Columbia Faculty letter in support of graduate workers of Columbia
As faculty working at Columbia University, we fully support the Columbia graduate workers’ unionization efforts and contest the University’s repeated and now unlawful opposition. We are shocked by the bad faith of the Provost’s letter of January 30, 2018 and its willful misrepresentation of the graduate students’ efforts and goals. It is not the UAW, as he suggests, but the students who seek to unionize Columbia student workers. We understand that unionization is not about higher compensation and improved benefits, as the Provost states, but about professional identity and solidarity, the dignity of work and the recognition of workers’ rights. We do not expect unionization to damage our working or academic relationship with graduate students. On the contrary, the faculty-student relationship we aim for and value is one that respects graduate students both as our students and as fellow teachers and university employees who are treated fairly by the institution. As fellow employees of this university, we stand in solidarity with our students and demand that the university follow the law and bargain now.