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Columbia Won't Negotiate With Graduate Union

January 31, 2018
 
 

Columbia University announced Tuesday that it will not negotiate with the union graduate student teaching assistants voted a year ago to create. Columbia has long opposed the union, and Tuesday's announcement said it would go to federal court to seek to block it. Columbia, and most other private universities, has said that the National Labor Relations Board should not have ruled that graduate students at private universities may unionize. Many of those private universities are also hoping that the ruling will be overturned by the current NLRB, which has appointees from President Trump. Unions are expected to fight Columbia in court.

"We recognize the potential, indeed the likelihood, for disappointment and dispute in our community," said a statement from John H. Coatsworth, the provost. "We remain convinced that the relationship of graduate students to the faculty that instruct them must not be reduced to ordinary terms of employment."

The United Auto Workers chapter that has organized Columbia's graduate students issued a statement denouncing the university, which it said "would rather break the law than respect our democratic mandate."

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