Columbia Refuses to Bargain with Its Graduate Student Union

Labor News

A polling place for Harvard's first student unionization election. TIMOTHY O'MEARA

Reprinted from The Harvard Crimson by Shera Avi-Yonah and Molly McCafferty on February 6, 2017.

Columbia University will not respond to a bargaining request from its graduate student union, University Provost John Coatsworth wrote in a letter to Columbia students on Tuesday. Experts say the developments at Columbia could have significant ramifications for Harvard’s upcoming second unionization election.

As a result of the university’s decision, organizers with the Graduate Workers of Columbia-United Auto Workers say they plan to file an unfair labor practice claim with the National Labor Relations Board.

In his email, Coatsworth wrote that recognizing a graduate students union would compromise the university’s educational mission, and that the university seeks to pursue “the legal process” before collectively bargaining with students. …

Harvard Crimson 2/6

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