Why Columbia Student Workers Are Back On Strike
The strike began on Nov. 3, when dozens of student workers stopped work to picket the school.
In May, all 10 members of the bargaining committee stepped down.
“A living wage would truly benefit Columbia,” Ms. Spishak-Thomas said.
Graduate student workers are the only campus workers without the option of third-party arbitration for discrimination and harassment.
Union members have argued that confining discrimination and harassment complaints to an internal review process overseen by the university creates an inherent conflict of interest when evaluating a student’s case against faculty members or advisers.
These workers were generally afraid to come forward and file a report out of fear of repercussions, they said, or they felt that the university would only give faculty members a slap on the wrist.
In his March memo, Mr. Katznelson said the university was not opposed to arbitration on its face, but that because graduate student workers are considered both students and employees at once, it would be difficult to determine when an arbitrator should be brought in and what evidence should be considered.
“It’s a total ideological difference.”