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Columbia University teaching assistants strike, seek union contract

| Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 3:18 p.m.
Columbia University in New York City
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Columbia University in New York City

NEW YORK — Graduate teaching and research assistants at Columbia University have walked off the job to try to pressure the university to recognize their decision to unionize.

The graduate students set up a picket line outside the main campus administration building Tuesday. They say their strike will last one week.

Teaching and research assistants at Columbia voted overwhelmingly in 2016 for representation by the United Auto Workers. The university said in January that it would not bargain with the graduate students.

Spokeswoman Caroline Adelman says Columbia supports unions but believes student teaching and research assistants pursuing an education are not “employees” under the law.

The last day of classes at Columbia is April 30. Finals start May 4.

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