ASGC Position on Unionization
Following a vote on the Plenary Meeting on October 16, 2018 ASGC updated our official policy regarding the unionization of Columbia's Graduate Students Workers:
"The ASGC serves as a bridge between our constituents and the Columbia administration, specifically the GSAS administration. Historically we have been able to address many student concerns via our productive working relationship with the GSAS Office of the Dean. We do not, however, have the power to negotiate for more favorable working conditions through collective bargaining. Such a body does exist: the Graduate Workers of Columbia (GWC-UAW).
In December 2016, Columbia graduate workers voted 72% to 28% to form a union affiliated with the United Auto Workers Local 2110, which already represents a number of workers on campus. This vote was conducted after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)’s August 2016 decision to restore the right to collective bargaining for research and teaching assistants at private universities. The NLRB certified that vote in December 2017, recognizing the GWC-UAW as the exclusive collective-bargaining unit for Columbia graduate workers. Since then, the university has refused to bargain with the GWC-UAW in clear contravention of democratic principles and existing law. The ASGC therefore retracts its neutrality policy and affirms its support for the GWC-UAW’s efforts to fulfill its democratic mandate to engage in collective bargaining on behalf of Columbia graduate workers."