Teachers at NYU and Columbia prepare to strike: At Columbia University, graduate students are set to walk away from their teaching- and research-assistant duties on Monday. More than two years ago, graduate students there voted on whether they wanted to be represented by the UAW. Those ballots have never been counted, however, because the university is fighting against the unionization effort by appealing to the full National Labor Relations Board. The ballots have been impounded pending that action...Unlike an earlier one-day walkout, this strike is planned to last indefinitely. "People are prepared to do what they have to do," said Maurice Leutenegger, a research assistant in the physics department. "Victory is when the administration agrees to respect our democratic rights." Graduate students cast strike-authorization ballots on Thursday, and the results of that vote are expected today. At New York University, part-time professors won the right to bargain collectively in 2002, becoming the nation's largest such adjunct union at a private institution. But despite more than 20 bargaining sessions, the two sides have yet to agree on a first contract. Earlier this week, the UAW announced that more than 91 percent of the union members who voted had agreed to authorize a strike, which would begin on Wednesday...Bargaining sessions are scheduled for today and Saturday, but the sides remain divided on several issues, including job security and wages. Check out the NYU Adjunct Fan Club here.


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