University of Columbia students return to class after strike

Written by A:Brinjal Mandal, CNN

The University of Columbia said students affected by the five-day strike, which began on November 21, have returned to their studies after university officials granted better conditions for student workers.

The 120 service and custodial staff — and their unions — demanded that minimum wage and working conditions be made standard for all university employees, according to an article published by Columbia Students Union on their Facebook page.

“The strike will end now that students have returned to the campus. The university has come to the table to talk with the staff about better working conditions, and we expect to get results soon,” Columbia Students Union executive board member Adam Lingua wrote on the page.

Additional details, such as when class is scheduled to resume and who has been involved in the talks, were not specified.

Helena Friedman, chief spokesperson for the school, said in a statement to CNN that the wage increase for the student workers would be in line with recent minimum wage policies in New York state.

“The university wishes to thank the faculty, students, staff and the service and custodial employees who supported their employees in their efforts,” she said.

The University of Columbia (l) and Brooklyn College. Credit: David Kwong/AFP/Getty Images

Columbia’s student workers include campus cleaners, food service employees, maintenance employees and security personnel.

The strike, which began one week after student workers walked off the job at the University of Brooklyn’s students halls, had earlier ended after a union official agreed to meet with university officials to discuss their concerns.

The workers’ first strike focused on wage increases, overtime pay and vacation and sick time policies for student workers.

The second part of the strike focused on UBC’s regulations for holiday and sick time as well as basic work rules and payment requirements for bargaining unit employees.

Leave a Comment