Statement from Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger and Provost John H. Coatsworth
November 19, 2018
The Framework Agreement announced today by Columbia and representatives of the United Auto Workers sets forth mutually agreed upon principles to guide negotiations toward collective bargaining agreements on wages, hours, and other working conditions for Columbia’s student research and teaching assistants and for our diverse postdoc community.
The Framework is the product of a dialogue between Columbia and UAW representatives that followed outreach by the University to the union. The agreement includes substantive principles reflecting the respective interests of the parties. For Columbia, chief among these interests is that any collectively bargained agreement will not infringe upon the integrity of the University’s academic decision making and that Columbia will retain the exclusive right to manage the institution consistent with our educational and research mission.
The Framework specifies that bargaining on contracts covering student assistants and postdoctoral researchers will begin no later than February 26, 2019, and that the union will not strike or otherwise disrupt Columbia’s operations prior to April 6, 2020, at the earliest.
In communications with the Columbia community, we have consistently underscored the importance of ensuring that Columbia remains a place where every student can achieve the highest levels of intellectual accomplishment and personal fulfillment. The Framework Agreement preserves our ability to honor that fundamental commitment.