- Indiana Graduate Workers (who organized in a right-to-work state!) are still on strike for recognition. The University relies on their teaching, yet grad workers in many departments are paid stipends of less than $18,000 a year—well below the cost of living. They have the endorsement of the Bloomington Faculty Council, the IU Graduate and Professional Student Government, more than 25 academic departments, nearly 600 individual faculty and staff, and AAUP, but their university refuses to recognize them. If you wish to support those walking the picket line, you can do so by contributing to the ICWC-UE strike fund.
- And here in Philly, PJB Workers United (representing Starbucks workers at multiple stores as well as café workers at Old City Coffee, Good Karma Café, and Korshak Bagels) will be rallying against union-busting TODAY, May 1 at 5pm on the north side of City Hall. Come out and stand with them if you can!
UPDATE (12/4): Compounding their previous withholding of wages and stipends, Columbia University’s HR Department sent an email on December 2nd to striking student workers in SWC threatening to withhold their teaching and research appointments or replace them permanently if they do not break the strike by December 10th. AAUP–Penn stands in solidarity with Columbia’s student workers against this shameful (and likely illegal) threat of retaliation by the Columbia administration, and we support the 3,000+ SWC members holding the line into the sixth week of their strike—the largest strike in the U.S. at this time.
We are heartened to see colleagues at Columbia responding to the University’s threat by organizing a faculty-led walkout and rally on Monday, December 6th at 12:30pm at the Sundial (see below), and we continue to urge faculty to join the picket line and take a stand against these retaliatory tactics.
Since student workers already struggled to pay rent on earnings from Columbia that are well below the living wage in New York City (the lowest grad stipend, adjusted for cost of living, of 10 of Columbia’s peer institutions), and those on strike are facing withheld wages and threats to their livelihoods, we urge all colleagues who can afford it to contribute to SWC’s Hardship Fund.
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ADDITIONAL UPDATE (12/7): In response to Columbia’s retaliatory threat (in violation of the National Labor Relations Act; see 29 USC §163) against student workers engaged in protected concerted labor action, SWC members are asking all supporters (including those at other institutions) to sign this letter to save Columbia teachers’ and researchers’ jobs. We encourage our colleagues at Penn and everywhere to sign and everyone in the area to join the picket line and support student workers’ strike for a fair contract.
Lecturers across University of California campuses in UC-AFT achieved signifiant contract wins today and were able to avert a multi-campus strike that was set to begin November 17th. These contingent faculty members, who teach approximately 1/3 of all undergraduate courses in the UC system, had been stuck in contract negotiations since April 2019. They have now reached a resolution to two of the unfair labor practices by UC leadership that prompted UC-AFT’s strike authorization vote, and they have won multi-year contracts for all UC lecturers after the first year of teaching, rehiring rights, 20% raises over the next four years, and a $1500 signing bonus. Congratulations and solidarity!
AAUP–Penn stands with Harvard grad workers in HGSU-UAW Local 5118 as they go on strike starting October 27 to demand fair pay that keeps up with the cost of living, real recourse from sexual harassment, and an agency shop that enables student workers to sustain their union. We call on the Harvard administration to bargain in good faith for a fair contract, and we urge colleagues at Harvard not to cross the picket line.