When I last wrote to you, I pledged that the University would take every reasonable step to end the strike as soon as possible. To that end, we have been urging the union to join us in mediation to resolve our differences. Student Workers of Columbia-UAW has agreed to this course, and this week we are embarking on bargaining sessions with mediator Kevin Flanigan, a veteran of the New York State Public Employment Relations Board, who was recommended by the student workers, and with whom we look forward to working to reach a fair agreement as soon as possible.
Among the bargaining offers previously made by the University are proposals that would increase compensation, enhance child care benefits, and address non-discrimination and harassment, including by providing support for a change in advisor. The University looks forward to resolving outstanding matters in mediation.
Entering mediation is an encouraging step that holds out the promise of a resolution. Nevertheless, the authority to conclude the strike remains with the union. Until the strike ends, we will be doing all we can to support our undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, directly affected by the disruption, while taking every reasonable step to find common ground with the student workers and restore normal academic life to impacted courses as quickly as possible.
Mary C. Boyce
Professor of Mechanical Engineering