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Grads get a win, but Columbia stalls

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A local panel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found in favor of the Graduate Workers of Columbia University (GWC-UAW) union in March, after the administration resisted the results of an NLRB election in which the union won rights for recognition and bargaining.

In December the administration resisted the 1602-to-623 unionization vote, even though an NLRB decision the previous summer stated that private-sector university graduate students were indeed workers, who therefore have the right to unionize and bargain collectively. The administration claimed that there were problems in the voting process, although activists with GWC-UAW Local 2110 believed that this was a tactic to stall bargaining talks until the Trump administration had a chance to install new members to the NLRB who could overturn last summer’s decision on graduate student worker organizing.

“While we find today’s ruling to be a huge affirmation of our election, we also know that Columbia administrators and their lawyers have delayed collective bargaining for more than two years. Now is the time for us to raise our voice and increase efforts to convince Columbia administrators to refrain from any further delays, respect our democratic vote and agree to start bargaining,” the union said in a statement.

THE WAIT CONTINUES

The administration is appealing the decision and has delayed meeting with union officials, according to the union.

The union said, “[W]e are deeply disappointed that Columbia and its lawyers have once again used the legal process to delay bargaining.”