Columbia has launched another effort to avoid bargaining with our union. We learned Friday night that Columbia filed a “request for review” asking the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, DC, to reverse the recent certification of our union by the regional NLRB in New York City. Columbia repeats the same arguments they used while trying to prevent our historic election from taking place, that postdocs are merely “trainees” and should therefore be denied the right to collective bargaining and that postdocs and associate research scientists do not share common interests and should be denied the right to bargain together as part of the same union. You can read Columbia’s entire request for review on our website.
We find Columbia’s attempt to deny our union rights deeply disappointing and cynical. Their argument ignores our work and the value we bring to Columbia, as well as the successful track record of postdoc collective bargaining at more than a half dozen major research universities.
However, while disappointing, Columbia’s effort to block our union does not come as a total surprise and will not discourage or deter our campaign. Let us remember, since Columbia launched its effort to oppose graduate student worker unionization, support for the union has only grown, many improvements have been won, and nine other private universities – including Harvard, Brown and Cornell – now bargain with or have agreed to bargain with graduate workers who vote to unionize.
We intend to file a response to the NLRB, which is due at the end of this week. We will also continue to move forward with electing our bargaining committee and gathering bargaining more surveys. Click here if you would like to get involved in ongoing efforts to bring Columbia to the bargaining table.
Members of the CPW-UAW Organizing Committee