Martin Luther King’s day is not a day off, it is a day ON!

Today, January 18th, we celebrate and honor the legacy of civil, labor, and voting rights’ champion Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King’s non-violent movement transformed our society in a profound way, and his heritage still resonates today. 

Last year was beset with many unsettling events that shook our consciences and underlined the need to commit to progressive, anti-racist policies. The brutal killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and too many other Black americans at the hands of law enforcement agents, the devastating and racially unequal effects of the coronavirus pandemic in black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities, the disturbing attempts to suppress black and latinx voters’ rights in the general election, and most recently the white supremacist mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6thadded to the systematically imposed burdens people of color face daily. It is clear that democracy, equality and secured civil rights can not be taken for granted and must be firmly protected with the utmost determination.

As scholars at Columbia University, we play a central role in the development of policies, research projects and studies that will have a huge impact in education, healthcare, and social justice. MLK’s fight for civil rights was inherently connected to his fight for social justice and labor rights. His teachings can guide us as academic unionized workers to blend the fight against racism and discrimination with the fight for workers’ rights and economic justice. 

This year, more than ever, we would like to encourage postdocs and ARSs to observe this federal holiday that has been deemed a national day of service and find ways to educate ourselves, engage in acts of service to the community and pledge to fight against racial injustice and support BIPOC communities. We won the right to paid holidays in our contract. If you have to work today, you also have the right to receive an alternate day off (Article 11).

We also encourage direct engagement with grassroots organizations including ones led by and serving the BIPOC community. These connections should be ongoing and a cornerstone of our pledge to fight against racial injustice. Together we can support our diverse neighbors in Upper Manhattan and beyond.

Finally, if you are interested in joining a working group aimed at starting a conversation on how we, postdocs and ARSs, can work through our union to make academia a more diverse, equitable and supportive environment for BIPOC researchers, please sign up here.

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

[RSVP] Local 4100 January Membership Meeting!

We will hold our January membership meeting next week on Thursday, 1/21 at 7pm.

Click here to RSVP for our January membership meeting.

Per our bylaws, at this meeting we will vote on a proposed schedule for upcoming membership meetings in February, March, and April. Please fill out this poll to provide your availability for upcoming meetings.

Other topics on the agenda:

  • Progress towards majority membership
  • Updates on setting up our local union (including deduction of union dues)
  • The start of our university-wide committee on bullying
  • Progress towards a second emergency childcare benefit
  • Political advocacy and solidarity efforts
  • Discussion of recent events

In order to have the power to enforce our contract and make improvements on issues like bullying, childcare, and more, it’s important that we reach majority membership as quickly as possible. The more of us helping talk with colleagues about signing up, the faster we will reach our goal. To talk with a steward or union leader about how you can help, click here.

Please 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 Twitter and Facebook!

Introducing Your Union Stewards!

Our stewards elections period is now over and we are happy to announce our first ever CPW stewards team! Click here to see who your stewards are

Your stewards are here to discuss and help with any concerns or questions you may have, whether specific to your workplace, funding, benefits, or more general thoughts about the current moment. With the ratification of our first union contract, we now have a process to help you advocate for yourself by enforcing workplace protections. Whenever you have questions or doubts arise, do not hesitate to reach out to your steward. 

We are still accepting nominations for stewards in multiple districts. So, if you don’t see your district represented yet or know that your district needs more than the current amount of stewards, please consider becoming a steward and reply to this email to learn more. The more stewards on the team, the better organized we will be for the year ahead. 

We are very excited to organize alongside the stewards! 


CPW-UAW Executive Board

Anti-Bullying Working Group + Membership Update

At last week’s membership meeting, on Tuesday, December 15th, we heard updates on and discussed a range of topics and held several votes. Below you can find more details and ways to get involved to continue building our voice as postdoctoral researchers.

Anti-Bullying Committee and Working Group

We discussed implementing the committee we negotiated in our contract to develop recommendations on a university-wide bullying policy. The committee will likely begin early in the new year and will have representatives from different campus groups. We are committed to fighting for a strong policy that builds on our contract campaign to win real protections against bullying and power-based harassment. If you would like to participate in building this campaign, please join the Anti-Bullying Working Group.

Academic Workers’ Open-letter to President-elect Biden

We also discussed and voted to endorse an open letter addressed to President-elect Biden, drafted by our unionized graduate employee colleagues at the University of California, UAW Local 2865. You can read the letter here. It calls for a range of demands to support workers, including reforming our immigration system, public funding of universities, rolling back the Trump administration’s policies on sexual harassment, and universal healthcare, among other topics. Members voted overwhelmingly to sign onto such a letter along with our union colleagues. 

If you would be interested in joining a national, cross-union working group on one of the topics covered in the letter, please fill out this survey.

Columbia Tuition Strike

We heard from one of the undergraduate students organizing the tuition strike at Columbia. Over 3,000 students at Columbia are currently participating in order to protest increasing tuition costs alongside other demands, including bargaining in good faith with unions at the university. Members at the meeting voted overwhelmingly for the E-Board to draft a letter of support for the tuition strike. You can read their tuition strike pledge here: and the letter from the E-Board here.

