Students Support Barnard Contingent Faculty's Right to Strike!
In 2015, contingent faculty at Barnard College (BCF-UAW), who form the majority of the College’s faculty, voted to unionize. Contingent faculty--non-tenure track professors--teach crucial courses in almost every discipline, as well as most of the Barnard First Year Seminars. Nevertheless, many contingent faculty members lack adequate job security, health insurance, and equitable wages. For almost a year, BCF-UAW has been bargaining with the administration for a fair contract. At odds with its mission as a women’s college with progressive values, the Barnard administration has retained the notorious anti-union law firm Jackson Lewis, which continually refuses to address the needs of our faculty.

After nine months of bargaining sessions, the members of BCF-UAW overwhelmingly approved a strike authorization vote in December. Recently, they set a strike deadline for Feburary 21. Now, more than ever, it is critical that students support contingent faculty, who are fighting for fair working conditions. If a strike becomes necessary, it will be because the administration has failed to move on a number of key issues--chiefly job security, wages, and benefits.

Our professors aren’t disposable, and they deserve respect. Teaching conditions are learning conditions. We, the undersigned--including both Barnard students and Columbia students, whose enrollment in Barnard courses links their education directly to Barnard faculty's working conditions--stand in solidarity with Barnard Contingent Faculty and support their right to strike.

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