Speaking to students about the strike deadline (2017)

As we approach our Feb. 21 strike deadline, many BCF members have asked us how and when to discuss the possibility of a strike with students. We suggest that you meet with students at the end of class to inform them about the deadline and the issues that we are fighting for in our contract. As the deadline is only two weeks away, it is not too soon to do this.

Here are some basic talking points that you can raise with your students:


  • Our poor working conditions adversely affect our students’ education much more than a strike would: the precarious employment status of a majority of the faculty erodes continuity of teaching, learning, and advising, while low pay, heavy workloads, and (for most) complete lack of benefits make it a constant challenge for us to be available for our students.
  • We would prefer not to have to strike but the administration has left us little choice. We have been bargaining for a year and the administration has dragged its heels every step of the way.


  • Show solidarity by voicing your support to the administration and the public, educating fellow students about the strike, and walking our picket lines.
  • Read up on our history at bcfuaw.org. We have created a page specifically for Barnard students and alumnae: bcfuaw.org/students.
  • Get involved with the student group Student Worker Solidarity by emailing studentworkersolidarity@gmail.com or joining the Facebook page.
  • Sign the student petition supporting contingent faculty, which you can find on Student Worker Solidarity’s Facebook page or at this link: http://bit.ly/2jSFjb3
  • Urge tenure-track faculty who are not part of the union to honor our picket lines by moving classes off campus to Columbia, Teachers College, or other nearby spaces.
  • Encourage your parents to call or email Debora Spar (212.854.2021; dspar@barnard.edu) and Linda Bell (212.854.2708; labell@barnard.edu) and urge them to settle the contract fairly.
  • Follow us on social media to stay updated on our progress and learn more about how you can help. We’re at facebook.com/bcfuaw and @bcfuaw on Twitter and Instagram. Like and share our posts, and tag us in your own.

Here are some helpful links that you can download for discussion with your students:

Please contact any member of the Bargaining Committee with questions.

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