 UAW Community Action Program

One of the reasons we formed our union was to have a bigger voice in political decisions that affect us as researchers. We will soon begin discussions with our fellow UAW Locals in New York about which candidates to support in upcoming elections and which broad political goals to fight for. If you are interested in helping shape the political positions our Local Union take, send us an email at 

Progress on Steward Elections

Our Elections Committee reported the results from the stewards election. Sixteen stewards were elected by acclamation so far and there is one contested election in CUMC District 5 (which includes Allan Rosenfield Building, 60 Haven Avenue, Neurological Institute of New York, Lawrence C. Kolb Research Annex and New York State Psychiatric Institute), through this Wednesday, December 23, at 12pm (noon). If you work in this district you should have received an online ballot with which to vote. If you have not, please reach out to the Elections Committee at 

If you have any work-related issues or grievances, please reach out to the steward(s) from your district or fill out our workplace issue form here.

Please reach out if you have any questions,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

December Membership Meeting tonight at 7pm – proposed agenda

This is a reminder about our virtual December membership meeting tonight at 7pm.  We will discuss the election of Stewards and about upcoming committees with the administration regarding new policy against workplace bullying and the status of pay-direct postdocs in our unit. 

In addition, we will decide whether to support the initiative from UAW Academic Locals to send this letter to the Biden administration and the tuition strike of undergraduate students at Columbia University. [See the full proposed agenda below.]

RSVP for the meeting here

In order to vote at this meeting you must be a member of CPW-UAW Local 4100. If you are receiving this email you have not signed up as a member yet. Click here to fill in a membership card

Proposed Agenda

  • Call to order – 1min
  • Additions/changes/deletions to the agenda – 2min
  • Approval of agenda – 1min
  • Reading of the minutes of the previous meeting – 2min
  • Election committee update about Stewards election – 8min
  • Tuition strike at Columbia – 15min
  • Report and discussion from UAW Academic Locals letter to Biden – 20min
  • Bullying Committee – 10min
  • Executive Board reports – 5min
  • Update about Columbia’s COVID-19 vaccination program – 5min
  • Does anyone know of a member in distress or have general announcements or updates – 5min
  • Adjournment – 1min

TOTAL 1hr 15min

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or suggestions, 

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

Support Parents at Columbia + Updates

Check out this op-ed by members of our union on why Columbia should support parents

We recently delivered our petition calling for an extension to the emergency childcare benefit to Interim Provost Katznelson. He indicated that Columbia was continuing to weigh its options given the fiscal constraints imposed by the pandemic. While we understand these constraints, the lack of affordable childcare imposes an unrealistic burden on parents, undermining efforts towards gender equity in academia and research progress. If you haven’t already, please sign our petition so we can continue to put pressure on Columbia:

Reminder: Membership Meeting this Tuesday!

As a reminder, our December membership meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 15th at 7pm. We will discuss the election of our first Stewards and upcoming committees with the administration to develop a new policy against workplace bullying, and the status of pay-direct postdocs in our unit. We will also discuss political efforts led by other academic UAW locals.

Click here to RSVP for the meeting

Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Seminars

The university administration has announced a set of principles for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as two town hall meetings to discuss its distribution plan. We encourage all Postdocs and ARS to attend a town hall to learn more about the university’s plan. You can register at the links below:

  • Register here for the session on Monday, December 14, from 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
  • Register here for the session on Tuesday, December 15, from 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.   

 Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or thoughts,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

CPW-UAW Membership Meeting – Tue 12/15, 7pm

The December membership meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 15th at 7pm. We will discuss the election of Stewards and about upcoming committees with the administration regarding new policy against workplace bullying and the status of pay-direct postdocs in our unit. We will also discuss political efforts led by other academic UAW locals.

Click here to RSVP for the meeting

Please reach out if you have any questions and we hope to see you on Tuesday,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

Stewards Election

The deadline to accept steward nominations closed last Thursday, December 3rd at 11:59 PM EST. There is one contested election (see details below) and because some positions are unopposed, we can announce the following winners of their districts by acclamation (they ran unopposed):

Won by acclamation:
Manhattanville: (3 stewards) CUMC District 1: (3 stewards)
Rainer Engelken Wudo Lado
Pia-Kelsey T. O’Neill Oakley C. Olson
Erica Rodriguez
CUMC District 2: (3 stewards) CUMC District 7: (2 stewards)
Naeem (Mohammad Islam) Hila Milo Rasouly
Ignacio Hernandez-Morato Zunaira Shuja
Sarah Najjar
MS District 1: (3 stewards) MS District 2: (3 stewards)
Cait Dreisbach Steven Cook
Samantha S. Plummer Robbie Parks
Ben Serby
MS District 3: (2 stewards)
Daniel Hooper

Steward Elections:

There will be an election held for CUMC District 5, which has 2 steward positions. The candidates are:

