Employees of Columbia’s Teachers College voted on April 29 to authorize a strike as a response to proposed cuts to their pension and health care plans, according toColumbia Daily Spectator.
The employees, members of the United Auto Workers Local 2110 union, voted to authorize the strike by a 95 percent margin after three months of unsuccessful negotiations with Teachers College representatives.
Employees held a rally in March to protest the proposed cuts, but claim that negotiations have not made any progress since then.
Union president Maida Rosenstein said that the Teachers College administration proposed reducing health benefits, requiring employees to contribute to their premiums and pay higher deductibles. The College also proposed cutting the current university-paid pension plan in favor of one employees would contribute to.
The Teachers College administration offered wage increases, according to Rosenstein, but union members claimed that the increases would not be enough to make up for the proposed cuts.
Final negotiations were scheduled for April 29 with union members set to schedule a strike date if negotiations continued to be unsuccessful.