August 14th, 10:00 AM @ Studebaker (Manhatanville), Room 469

Informal Organizing Committee notes

Your participation in Bargaining is very much appreciated! Join us in person or on our Slack channel to share your opinion/thoughts/concerns.

Take home message – We won up to $1,250 to cover Visa renewal costs! That’s a big win to ensure we are not penalized for being internationals. We also TA’d Art. 28: Workspace and Materials with the agreement to have a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group to discuss improvements on hiring practices to promote diversity, and increase accessibility to gender neutral bathrooms. This means the only open articles relate to the economic topics which most postdocs/ARS established as priorities!

Bargaining starts at 10:41am. 

Today we are expecting Admin’s responses on the following articles which we presented on July 18th. 

After some housekeeping at 10:51AM CU Admin gave us their counters to Art 2, Art 12, and Art 28 + miscellaneous which they prefer to call Side Letter. 

After receiving their counters we had a zoom caucus (join our slack to receive info of when caucuses are held and join!)

  • During the caucus we discussed questions we wanted to clarify with them and our positions in their counters. 

At 12:22 PM we reconvene at the table. 

  • On CU’s proposal for Art 2: APPOINTMENTS – We decided to wait to see their counterproposal in all the other economic topics as this is part of the package we gave them.
  • On CU’s proposal for Art 12: INTERNATIONAL EMPLOYEES – We requested some clarification regarding the restrictions of using the $1,250 for Visa maintenance expenses. 
    • We want to make sure that the new article won’t be use to make us pay for Visa Fees that up until now were covered by the departments (like the premium processing of H1B Visas)
    • They agreed to revise the language.

The head of HR explains to us the guidelines related to remote work at Columbia: 

  • When remote work is related to disability the guidelines can be found in Columbia’s disability Website
  • 100% remote work – may have complicated tax implications if it’s performed in a different state or even more difficult if abroad which also gets complicated with restrictions from the NIH. 
    • Accordingly, it requires approval from the Provost, HR, the Department and at CUMC also from the Dean.
  • Hybrid in person/remote work – is provided at the discretion of the department provided that the requirements are met. 

After this clarification – which we will use to assist members in arranging hybrid in person/remote work – we reached a Tentative agreement on Article 28: Workspace and Materials, and on the language about diversity that is in the Side Letter/Miscellaneous section. 

These are small wins, but establish a good venue to continue detecting and improving diversity and inclusion during the life of our contract!

After a break Admin comes back with a revised language for Art 12 in which they accept our proposed changes!

  • We Tentatively Agreed Article 12 which will give us up to $1,250 for Visa related travel/fees expenses
    • This will create an incentive to make a longer Visa duration reducing our costs or at least compensating us for each time we need to renew the visa. 

This decreases the burden of international researchers (the majority of us) to keep our Visa Status!!

At 1:29 PM the session ends.


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