In our bargaining session on Thursday last week, we discussed Recognition, Intellectual Property, Non-Discrimination and Harassment, and Grievance and Arbitration articles.

Columbia made an official counter proposal on Non-Discrimination and Harassment that codified the verbal commitment they made last session to a work environment “free from abusive or intimidating behavior.” It also included a commitment to create a working group to discuss forms of abuse or harassment that are not covered under the University’s EOAA process, which would then make recommendations to the university administration for future policies.

Given that Columbia initially refused to acknowledge that power-based harassment is a major problem, we see their proposal as a step forward, which could improve the workplace environment for all workers on campus. However, we will continue to push beyond forming new committees to also establish enforceable protections against power-based harassment in our contract.

The university’s team also asked to have further discussion on Recognition (which says who is represented by the union). We continue to have concerns that the administration proposal could inappropriately exclude a small number of individuals with external fellowships who they believe are not “employees” of the University. We want to ensure that as many researchers as possible are represented and benefit from our contract. We intend to continue working to understand the variety of funding situations for fellows so we can reach an agreement that ensures maximum inclusion in our union.

We also briefly touched on Intellectual Property, asking some clarifying questions about the administration’s language, and gave Columbia a new counter proposal on Grievance and Arbitration that attempts to address some of Columbia’s concerns with the definition of a grievance.

We expect to have January bargaining dates sometime soon and will keep everyone informed as we move into the new year.


CPW-UAW Bargaining Committee