In our latest bargaining session late last week, our main objective was to continue emphasizing how our proposals on Leaves and Non-Discrimination aim to advance one of our main goals – to improve gender and other forms of equity and make Columbia a more inclusive research community. In addition, we had further discussions on our other proposals on Health and Safety and Appointments and Reappointments.

Sexual harassment and lack of family-friendly policies, such as paid parental leave, create unacceptable barriers to gender equity at Columbia. As such, last week, we focused on attempting to understand Columbia’s objections to our Non-Discrimination proposal so we can try to work through them. The core of our proposal aims to ensure access to a fair procedure In the cases where discrimination, harassment or bullying occur. This means ensuring protection during the investigative process and timely access to a neutral arbitrator if necessary. Interestingly, Columbia’s team asked, for the first time, what we thought the problems were with their existing EOAA procedures. We explained our deep concerns and how our proposal addresses them. Furthermore, we cited that our proposal reflects improvements satisfactorily applied for tens of thousands of other unionized academic workers at other universities. Yet, Columbia’s team continued to attempt to justify the status quo. Even more interestingly, in contrast to the University’s defense, the day after our bargaining session, the Columbia Eye published a major story describing widespread dissatisfaction with the University’s EOAA processes. Based on this conversation, we remain determined to streamline and clarify the priority points of our proposal.

We also spent time discussing our latest Health and Safety proposal. While we have reached some common understanding about the overall importance of Health and Safety for a productive research environment, Columbia made clear during this latest session that they are somewhat out of touch with the dilapidated conditions of many of the research buildings around campus. We hope they return a more robust counter proposal on this topic next time we meet.

Please RSVP if you would like to attend an upcoming bargaining session:

Monday, November 25th, 9:30am-1pm, Studebaker Building

Wednesday, December 11th, 1:30-5pm, CUMC

Thursday, December 19th, 1pm-4pm, Studebaker Building


CPW-UAW Bargaining Committee