News and Updates

Blossoming magnolia tree in front of St. Paul's Chapel on Columbia University campus
Columbia’s New Reality

Planning for a graduate student strike during the COVID-19 crisis.

A cherry blossom tree in full bloom outside of Kent Hall on Columbia University's campus
Existing Supports

Learn about current benefits for GSAS students

Latest News

The entrance to Milstein Hall at Columbia University at night, lit with an orange-tinged light.
When Union Demands Run Up Against Legal Obligation

Graduate student unionization efforts need to account for the requirements of Title IX, the federal gender-based anti-discrimination law.

St. Paul's Chapel as seen from Schermerhorn Hall at Columbia University in spring.
Negotiations Are Already Adding Value

Here are some current benefits that graduate students enjoy. Moreover, several tentative agreements have been reached.

A corner image of Low Memorial Library at Columbia University.
Grad Student Strike Authorization Vote Begins

On March 2, Columbia University graduate students began a vote for strike authorization. What does this mean?

Highlighted FAQs

Are striking students permitted to request that speakers not participate in scheduled conferences, workshops, and other academic events at the University, or that such events be cancelled in support of the strike?

Nothing prevents striking students from making such requests, but schools and departments have the right to continue with conferences, workshops, and other programming/events that support their academic mission during a strike.


Why are the negotiations for doctoral student employees and ARSs/postdocs being conducted separately?

The National Labor Relations Board determined that they belong in separate “bargaining units.” 

What will be included in a contract? What topics are beyond the reach of these negotiations?

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) establishes which subjects must be bargained over. 

Unionization in the News

The Latest Campus Battle: Graduate Students Are Fighting to Unionize

Ruthless labor exploitation? Generational betrayal? Understanding the job crisis in academia requires a look at recent history.

The New York Times
March 5, 2020



Graduate Students, After Gains in Union Efforts, Face a Federal Setback

The National Labor Relations Board has moved to reverse a 2016 ruling that eased the way for organizing at private universities. 

The New York Times
September 20, 2019

Unions Have Won the War of Ideas. Will That Win Them Power?

In 2018, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority gutted the capacity of such workers to collect union dues. Now, the public-sector unionization rate is falling faster than the private one — and organized labor is losing the class war in a rout.

The Intelligencer/New York Magazine
September 4, 2019