Money owed to us amounts to an interest-free loan to Columbia University, one which we can hardly afford to make.
  2. Grievance procedures should be improved, as the current system leaves graduate students at the whims of their PI. We should implement a clear grievance procedure similar to that of NYU
  3. Fight for increased benefits; our work ensures the success of Columbia university, so Columbia must also invest in us. Deductible transit benefits would allow us to stretch our stipends farther. Matched 401k contributions would double our savings and allow us to consider saving for retirement.

Professional/other schools (School of the Arts, Journalism, SIPA, Business, Professional Studies, GSAPP, Social Work, and Law, etc), one (1) position

Nicandro Iannacci

I am a second-year student and research assistant at the Law School. I have worked with professors on projects ranging from disability rights to bail reform. I graduated from Harvard College in 2013 with a degree in political science and spent four years working for nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. I am working toward a career as a public defender and hope to devote my professional life to supporting and empowering the most vulnerable members of our society.

Just as labor is the backbone of the American economy, it is the backbone of this university. And it is through our union – the ultimate expression of solidarity and democracy in our shared workplace – that we can achieve security, equality, and self-governance. I am running for the Bargaining Committee because I want to represent all workers who have a stake in the outcome of the negotiations and to ensure that all voices are heard.

If elected, I will be accessible to the rank-and-file and I will listen to and act upon your concerns as the bargaining process unfolds. I will be transparent and accountable in my actions, and I will seek to foster those values in every dimension of the committee’s work. I will be a tireless and independent advocate for an outcome that benefits all members of our community.

Thank you for considering my candidacy.

Eva Schreiner

I’m a fourth-year doctoral candidate in Architecture History, working on late 19th-century German imperialism in the Ottoman Empire. While labor politics and workers’ movements are central to my research, I’ve also been active in the union since our election in 2016, organizing for election and strike turnouts, and reaching out to workers and allies across campus.

Like workers everywhere, us undergraduate and graduate TAs and RAs deserve fair compensation for our labor and we need to receive that compensation on time. We need protection against sexual harassment and discrimination that actually works instead of doing more harm. With PhD requirements often reaching into year four, we need guaranteed sixth- and seventh- year funding to finish our degrees. We need childcare subsidies high enough to make it feasible to be both a graduate worker and a parent. These, and many others, are the issues I aim to fight for in the upcoming negotiations.

Since the bargaining process will set a precedent at this university and beyond, how we get to a contract matters. Being part of C-AWDU, I strongly believe in a union run by its members. For me that means a commitment to fully open bargaining: only a truly democratic and transparent process gets the goods. It also means that should I be elected I’m committed to listening to you, debating with you, and pushing for what matters to you. Let’s use the strength we’ve built over many years of collective action and negotiate the contract we deserve.