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As you may have heard, Columbia has offered a framework to begin bargaining with both the graduate workers union and the postdocs union.

On November 21, an online ballot on whether or not to accept this framework agreement was sent out by GWC-UAW. The vote is open until TODAY, Monday, at 11:59pm. 

A detailed breakdown of pros and cons, authored by members of the bargaining committee who hold each position, can be found here, and the full framework offered by Columbia is available here. The ASGC Executive Board encourages all of you to vote, no matter your position. Please encourage your colleagues to do the same. 
Vote Now
You do need to sign a union authorization card to be eligible to vote. Note that, according to the official GWC email, "eligible voters would be Columbia graduate and undergraduate students who have signed a GWC-UAW authorization card and are currently employed by the university, previously employed by the university, or expect to be employed by the university in one of the categories outlined by the NLRB decision (i.e. graduate and undergraduate Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, Preceptors, Course Assistants, Readers, Graders, Graduate Research Assistants [including those on Training Grants], and All Departmental Research Assistants)."  Anyone who meets the above categories can sign a card here at any time, and be immediately eligible to vote. 
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."

ASGC is composed of MA & PhD students from GSAS departments and is the main successor of the Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC). All affiliate departments are encouraged to designate a Department Representative to participate in plenary meetings. Department Representatives vote on ASGC initiatives and policy changes as well as serve as liaisons between their departments and ASGC.

Please reach out to your current Department Representative to discuss matters you would like to see ASGC raise or, if the position is vacant, consider becoming a representative yourself.

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