National Interest Exception (NIE) and issues re-entering the US- Reach out to your union!

We have been informed by several postdocs and ARSs at Columbia, who have traveled for the first time in almost two years to visit their families outside of the United States, that they are experiencing issues re-entering the country. This problem includes processing the National Interest Exception (NIE), which is needed to re-enter the U.S. under certain visas. If you have experienced any issues with re-entry, please fill out this short survey.

We are in contact with Columbia and are working with other UAW Locals and our UAW CAP (Community Action Program) director to provide support to researchers, through contacting our elected political representatives to help expedite this process if necessary. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

P.S. – To stay informed about our union, make sure to follow us on SlackTwitter and Facebook!

Join us TODAY or Friday for Union Anniversary Tables on campus!

RSVP for a Contract Anniversary Table TODAY or Friday on campus!

To mark the anniversary of our first contract one year ago, we will be tabling today and Friday to talk with Postdocs and ARS about what we should fight for in our second year as a new Local Union.

  • Morningside Campus – TODAY (Wednesday, 7/21) at 4:30-6pm in front of Low Library
  • Medical Campus – Friday, 7/23 from 12pm-1:30pm in Haven Plaza

Swing by for some food, tea or coffee, share your priorities for our Union, and get an update on our campaign for protections against workplace bullying (and pick up a CPW-UAW T-shirt and/or a button!)

If you have a colleague who has not yet signed up as a member, this is a great opportunity to introduce them to our Union and help them get their questions answered. Let us know if you can make it so we can prepare enough food, drinks, and materials, and let you know of any changes: https://forms.gle/61b6LweTqknmGvUv8

Hope to see you there,

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

P.S. – To stay informed about our union, make sure to follow us on SlackTwitter and Facebook!

1 year anniversary of our contract! + Membership meeting tonight

Our Contract is 1 year old 🎉 

What are your priorities for Year 2?

As we mark the one year anniversary of our first contract (also the first-ever contract for Postdocs at a private university!), we wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on how far we have come through our collective efforts to build a strong union, with hundreds of new members across Columbia. Check out a side-by-side comparison of the rights we won in our contract.

As a reminder our July membership meeting is tonight at 8:30pm. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

To celebrate our anniversary we will be tabling with food and coffee on campus this week – come and talk with your union colleagues, get questions answered, offer feedback, and pick up a Union T-Shirt! 

  • Morningside Campus – Wednesday, July 21 from 4:30-6pm in front of Low Library
  • Medical Campus – Friday, July 23 from 12pm-1:30pm at Haven Plaza

Successfully Enforcing Our Rights

Through our union we have assisted over 100 researchers with workplace issues and grievances, both covered by our contract and not. If you ever have a question or concern at work, get in touch with your Union Steward, or fill out a workplace issue form

  • Pay Raises

Our contract increased minimum salaries for postdocs to the highest in New York City and guaranteed that everyone gets at least a 2.5% raise every fiscal year starting this July. Throughout the year we have been working with Postdocs/ARS and the administration to ensure that our new salaries are correctly implemented. We will continue to work to make sure everyone receives the raises guaranteed in our contract. 

  • Paid Time Off

Our contract codified 23 paid vacation days per fiscal year, with back pay for days not used at the end of an appointment. We have been working with unit members to ensure that these rights are enforced. A member shares how the new policy affected him over the past year:

Winning New Rights

  • University-wide protections against power-based harassment or bullying 

Thanks to our campaign for a fair contract, the university recognized – for the first time – that bullying and power-based harassment is a big problem in academia. Columbia agreed to establish a university-wide working group with our union to recommend a  new policy for these cases. We expect these discussions to start within the month! Our anti-bullying working group has developed a survey to gather data about types of bullying behaviors at Columbia. Check your inbox for a personalized link, with the subject “Survey on Power-Based Harassment

  • Making Columbia a More Family Friendly Place for Research

Our contract established guaranteed parental leave for any new parent (in addition to the medical leave of the birth mother) including for Postdoctoral Research Fellows – here’s how one member described utilizing this new right:

  • Parents Working Group and Emergency Childcare

During COVID-19 however, parents faced new challenges as schools closed. Researchers advocated relentlessly for increased childcare benefits, circulating a petition, making phone calls to the Provost, publishing an op-ed, and organizing delegations to university decision-makers. We won an additional crisis care benefit of $1,000 that  parents could use for out-of-pocket child care costs during the pandemic, but much more is needed. As we begin our second year, our Parents Working Group wants to start making links to other researchers in New York so we can advocate for better childcare for working parents across the city.

