In early December, we voted overwhelmingly (119 yes – 15 no) to authorize the BCF-UAW Bargaining Committee to call for any action, up to and including a strike, if necessary, to secure a fair contract. Since that time we have met with the administration at the bargaining table several times. During these meetings there has been some movement on both sides (see this document for a full update). However the administration’s positions on job security, wages, and health benefits fail to improve our working conditions tangibly, and leave our bargaining unit vulnerable to erosion.
In response, the Bargaining Committee has set a strike deadline of February 21, 2017. If no agreement on a contract is reached by this date the union will call a strike. This date is two weeks prior to the departure of President Debora Spar, who leaves Barnard March 5 to become the CEO of Lincoln Center.
In the interim we are working to secure a contract before the deadline. We have several bargaining sessions scheduled before the strike deadline and we have also agreed to bring in a federal mediator to help facilitate bargaining. The federal mediator is a neutral party who cannot order a settlement, but can use persuasion and diplomacy to facilitate an agreement.
We all hope that a strike can be averted, but the administration has left us no choice but to prepare now for this possibility.