NEW YORK – The Columbia University Students Union ended its weeklong strike on Friday after reaching a tentative deal with the school, officials said.
Columbia student workers, who represent more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate student workers, began their strike 10 weeks ago.
In a letter to the school community on Friday, Columbia University Marshal Mary Boyce said the two sides had reached an agreement on a four-year employment contract.
After 10 weeks, the strike is over! We are delighted to announce that we have reached an agreement in principle with @Columbia. It is a historic moment for work in higher education, and it is only the beginning. We can’t wait to get back to work and be compensated for our back work.
– Columbia Student Workers (@SW_Columbia) January 7, 2022
“There is no doubt that this has been a difficult time for the University, but everyone who participated in collective bargaining shared the common goal of creating a stronger Colombia for those who teach and learn, conduct research, discover and innovate, work and study here, ”Boyce wrote in the letter. “We look forward to sharing more details in the coming days.”
Union members began their strike to negotiate higher wages and health care plans that included coverage for vision and dental care. They were also looking for more secure contracts and the use of a third-party arbitrator in harassment cases, among other contractual conditions.
Members will have 15 days to discuss the tentative contract ahead of an online voting period slated for Jan. 22-27, the union said in a statement on its website.
“Achieving these significant improvements in our working conditions at Columbia has not been an easy process. It took years of collective effort and struggle to get here, and we are touched by the contributions of the thousands of our members who have stepped up and made their voices heard, while taking material risks in the service of a better future. for current and future workers at Columbia and beyond, ”the union said in a statement.
“If this agreement is ratified, a new chapter for this organization will open, but the fight is still ongoing,” he added.