  • Inclusion, Equity and Affirmation of all Genders

We continue to seek ways to join the fight for greater diversity, equity, inclusion and visibility at Columbia. Certain gender-affirming surgeries that are crucial for transgender workers will not be covered under Columbia’s health care plans until January 2022. Delaying these kinds of surgeries has been shown to have a negative effect on mental health and it is important that workers can access this treatment as soon as possible. It is important that we make sure Columbia follows through on implementing these crucial changes to make the university more inclusive, and help any worker that wants assistance before January. If you would like to be part of these efforts, please reply to this email or join our working group on this topic

Political Engagement

We partnered with other UAW Academic Locals to ensure that the voice of researchers is heard loud and clear nationally. There are more than 100,000 academic workers across the country who are represented by UAW, and in the past year we raised our collective voice to:

Make our Union Even Stronger!

Want to help improve the Postdoc/ARS experience at Columbia? Send an email to columbiapostdocunion@gmail.com,  join a working group, or fill out this form and an organizer will reach out!.

And, if you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to let us know what you’re most excited to improve or protect at Columbia through your union: What are your priorities for Year 2?

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

P.S. – To stay informed about our union, make sure to follow us on SlackTwitter and Facebook!

[RSVP] July membership meeting next Monday July 19th at 8:30pm

Our July membership meeting will be next Monday, June 19th at 8:30pm.  

RSVP here to attend our membership meeting

Following our monthly financial and membership reports, we will discuss our campaign to win protections against bullying/power-based harassment, the upcoming UAW referendum on one member one vote, and plans for our first anniversary as a Local union. 

As a reminder let us know what is important to you going forward by filling out this short survey: https://bit.ly/CPW-Priorities-Survey

Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or thoughts,

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

P.S. – To stay informed about our union, make sure to follow us on SlackTwitter and Facebook!

[UNION SURVEY] Let’s Keep Making Columbia a Better Place for Research

What are your priorities as a researcher at Columbia?

As a new union of over 1,600 Postdocs and Associate Researchers at Columbia – the first for postdoctoral researchers at a private university – it is important that we continually seek ways to improve our working conditions and our lives. We made significant gains in our first contract, but there is much more we can do.

The survey below allows Postdocs and ARS to provide information to our elected leadership and shape our collective priorities for campaigns and contract enforcement as we start our second year as an established local union. The more of us who participate, the more effectively we can continue to make progress on the major challenges researchers continue to face. Your responses will be kept confidential.

Take a minute to fill out the survey here: https://bit.ly/CPW-Priorities-Survey

Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or thoughts,

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

P.S. – To stay informed about our union, make sure to follow us on SlackTwitter and Facebook!

Salary raises on the new Fiscal Year and other updates

Last Sunday we joined fellow UAW union members from, ACT-UAW Local 7902 (NYU adjuncts and New School part-time faculty, student workers, and health service employees), BAM union (Brooklyn Academy of Music ) and UAW Local 2120 at the Queer Liberation March!

Enjoy your 4th of July weekend. As a reminder Monday July 5th is a holiday. As established in our contract (Art. 11 Section 1), if you have to work on Monday you can ask for an alternative day off. 

In this email you will find: 

  • Contractually guaranteed raises for the Fiscal Year that just started
  • Columbia’s Austerity measures are partially lifted and retirement contributions re-established
  • Survey about power-based harassment and bullying at Columbia and what would you like to see in a new policy – check your inbox!

Contractually guaranteed raises 

Our contract establishes we should all receive at least a 2.5% increase in the new fiscal year which started yesterday. If you work in the Medical Campus or have an Associate Researcher title you should receive this raise in your next paycheck. If you are a Postdoctoral Researcher not located in CUMC you should receive it at your reappointment date. Check your pay stub at MyColumbia Portal and make sure you have received your salary increase!

