Columbia Grad Students Vote to Unionize

December 9, 2016

Graduate students who are teaching and research assistants at Columbia University have voted, 1,602 to 623, to unionize and to be represented by the United Auto Workers, the union announced Friday afternoon.

“Today, 3,500 RAs and TAs like me have won a voice to make sure Columbia University is the best place possible to learn and work,” said a statement from Addison Godel, a teaching assistant in the Architecture School at Columbia University. “This marks a major victory for the entire Columbia community – we care deeply about the world-renowned teaching and research that happens at our university and are ready to tackle the issues that matter most to us, our students and our neighbors.”

The outcome is a big win for those seeking to unionize teaching assistants at private research universities. Columbia's graduate students were the group that urged the National Labor Relations Board to rule in August that graduate students at private universities have that right.


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