On the May 1st edition of Out-FM:

Cara Page on the Astrea Lesbian Foundation

Cara Page

Cara Page of Astrea Foundation

May Day Coverage of Columbia Grad Student Strike (at 17:58)

Columbia Graduate Worker Strike

Columbia Graduate Worker Strike

Graduate Students at Columbia University began a week long strike last Tuesday to demand that Columbia negotiate in good faith with the union. Graduate students make up a large educated labor force for the university with work duties ranging from research to teaching undergraduate students.

Support is swelling for the union with hundreds of faculty members calling on the university to respect the vote and negotiate, as well as hundreds of community and elected leaders, and over 1600 alumni supporting bargaining.

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However Columbia opposes the unionization plan and negotiations, the provost, John Coatsworth wrote in an essay sent to many staff and faculty:” …we hope supporters of GWC-UAW will consider the potential impact of actions they describe as "disruptive to the University" and instead take the more constructive steps necessary to ensure that the federal courts have a chance to determine with finality if student teaching and research assistants are employees under federal labor law.”

The provost wrote: “Columbia has long supported unions on campus and collectively bargains contracts with more than a dozen unions representing thousands of unionized employees.” But the Columbia Daily Spectator  reports that in another case of unionization on campus Healthworkers at “Primary Care at Columbia” remain without a contract, two years after they began. These workers are poorly paid, averaging only $30,000/year.  Similarly Barnard College’s contingent faculty faced resistance

after they voted for unionization in 2015 and were met by delays, only getting a contract in the fall of 2017.

The Columbia Graduate Student Strike is taking place in the context of a successful Unionization vote at Havard completed days ago. Efforts are underway at Yale, Boston College and the University of Chicago.

Numerous marches and pickets by strikers and supporters have taken place in the past week on Columbia’s campus. The interview you will hear is from a Friday noontime rally outside of Columbia’s main gate. Rosalie Ray, and Noah Rauschkolb from the union answered my questions.