Columbia’s Austerity measures partially lifted 

We are glad to learn that the university has announced they will stop the hiring and wage freezes, and is re-establishing contributions to our retirement benefits. We welcome these changes and will monitor the implementation. We encourage everyone to check their retirement account to ensure contributions from the university are accurate and optimize voluntary contributions to maximize the matches from the university. Please reach out if you have any questions. 

We are proud that our first contract gave us well deserved wage increases or bonuses and the highest postdoc minimum salaries in NYC during a period of salary freezes and austerity across the university. It has been, however, a difficult year for many of our members and as normal operations are re-established please don’t hesitate to reach out and/or fill in a Workplace Issue form if you have any issues, questions or concerns. 

Survey about power-based harassment and bullying

Our anti-Bullying working group has recently sent an anonymous survey to all Postdocs and Associate researchers to collect information about bullying experienced or witnessed at Columbia and about which solution you would like implemented in a new university-wide policy against bullying. Check your inbox for the survey link!

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to talk more about it or click here to get involved in our campaign to win protections against bullying.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions,

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

P.S. – To stay informed about our union, make sure to follow us on SlackTwitter and Facebook!

Sunday, 6/27: Join UAW members at the Queer Liberation March!

Like last year, members of Local 4100 will be joining the Queer Liberation March with other NYC UAW members. We will gather this Sunday, June 27th at 2:30pm in the southwest corner of Bryant Park (40th and 6th avenue).

RSVP if you would like to go together as a group!

We are excited to join other unions and progressive organizations in marching for the liberation of those of us in the LGBTQIA+ community, and all oppressed people. This is also a great way to meet other UAW members around NYC, including workers in higher ed, support staff, legal services, museums and cultural institutions, and more. 

Trans-affirming surgery issues with Columbia Healthcare plan:

As we discussed during our last membership meeting, certain gender-affirming surgeries that are crucial for transgender workers will not be covered under Columbia’s health care plans until January 2022. While we welcome Columbia’s decision to finally raise standards to match other peer institutions and end this discriminatory policy, delaying these kinds of surgeries has been shown to have a negative effect on mental health and it is important that workers can access this treatment as soon as possible. The university has agreed to discuss coverage for workers who want to access these treatments before January. If you would like to hear more details and/or get assistance, please reach out to columbiapostdocunion@gmail.com.

We are continuing to fight for greater diversity, equity, inclusion and visibility at Columbia. If you would like to be part of these efforts, feel free to join our working group on this topic. 

Let us know if you have any questions or thoughts,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

P.S. – To stay informed about our union, make sure to follow us on Slack, Twitter and Facebook!

Report from June Union Membership Meeting

Some updates from our June membership meeting: 

  • We voted on holding our upcoming membership meetings on Mondays, mid-month at 8:30pmCheck the calendar on our Website!
  • Updates on our campaign to win protections against bullying/power-based harassment.
  • Trans-affirming surgery issues with Columbia Healthcare plan and the upcoming Queer Liberation March – RSVP to March with Fellow UAW members!
  • UAW referendum on how to elect our national leadership, or “one-member-one-vote”.
  • Outcome of vote on statement relating to conflict in Israel and Palestine.

Anti-Bullying Working Group report

As part of our contract, Columbia has committed to convene a University-wide committee to make recommendations to the University on how to address power-based harassment and bullying. At our membership meeting last Monday we heard an update from our Anti-Bullying working group which has developed a survey to gather experiences regarding power-based harassment and/or bullying and your opinions on how such issues should be handled by the University. Check your email for an individualized link to the survey in the coming days. 

We expect the university-wide committee to begin meeting soon – stay tuned for further actions you can take to make sure the group’s recommendations make Columbia a more inclusive workplace for everyone. If you are interested in getting involved in our campaign to win strong protections against bullying, sign up here

Trans-Affirming Surgery issues with Columbia Healthcare

We also heard a report from our Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion working group regarding lack of coverage for certain trans-affirming surgeries in Columbia healthcare plan. These trans-affirming surgeries are a question of mental health for members of our unit. Ensuring coverage is not only a question of taking a stand against discrimination, but also for an inclusive workplace. Sign up for our working group if you are interested in discussing more in depth how to make Columbia a more inclusive workplace. 

