New York State Senate Minority Leader David Patterson, after counting union cards signed by Columbia University graduate students, has certified what everyone knew – particularly the Columbia administrators who’ve appealed and had impounded the ballots from the election to stop them from being counted – that the majority want to be represented by the UAW:
Following on the heels of last week’s vote by members of Columbia’s clerical workers’ union, part of Local 2110 UAW–which authorized a strike by nearly 85 percent–the latest union activity represents a new tactic in the graduate students’ long fight for unionization.
…GSEU spent last semester and the beginning of this semester going to graduate students individually, explaining their new tactic of appealing directly to the University and asking students if they wanted to fill out union authorization cards. On Friday morning, they gathered to oversee Bill Batson, Patterson’s chief of staff, count the cards, finding that a majority of graduate students support a union, according to the GSEU.
Today, Patterson will present University President Lee Bollinger with a letter indicating that he found there to be a majority of students in support of a union, and that because of this majority he believes the students should be able to unionize. “The onus will be on the University to respect the voice of the majority; it’s hard to ignore a majority,” Carpio said.
…At noon on Friday, the Student Affairs Committee presented a resolution to the University Senate that asked for recognition of this new majority of pro-union graduate students.