Stefano Cataldi

Abigail Greenleaf

Jozsef Meszaros

The election will take place from December 18 to December 23. Members that work in CUMC District 5 will be eligible to vote in the steward election. The Elections Committee will send additional notice prior to the election to members in CUMC District 5. If you have questions, please reach out to the Elections Committee by emailing

Election Location: Online

Election Start Date: Friday, December 18 at 9:00am EST

Election End Date: Wednesday, December 23 at 12:00pm EST

In Solidarity,

CPW-UAW Elections Committee

Updates + UAW Forum on Combating Racism

Yesterday we received an announcement from the Provost outlining a number of cuts to the retirement benefits of all officers. While we understand the fiscal constraints Columbia continues to face due to the pandemic, we find these cuts disconcerting given that Officers are already struggling with significant financial burdens due to COVID-19. Our workforce in particular has been critical to providing the research that brings almost a billion dollars in external grant revenue to the university every year, one of its most stable and reliable funding sources during this unpredictable period.

As we continue to gather more information from the administration, please do not hesitate to reach out with any specific questions or concerns that you would want to see addressed, or ways that these changes may affect you.

Update on steward elections

The nomination period for our steward elections concluded at midnight last night. Our elections committee will announce the results of acceptances early next week.

UAW Region 9A Forum on Combating Racism

UAW Local Unions in our Region are hosting a virtual forum on Confronting Racism: Building Worker Solidarity at Work next Wednesday, December 9 from 7-9pm.

RSVP here!

Moderator: Rosa Arenas, UAW Local 2110

Guest Speakers:  

  • David Roediger, Foundation Professor of American Studies at University of Kansas where he teaches and writes on race and class in the United States.

  • Naja Farley, a senior staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project (NELP). focused on improving work quality through enforcement in the areas of minimum wage, wage theft, and retaliation.

  • UAW Members and their stories of combating racism at work through our union.

In Solidarity,

CPW-UAW Executive Committee

[reminder] Deadline to Accept Nomination as Steward: TONIGHT (Thursday, 12/3), 11:59PM

This is a reminder that the deadline to accept nomination for a position as steward is TONIGHT (Thursday, 12/3) at 11:59PM EST. If you are interested in running for steward in your district, please submit your acceptance to the CPW-UAW Elections Committee by emailing by 11:59pm EST (before midnight).

Stewards are responsible for organizing and mobilizing in their districts, enforcing the contract and assisting members with workplace issues and grievances, and disseminating union communications. All stewards will receive training on organizing and grievance handling. Please see the District Map below to determine which district you are in and how many stewards your district will have.


Notice of Nomination and Election of Union Stewards (27 Total)

November 19, 2020

Nominations are hereby declared open for the CPW-UAW Steward [27 positions]:

All eligible unit members who have signed a CPW-UAW membership card are automatically nominated for the steward position in their district.

Membership Eligibility Description (per the bylaws):

Membership in this Local Union shall be extended to all employees who have at any time been under titles that come under the jurisdiction of this Local Union. Membership shall be defined as members in good standing as defined in the International Constitution.

CPW-UAW has 27 steward positions, broken up into districts. Each district is a campus, building/s, or lab where postdoctoral academic workers are working. For every 75 workers in a district, one steward will be elected. To learn more about the responsibilities of the stewards, visit the UAW constitution (Article 45) and our Local Bylaws (Article 10).

Any eligible member in good standing who wishes to accept the nomination for one of the steward positions in their district must indicate their intention, in writing, including the position they wish to run for. You can only run for one district position. The acceptance of your nomination in writing must be submitted no later than December 3 at 11:59pm EST. Submit your acceptance to the CPW-UAW Elections committee by emailing

If you have questions about which district you belong to, please reach out to the Elections committee at

District Map

Click here to view the District Map, which shows the breakdown of the number of stewards per Steward District.

Candidate Statements (Optional)

Each candidate may write and submit a candidate statement of no more than 250 words. These statements will be posted on the CPW-UAW website if there are contested elections. Your mailing address, phone number, and personal email address must be included, but will not be counted toward the 250 words.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to submit the candidate statement, if they choose to have one. All candidate statements must be received by the time nominations close on December 3 at 11:59pm EST.

Candidates Meeting

Following the close of nominations, all candidates in contested districts will meet with the Elections Committee via Zoom. This meeting will determine the order of names on the ballot and the method of mass communications, and address other concerns any candidate may have. This meeting will take place following the close of nominations, but before ballots are sent to members.

Election Dates, Times and Locations

In the event that the number of eligible candidates who accept nomination for the specified position do not exceed the number of vacant positions, such candidates will be deemed elected by acclamation and no election will be held.

If there are contested positions, elections will take place online from December 18 to December 23. If you are a member of the union, you will receive a ballot in your email and text messages once voting begins. If you wish to participate, you will need to sign a membership card and join the union.

Election Location: Online

Election Start Date: Friday, December 18 at 9:00am EST

Election End Date: Wednesday, December 23 at 12:00pm EST

A runoff election, if necessary, will be held on January 4. The details will be announced if necessary.

In Solidarity,

CPW-UAW Elections Committee