The Chronicle of Higher Education
by Megan Zahneis
January 7, 2022
Student workers at Columbia University voted on Friday to end their 10-week strike, after union organizers struck a tentative agreement with university administrators late Thursday. The strike, which began on November 3, was the largest active strike in the United States at the time it ended.
The union’s 3,000 members — including graduate and undergraduate students, research assistants, and graduate instructors of record — called for higher wages, more robust health coverage, and the right to third-party arbitration of harassment and discrimination complaints. The size of the strike meant that hundreds of undergraduate classes were canceled for lack of a graduate instructor.
“There is no doubt that this has been a challenging period for the university, yet all who were involved in collective bargaining shared the common goal of creating a stronger Columbia for those who teach and learn, conduct research, discover and innovate, work and study here,” Mary C. Boyce, the provost, said in a message to the campus on Friday. “We are proud of this agreement, which would make Columbia a leader in higher education on a long list of issues affecting student employees.”