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Paid Parental Leave But No Union for Columbia Grad Students

NEW YORK ― Graduate students who teach and conduct research at Columbia University will get paid parental leave and child-care subsidies starting next fall.

Organizers of a drive to unionize Columbia graduate students said they welcomed the new benefits but urged the university to recognize their union.

Provost John H. Coatsworth announced new benefits policy in an email to Ph.D. students Monday. He said doctoral student will be eligible for 12 weeks of paid parental leave as well as a $2,000 child-care subsidy for each child under 5.

Coatsworth said the move was intended to standardize benefits for Ph.D. students in different programs.

The Columbia graduate student group is seeking to affiliate with the United Auto Workers.

The university opposes the union drive, saying that graduate students are students, not workers.

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