Connect with us

Academics

Columbia University Grad Students Strike For A Better Bargain

#CUonStrike reaches its final day.

Published

on

In December 2016, graduate students at Columbia University voted to unionize under the Graduate Workers of Columbia-United Automobile Workers (GWC-UAW) union, which represents about 3,500 of the university’s teaching and research assistants. A year and a half later, Columbia has yet to bargain with the union, initially delaying the talks because of ‘legal matters’ regarding the National Labor Relations Board. Last week, Columbia University Provost John Coatsworth stated in an email:

“The National Labor Relations Board has repeatedly reversed itself on the status of teaching and research assistants over the past fifteen years depending the political make-up of the board…That is why we think it essential to seek a judicial review of this central and still-unsettled question.”

The Provost’s email urges GWC-UAW to allow the debate to be settled in court, and asserts that unionization is unfair to the graduate students who do not want to support the union, but will have to pay dues anyway. In response to the Provost’s statement, Columbia graduate students organized to strike between April 24 and April 30, which is the final week of the semester. According to the Columbia Spectator, some students have petitioned to continue the strike indefinitely until the university agrees to bargain with the union.

The feud comes as especially significant, considering other graduate students at ivy league universities have recently managed to unionize successfully. Determined to make this a reality for themselves, the graduate students at Columbia University have marched every morning on College Walk, the main plaza on campus, for several hours at a time.

And early Monday, Cynthia Nixon, who is running for New York governor, joined GWC-UAW on campus and picketed alongside graduate students. Cynthia announced on Twitter that New York has become “the single most unequal state in the country,” and that “one of the most powerful ways to tackle systemic inequality and austerity is through workers joining unions.” She posted:

Cynthia graduated from Barnard College, the women’s division of Columbia, in 1988.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Carla is a recent graduate of Touro College in New York City, where she developed a keen ability to joke her way out of anything. She has previously worked for the Mayor's Office of New York, as well as ABC7 Eyewitness News. She is currently the Senior Editor at CMN, and can be reached at carla@collegemedianetwork.com.

Sign up for the Morning Scoop

and wake up with us each day.

CMN Reports

Academics1 day ago

38 North Carolina Colleges are Waiving Their Application Fees

North Carolina doesn't sound half bad.

by , U. Alabama Birmingham
2018 Midterms1 day ago

Barack Obama Urges Young Americans to Head to the Polls This November

There's no good excuse not to vote.

by , U. Alabama Birmingham
Business3 days ago

Microsoft Co-Founder and Seattle Area Sports Owner Paul Allen Dead at 65 From Cancer

The technology giant passed away after his cancer returned.

by , The Catholic American University
In the Hot Seat3 days ago

Judge Tosses Stormy Daniels Defamation Lawsuit Against Donald Trump

This dismissal may not be the end, according to Daniels' attorney.

by , CMN Senior Correspondent
2018 Midterms1 week ago

Bernie Sanders Literally Saved Someone from a Possible Car Accident in Washington, D.C.

Bernie Sanders helps a young musician and law student from a possible car accident.

by , The Catholic American University
Government2 weeks ago

Analysis: the Ford-Kavanaugh Hearing

The Ford-Kavanaugh hearing was in full force with a tearful testimony from both parties.

by , Mercy College
Free Speech2 weeks ago

Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski Amongst Many Arrested at Capitol Hill ‘No Kavanaugh’ Protest

The final vote on Kavanaugh could come as early as this weekend, and these women are not backing down.

by , CMN Senior Correspondent
National News2 weeks ago

Confusion At Skatepark Leads to Arrests

Distrust with Law Enforcement creates a worse situation

by , Fisher College

Top Reads