In addition, members of our union will march along other NYC UAW members in the upcoming Queer Liberation March, on Sunday, June 27, gathering at W 41st and 6th Ave at 2:30pm. If you are interested in joining, RSVP here

UAW referendum on “one-member-one-vote” 

There will be an upcoming referendum for UAW members across the country to decide on whether we will vote for our National UAW leadership directly, instead of the current system in which we elect delegates who then vote for us. Our Executive Board will draft a statement on the topic that we can discuss at the next membership meeting. Check the position of other Academic Locals here.

Outcome of vote on statement relating to conflict in Israel and Palestine 

We had a final discussion and vote on whether to publish a statement regarding the conflict in Israel and Palestine. The motion to issue a statement did not pass. If you have any questions related to this process, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at columbiapostdocunion@gmail.com.

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

P.S. – To stay informed about our union, make sure to follow us on Slack, Twitter and Facebook!

[RSVP] Tonight! June membership meeting: Monday, June 14th at 6:30pm

Our June membership meeting will be tonight Monday, June 14th at 6:30pm.  

RSVP here to attend our membership meeting

For the first hour of the meeting we will: 

  • Hear our monthly financial and membership reports. 
  • Vote on a schedule of membership meetings through September: proposal for Mondays, mid-month at 8pm 
    • Bring alternative proposals if you prefer other times/days!
  • Discuss our campaign to win protections against bullying/power-based harassment.
  • Discuss Trans Affirming Surgery issues with Columbia Healthcare plan and the upcoming Queer Liberation March.
  • In addition, we will discuss a topic tabled at our last meeting, the upcoming referendum for all UAW members on whether to have direct elections for our national leadership Some resolutions from other UAW Academic Locals here.

For the second hour of the meeting: 

Please feel free to reach out to columbiapostdocunion@gmail.com with any questions, or if there are topics you would like to discuss at future membership meetings.

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

P.S. – To stay informed about our union, make sure to follow us on Slack, Twitter and Facebook!

[RSVP] June membership meeting next Monday June 14th at 6:30pm & other topics

In this email you will find: 

  • June membership meeting and proposed agenda topics. 
  • Amendments and appeals for the statement on Israel and Palestine
  • If you have more than 23 vacation days accumulated, take them before June 30!

June membership meeting

Our June membership meeting will be next Monday, June 14th at 6:30pm.  

RSVP here to attend our membership meeting

Following our monthly financial and membership reports, we will vote on a schedule of membership meetings through September and discuss our campaign to win protections against bullying/power-based harassment.

In addition, we will discuss a topic tabled at our last meeting, the upcoming referendum for all UAW members on whether to have direct elections for our national leadership. This referendum will likely take place over the fall, and all members of our union will be able to participate and vote on whether the UAW will transition from a delegate system for union-wide elections to a “one-member-one-vote” system, in which each member votes on our national leadership directly. This important decision could affect many aspects of our union – so we encourage you to attend!  Some resolutions from other UAW Academic Locals here.

Amendments and appeals for the statement in Israel and Palestine

At the end of the membership meeting, we will discuss and vote on amendments and a final version of the statement from our Local Union on the conflict in Israel and Palestine. Please, find the initial statement and all the proposed amendments, alternative statements and appeals compiled in this document. 

If you have more than 23 vacation days accumulated, take them before June 30!

Our contract established for the first time a mechanism to enforce our right to use our earned time off. We earn around two days of vacation for each month of appointment that can be rolled over to the next fiscal year (details in our contract, Art. 26, Section 1). Only 23 unused vacation days can be rolled over to the next fiscal year. If you currently have more than 23 vacation days accrued, try to use some before June 30, as you will only be able to roll over 23 days. Please feel free to reach out to columbiapostdocunion@gmail.com with any questions, or if there are topics you would like to discuss at future membership meetings.

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

P.S. – To stay informed about our union, make sure to follow us on Slack, Twitter and Facebook!