"Columbia has a long record of negotiating productively with unions representing thousands of unionized employees across our campus, but we maintain our principled view that that teaching and research assistants are students not employees. While we respect the rights of students to express their views, we will also support all students and faculty in continuing their teaching, research and progress toward their degrees."
April 14, 2018
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about bargaining units and who they represent.
Whether a student participates in the strike is a decision that each individual must make for herself or himself.
Under the labor laws, employers are not required to pay wages or other benefits to striking workers. Almost all employers choose not to pay. However, the University elected to treat graduate student teaching assistants and research assistants as primarily students rather than employees. Thus, students who participated in the five day strike will continue to be paid as usual. Should the union elect to strike or engage in other disruptive activity in the future, the University would review this decision with a view to stopping payment of wages, stipends and other compensation until work is resumed.
Separately, regardless of whether students are paid by the University during a strike, federal effort reporting requires that the University remove an estimate of student time on grants for any period when the student was on strike
GWC-UAW’s possible strike by student teaching and research assistants
April 18, 2018
Columbia student Joseph Siegel explains why the union shouldn't strike.
April 16, 2018
Provost Coatsworth explains the University's positions on graduate student assistants.
January 30, 2018
Read the NLRB's majority and dissenting opinions on Columbia's objections.
December 16, 2017
Read the Provost's recent letter to GWC-UAW Local 2110, in response to a threat to strike.
March 1, 2018
Faculty are bound by NLRB rules governing communications between managers and employees during the election process. Learn more about communicating with students.
Provost Coatsworth explains why the University asked the NLRB to examine election conduct.
The Spectator writes about the concerns of engineering students over voting procedures.
Read Provost Coatsworth's statement, shared with the Columbia community on December 9
Read the hearing officer's report and recommendations on objections.
Read Columbia's Exceptions to the Hearing Officer's Report, and supporting Brief, or the Petitioner's Answering Brief to Columbia's Exceptions.
Read the National Labor Relations Board decision in its entirety.
The NLRB responds to Columbia's filing of objections and schedules a hearing.
Provost Coatsworth responds to the NLRB decision in a letter to the Columbia community.
Read the legal briefs in this case, the NYU contract, and other helpful documents.