GWC-UAW Local 2110 at Columbia has been on strike since March 15. On Monday, 19 April 2021, the GWC bargaining committee reached a tentative agreement (TA) with Columbia University. As is standard in UAW bargaining, this tentative agreement must be ratified by a membership vote, giving members the opportunity to either vote YES to ratify the tentative agreement and authorize the bargaining committee to sign a contract on the terms of the TA or to vote NO and extend the bargaining process until another tentative agreement is reached.It is a testament to your organizing that you made it to this historic point!
Academic student workers at Columbia have organized for years in the face of fierce opposition from a despicably and unapologetically union-busting administration in order to be where they are today. Our union siblings at Columbia have always been unwavering allies and have never hesitated to offer their solidarity, time, and expertise to build up our power and we recognize that that stems from the shared knowledge that our fates are intertwined and our victories and losses are not only our own.
It is thus in the spirit of solidarity and shared struggle that we urge GWC-UAW 2110 to organize a robust period of democratic debate over the tentative agreement reached by the bargaining committee. Given the long arc of graduate student workers at Columbia’s organizing, we believe that an extended debate and voting period is essential to democratically and transparently evaluate the strategic merits and demerits of the current tentative agreement, which, if signed, will become a binding contact.
On the basis of our own experiences ratifying our first contracts, we would like to emphasize the importance of giving members sufficient time to discuss the TA before voting. In 2015, GSOC-UAW organized a 19 day discussion and 8 day voting period to ratify our first contract (post-union busting) in order to democratize the process as much as possible.
It is in the interests of all workers and of the long-term health of the union for ratification votes to be conducted in a maximally democratic fashion that acknowledges the possibility of disagreement and leaves room for detailed strategic debate.
GSOC-UAW Local 2110