Mar

7

Union Protest at the Gates

Written by

Columbia, Barnard, and Teacher’s College support staff are protesting today, right now, just north of the gates. UAW 2110’s contracts come up for review this year, and the University is asking for cuts, which the unions do not wish to grant.

A mix of union workers and OccupyCU are walking around, drumming, and shouting things like, “What do we want? Contract! When do we want it? Now!” Signs say things like, “Hands off my pension!” and “CU is the 1%” and “Health care is a right!”

You can see their respective current contracts on the union site, which is pretty cool.

Photo by Matt Horwitz

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31 Comments

  1. Da Truth  

    WHO CARES ABOUT UNIONS AND THE RIGHTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL...OBAMA IS SPEAKING AT BARNARD! GOD BWOG, HOW CAN YOU BE SO IGNORANT TO EVEN SHOWCASE THE BANDING TOGETHER OF WORKERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF GETTING BETTER WORKING CONDITIONS AND/OR PAY WHEN WE SHOULD OBVIOUSLY BE FOCUSING OUR TIME ON AN INANE CONVERSATION ABOUT THE COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER AT BARNARD'S GRADUATION! AHHHHHHHHHHH!

  2. Anonymous

    Who does this union represent? If by support staff you mean janitors and HVAC people they deserve there benefits. They are some of the nicest people I've ever met. Like that guy in the office in the basement of the LLC, he gives away free textbook people toss out. And the free book lady, who saves library books being tossed up the the CU library. And our janitor in JJ6 freshmen year 09-10 was epic. Columbia has happy employees and happy employees treat students nicely.

  3. UnionPower  

    This union represents, most generally, "clerical" workers at TC, BC, and CU. I see some professors here too.

    • Hmmm..  

      UAW= United Auto Workers.... Why the flying F*ck are clerical workers being repped by the UAW?

      MAKE NEW YORK A RIGHT TO WORK STATE

      • UAW  

        The UAW stepped in on many college campuses to represent workers who have little to no representation (professors, students, and higher administrators are technically represented by University Senates). They tend to operate on campuses as "Uniting Academic Workers." Unless support staff get some sort of representation on the University Senate, this is one of the few ways they can collectively bargin with the university.

  4. person

    What does the UAW have to do with this?

    • ...  

      mergers and acquisitions: not just for corporations anymore! (and actually, a bit sad as the larger the unions get, the more they start to resemble the organizations they're supposed to be counterbalancing)

    • Anonymous  

      UAW is a large national union with numerous locals. It was originally a CIO union that organized in automobile, airplane, and farm machinery factories, but now represents many other workers as well.

  5. Anonymous  

    I know multiple people who had their midterms interrupted because of this. For example, there were students in Barnard Hall who shut their classrooms' windows and could still hear loud screaming during their entire class time. Imagine trying to take your midterms, when you're already stressed out, with people screaming in the background.

    I know that these groups were probably trying to catch people during lunchtime for the most visibility, but they didn't have to hurt students to do so. I know that wasn't their intention, but I feel it should have been thought out better. Did they honestly not know this was the middle of midterms for most students? Do they even care, or are the students not important as long as their message gets across? I'm not assuming that is the case. I'm merely trying to understand their motives for scheduling the protest on the Wednesday of midterms week in the very middle of the class day.

    I support what they were doing, but they should have considered the innocent students they were affecting.

    • get out of your ivory tower  

      Sorry that you were annoyed, but the world is a lot bigger than your midterms.

      • and  

        "the world" is a bunch of greedy workers trying to get more money for doing less work? Please...

        • actually  

          Wages are not a part of the issue. They are not trying to get more money--the university is trying to force them to pay for more of the health care that they ALREADY HAVE, which is basically the same thing as cutting their wages. Once again, you are proving that people who reflexively dislike unions generally lack a coherent understanding of the issues those unions are fighting for.

        • BC 2012  

          administrators include people who have been working for the university for decades, receive a low salary that hit a ceiling years ago, and are now being told that they will have to pay more for their health care. these people are not "greedy workers," they are low paid clerical workers who take much of columbia's administrative stress on their shoulders. and yes, it's unfortunate that someone's midterm would be interrupted, i don't wish anyone additional stress during an already difficult time. the complaint was valid but i doubt this had too awful an effect on any one student's midterms, one semester of their college lives...health care cuts, however, for a large proportion of columbia's clerical workers, would have a lasting and drastic impact on these employees lives.

          signed,
          a loving office assistant to an overstressed clerical worker who handles 3 departments worth of administrative b*llshit

      • Oh Really?  

        Then I suggest you personally should leave and go save the world from disease, hunger, and starvation. Just because there's a "bigger" world out there doesn't make his/her complaint any less legitimate.

      • oh yea?  

        well suck my D

  6. Margaret Thatcher  

    Pennies do not fall from heaven. They need to be earned here on earth.

  7. Unions  

    Get back to work beotches

  8. i think  

    i understand what's going on @ columbia. people were trash talkin barnard. now people are like "get back to work" to the union workers. another republican conspiracy is at hand! how do we get y'all to resign and stop trollin bwog comments?

  9. Anonymous  

    I bet someone is.

  10. Anonymous  

    Spec talked to the UAW 2110 president, and she said they might strike: http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2012/03/07/columbia-union-workers-rally-broadway

  11. Anonymous  

    The union president says they might go on strike if significant progress isn't made in the discussions: http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2012/03/07/columbia-union-workers-rally-broadway

  12. Anonymous  

    Get a job you lazy slobs. Why dont you show some respect for the University instead of banging drums?

  13. Milton Friedman  

    “When unions get higher wages for their members by restricting entry into an occupation, those higher wages are at the expense of other workers who find their opportunities reduced. When government pays its employees higher wages, those higher wages are at the expense of the taxpayer. But when workers get higher wages and better working conditions through the free market, when they get raises by firm competing with one another for the best workers, by workers competing with one another for the best jobs, those higher wages are at nobody's expense. They can only come from higher productivity, greater capital investment, more widely diffused skills. The whole pie is bigger - there's more for the worker, but there's also more for the employer, the investor, the consumer, and even the tax collector.

    That's the way the free market system distributes the fruits of economic progress among all people. That's the secret of the enormous improvements in the conditions of the working person over the past two centuries.”

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