SWC Hardship Fund Art Auction

Student Workers of Columbia
December 2021
08:00 AM EST
December 2021
11:30 PM EST
GOAL $7,500.00
98.7% To Goal

About Our Auction

Update: We hit our auction goal of $2,500 8 hours after opening! We have added 15 more wonderful donations of art; let's see if we can get to $7,500!

Student Workers of Columbia-UAW 2110 has been on strike (the largest strike in the country) for 7 weeks now. During that time, striking workers have not gotten paid either their wages for teaching and research work or their guaranteed stipends for their fellowships to Columbia's programs. As Columbia fights back on basic worker protections like neutral arbitration for discrimination and harassment, dental and vision coverage, a pay increase that reflects the cost of living in NYC, childcare subsidies, and recognition of our entire unit, we need our allies' support to maintain our strength!

The Hardship Fund grants student workers funds on our usual pay-days so that they are economically able to stay on strike and keep fighting. Thanks to the generosity of union supporting allies, we have given out over $226,000 in funds for food, rent, medical bills, childcare, and other basic necessities for striking workers. You can view our fundraising and fund distribution details here: https://opencollective.com/student-workers-of-columbia/projects/withheld-stipends

About Student Workers of Columbia


Student Workers of Columbia, also called SWC, is a student workers union in UAW Local 2110. We have been legally recognized by the National Labor Relations Board since 2017. There are over 3,000 members in the unit, making us one of the largest student worker unions in the country.

Columbia’s student workers are demanding a fair contract that includes a living wage, better healthcare, union recognition for all student workers, and protections from sexual harassment and power-based bullying. These are not abstract ideals: they are emergencies. Currently, the University pays graduate student workers $6,000-$19,000 below a living wage according to the MIT cost-of-living calculator for New York City, depending on the program we’re in. Some of our members have had to sign up for SNAP benefits (sometimes called “food stamps”) to make ends meet, particularly if they have caretaking responsibilities or raise children. Other members – your TAs, RAs, and instructors – have had to move to entirely different cities to offset the cost of rent. Worse still, the University added to the urgency of a strike by unilaterally changing students’ compensation system during the summer, resulting in an $8,000 shortfall for many workers. This illegal pay change requires student workers to go into debt within a month of class beginning, according to Columbia’s own cost-of-living calculations.

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