Strike Vote



It has begun. We all know that recent years have seen an escalation in the bad and devaluing treatment of our membership. As a union, we have fought, long and hard – and often victoriously – to protect ourselves, in board rooms and court rooms. But our ultimate power is YOU, the members. While each of us has been affected differently by the changes that have been happening all of us have suffered – and none of us are safe. In struggles across the globe, one thing is clear and inevitable: “An injury to one, is an injury to all.”  We have come to the point where we must summon our collective strength and take our fight to the streets. That is the ultimate power of a union, the power of numbers, the power of solidarity. The power to strike is our union’s ultimate weapon. Now is the time.
Your union’s leadership has voted to authorize a strike vote because:
  • The College’s current contract proposal guts the Tier system of class assignments putting both job security and continuity of instruction in jeopardy.
  • Bad Faith Bargaining on the part of the college. The administration has come to the table with no one with the authority to make decisions; they have refused to answer questions, to offer real proposals or engage in any actual discussion. 
  • Unfair Labor Practice(­s) The college has made unilateral changes in working conditions, qualifications, and issues over which we have bargained – all in violation of our contract.
According to procedure, first the Steering Committee called for and passed a vote in favor. Then the question was passed to the Reps’ Assembly. There – after a robust discussion of all the implications of striking – the vote was taken and also approved. Now the question comes to you, the members.
Three Emergency Membership Meetings are scheduled for next week – before the holiday – to take the Strike Vote  The schedule is here.
You are the union. Your vote to strike is your power. Make no mistake, the college is waiting to see if we will bring our ultimate power – the power of solidarity – to bear.
This is not hyperbole: If we do not vote to authorize a strike, it is the end of any power we have at the bargaining table to ensure a living wage and basic protections for members.
We Are A Union
United We Are Strong
Why are we calling for a strike vote now? Can we wait until spring?
It was only after the college insulted us with their union-eliminating contract that their cards were on the table and we knew we had to finally say, enough. They waited until late in the semester, betting that the union wouldn’t do anything. As you may recall, during negotiations for the last contract, the threat of a strike was what made the college finally begin bargaining in good faith.
Why can’t we just do a walk out and not take a strike vote?
Whether we do a short walk-out or a full strike, taking an official strike vote is the best protection for us, under labor law.
What will happen if the strike vote is not successful? 
The P-fac bargaining team would be undermined and lose any power to represent members’ interests.  The College would be in a position to implement their last proposal which removes all union protections.
Can we tell our students about this, in advance?
We should all be talking to our students, fellow faculty and alumni, as well as people in the greater community about the strike. Ask for their support. Invite them to show up and walk the picket line with us.
How do we keep others from crossing our picket line with buildings so spread out?
We are in contact with the various delivery services and other unionized workers to get their support and many have expressed it.
Why don’t we just keep fighting in court?
There are labor laws to protect our jobs, which is why we are taking an official strike vote and being sure to strike under the proper conditions. As you probably know, we are continuously in court; both with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and also Federal Court in pursuit of our various grievances against the college. But litigation is not a bargaining tool.  Besides, no matter how many times we win, our resources are not endless – the college’s are.
REMEMBER: We are the majority of the instructors at Columbia. We are highly qualified professionals and educators. We built this college and have the right and responsibility to protect its integrity. We have the support of each other and our students.
We Are A Union
United We Are Strong

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