As teachers and researchers, we are excited to have commenced negotiations for our historic first contract. Among many other reasons, we voted overwhelmingly for unionization in significant part because we know that, through collective bargaining, we can negotiate for contract provisions and procedures that help us address sexual and other forms of discrimination and harassment more effectively. We aim to both work toward the elimination of discrimination and harassment, as well as establish procedures to ensure that survivors of assault and/or harassment have a better chance of achieving justice.
From #MeToo and #MeTooSTEM, high profile lawsuits, and public ousters of faculty who were known predators for decades, we have far too many examples where existing processes have failed us. Studies and surveys by reputable academic entities such as the American Association of Universities and National Academies confirm this major problem that blocks equity in the academic workforce.
We therefore demand that you, the university, direct your bargaining team to reach agreement on a fair union contract that includes, among other important improvements, stronger protections against and enforceable procedures to address instances of sexual and other forms of discrimination and harassment.
Together we can make Columbia a more just and inclusive institution.