Yesterday we had our first bargaining session since our Strike Authorization Vote and we wanted to give a quick update, given how Columbia’s administration has behaved on the table.
As a reminder, we ONLY had our economic package left to discuss. After initially refusing to talk about anything other than Art. 2: Appointments, and disrespectfully interrupting us multiple times, they offered a comprehensive offer of settlement. Here’s the summary:
The only movement made on housing was including a line on the hardship fund on how postdocs could request reimbursement in case of a housing emergency. If used as a housing supplement, this amounts to roughly $50 per postdoc per year.
The administration urged us to “be more realistic and reasonable” with our requests. We think it’s reasonable that postdocs/ARSs should get a salary that compensates for the high inflation. We also think it’s realistic to ask Columbia University, a multibillion-dollar endeavor, to help us with affordable housing, especially in New York City.
What the University presented today results in postdocs/ARSs getting an effective pay cut and leaves them with no housing support. All the while Columbia remains the largest university landowner in the city. We think CU’s Admin offer is unreasonable and unrealistic.
We are saddened that the University is taking this route and believe that further collective action is required off the bargaining table. We will follow up with a more in depth report of the session and details on what these actions could look like in the coming days.
In the meantime, please share this email with your colleagues and this letter of support written by some PIs supporting us. Reach out if your PI wants to add their signature!
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