Why donate? In addition to docking strikers' bi-weekly wages (which account for 1/3 of funding), the University has threatened to charge student accounts for a portion of the spring stipends received in January (which account for 2/3 of funding). For many, this is scary, because they have already spent this money on rent, healthcare, childcare, student loan payments, estimated taxes, and other important expenses. Already, most struggle to live on these wages. Columbia's threat to debit student accounts for funds that were paid months ago could also have dire academic impacts—disrupting course registration, degree progress, visas, and, potentially, health insurance if strikers are not in "good financial standing" with the University.
Columbia administration has already launched other intimidation tactics: distributing anti-union messaging to the student body, asking undergraduates to report striking instructors, and creating a website to self-report non-participation in the strike.
It is in the university’s power to end the strike by agreeing to essential contract provisions:
- Compensation improvements that create a sustainable work environment for all, especially in light of COVID-19 financial difficulties, including an additional year of appointment guarantees; - Healthcare improvements that create a sustainable work environment for all, not just those with a safety net for extraneous healthcare costs;
- Real recourse for cases of harassment and discrimination, which takes the form of access to the grievance and arbitration procedure;
- Full recognition of the NLRB-certified bargaining unit, which is consistent with the Bargaining Framework Agreement of November 2018;
- Union Shop to create an equitable system of distributing the cost of union representation overall workers in the unit, and provides more resources and power to enforce their contract;
- Childcare to ensure our university is accessible to all.
You can also support the GWC strike by signing a letter of support and joining in person and virtual pickets.
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