Thank you to everyone who participated in our voting on bargaining committee size and composition. Here are the results (based on their scored ranking):

The bargaining committee will have five members, all running and elected at large. – 1.82

The bargaining committee will have ten members, all running and elected at large. – 2.19

The bargaining committee will have five members, all elected at large. One member will come from each of the following five jurisdictions: 1) GSAS natural sciences, 2) GSAS humanities and social sciences, 3) SEAS, 4) CUMC, and 5) Professional schools (School of the Arts, Journalism, SIPA, Business, Professional Studies, GSAPP, Social Work, and Law). Each jurisdiction represents approximately 20% of the bargaining unit. – 2.82

The bargaining committee will have ten members, all elected at large. Two members will come from each of the following five jurisdictions: 1) GSAS natural sciences, 2) GSAS humanities and social sciences, 3) SEAS, 4) CUMC, and 5) Professional schools (School of the Arts, Journalism, SIPA, Business, Professional Studies, GSAPP, Social Work, and Law). Each jurisdiction represents approximately 20% of the bargaining unit. – 3.16


Thank you for voting on the size and composition of the Graduate Workers of Columbia-UAW bargaining committee. Below you will find the proposals, some points to read and consider on the proposals before you vote, and sample ballots on how our bargaining committee electino ballots will look like depending on what proposal is voted on. Voting ends on Thursday, February 2, at 11:59PM.

If you know an RA or TA who has not received this email but would like to vote, please ask them to e-mail us at info@columbiagradunion.org or have them to go to this link and sign up for GWC-UAW so they can participate: https://columbiagradunion.org/sign-up/

Proposals for Size and Composition of the GWC Bargaining Committee

When discussing committee size, we are trying to balance between having enough voices on the committee to represent the breadth of the bargaining unit while keeping the committee small enough to make scheduling negotiations and other work feasible. In previous contract campaigns, universities have tried to limit the amount of time they offer at the bargaining table—it would be to our advantage to have enough scheduling flexibility to offer the university lots of scheduling options. Therefore, we tried to start by determining the smallest committee size possible that would still be representative of various unit constituencies. A five-member committee would offer representatives of GSAS natural sciences, GSAS humanities and social sciences, SEAS, CUMC/Public Health, and the professional/other schools (School of the Arts, Journalism, SIPA, Business, Professional Studies, GSAPP, Social Work, Law, etc.). Each of these five categories comprises approximately 20% of Columbia’s graduate workers, according to information from Columbia University. (Undergraduate workers are counted in the department for which they work.) Bargaining committees at other universities have had 4 members (UMass Boston), 6 (UConn), 6-8 (UMass Amherst), 8 (NYU and UW), and 16 (multiple UC campuses, representing 10,000 workers). The GWC subcommittee working on these options suggested an upper limit for our committee: 10 members would increase the possibility of a representative committee without becoming unwieldy.

In terms of composition, we are considering both an “at-large” committee membership, in which bargaining committee members can be elected from any school of the university, and  “jurisdictional” membership, in which we elect a given number of members from a set of jurisdictions based on schools. Jurisdictional voting would require the election of one to two committee members from each of the following jurisdictions: 1) GSAS natural sciences, 2) GSAS humanities and social sciences, 3) SEAS, 4) CUMC, and 5) Professional schools (School of the Arts, Journalism, SIPA, Business, Professional Studies, GSAPP, Social Work, and Law). Please see the Sample Ballots below for examples of each approach to committee composition.

In either at-large or jurisdictional composition, all members of the unit (previously defined for this purpose as all current grad/undergrad workers, those who worked in the past, and those required to work in the future) would vote on all members of the committee (not just on their jurisdiction). Likewise, all members of the committee are expected to bargain for the good of the unit as a whole according to the bargaining goals ratified by the entire unit membership. Of previous university bargaining committees on a first contract, only the UC grad workers and UC postdocs have used a jurisdictional system, in order to represent multiple campuses in one contract negotiation. Although schools like NYU and UConn did not set any rules for their election requiring their bargaining committee to represent various constituencies, they still achieved bargaining committees that were diverse in terms of school and department.

We revised and finalized these proposals at the open meeting on Thursday, January 26. Voting on the size and composition of the bargaining committee will take place online from Monday, January 30, through Thursday, February 2. The voting will allow participants to rank their preferences for these proposals from 1 (most preferred) through 4 (least preferred).

Proposals for bargaining committee size and composition:

1. The bargaining committee will have five members, all running and elected at large.

2. The bargaining committee will have ten members, all running and elected at large.

3. The bargaining committee will have five members, all elected at large. One member will come from each of the following five jurisdictions: 1) GSAS natural sciences, 2) GSAS humanities and social sciences, 3) SEAS, 4) CUMC, and 5) Professional/other schools (School of the Arts, Journalism, SIPA, Business, Professional Studies, GSAPP, Social Work, Law, etc.). Each jurisdiction comprises approximately 20% of the bargaining unit.

4. The bargaining committee will have ten members, all elected at large. Two members will come from each of the following five jurisdictions: 1) GSAS natural sciences, 2) GSAS humanities and social sciences, 3) SEAS, 4) CUMC, and 5) Professional/other schools (School of the Arts, Journalism, SIPA, Business, Professional Studies, GSAPP, Social Work, and Law). Each jurisdiction comprises approximately 20% of the bargaining unit.

Please go here to read some points to consider before you vote: https://columbiagradunion.org/app/uploads/Pointstoconsiderwhenvoting.pdf


Sample Ballots
For an at-large election of five members (proposal 1):

Please vote for FIVE of the following candidates:

Candidate A
Candidate B
Candidate C
Candidate D
Candidate E
Candidate F
Candidate G
Candidate H

For a jurisdictional election of five members (proposal 3):

Please vote for ONE candidate in EACH of the following five jurisdictions:

GSAS Natural Sciences
Candidate A
Candidate B
Candidate C

GSAS Humanities and Social Sciences
Candidate D
Candidate E

SEAS
Candidate F
Candidate G
Candidate H

CUMC
Candidate I
Candidate J
Candidate K

Professional Schools
Candidate L
Candidate M