Elections Committee nominations notice and call for Bylaws Committee volunteers

Click here to sign up as a member of CPW-UAW Local 4100.

As we establish our new Local Union, we need researchers to serve on the Elections and Bylaws Committees. These are important and significant ways you can get involved and contribute to our Union’s continued success. Please see below for more information on those, and please send us an email if you have any questions and we will be happy to discuss in more detail.

Notice of Nominations and Election for CPW-UAW Local 4100 Elections Committee

Consistent with the UAW Constitution, our upcoming Local Union officer elections (such as Executive Board or Steward elections) must be administered by a democratically-elected elections committee.

NOMINATIONS: All CPW-UAW Local 4100 members in good standing are hereby nominated to serve on the CPW-UAW Local 4100 Elections Committee. The Elections Committee shall consist of five (5) members in good standing. The term of office for the Elections Committee shall be one (1) year.

To accept the nomination to serve on the Elections Committee, you must submit your acceptance in writing via email to columbiapostdocunion@gmail.com no later than 5pm on Friday, August 14, 2020. If you have not yet signed a membership card already, you may do so by signing and submitting an online membership card prior to accepting nomination.

Duties of elections committee members include drafting and sending out nominations and election notices, confirming eligibility of candidates, overseeing elections, counting ballots, and announcing results. Committee members should expect to administer several elections over the course of a 1 year term.

ELECTION: If the total number of eligible members accepting nomination exceeds five (5), an election will be held online on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, between 9am and 5pm. All members in good standing shall be eligible to vote.

Call for interest in participating in our Bylaws Committee

We will also be drafting Local Union bylaws. As a bargaining committee, we recommend a five (5) person bylaws committee. Click here if you would like to be part of our Bylaws Committee.

Being a member of the bylaws committee is a significant time commitment, probably taking place in August and early September. Committee members will draft the bylaws (for instance, by reading other Locals’ bylaws as examples and customizing them for our unit), present them to the membership, incorporate feedback, put them to a vote by the members, then submit the approved bylaws to the UAW.

Bylaws address things like how often membership meetings happen and how they are run, the number of stewards, how officers and stewards are elected and can be recalled, how future bargaining committees are structured and elected, and how members can amend bylaws in the future. An example of bylaws from an academic UAW Local of similar size to ours can be found here. While there is no formal deadline to volunteer for the Bylaws Committee, we ask that interested volunteers respond by 5pm on Friday, August 14, 2020.

If you have further questions, please reach out by responding to this email.

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Bargaining Committee

Status of pay increases; ramp-up safety concerns; solidarity with TWU

We have several updates in this email. Our contract is now in effect. You may read a full version on the CPW-UAW website. If you have any work-related problems, please contact the union. We will work to try to help you resolve the problem.  

Status of Pay Increases and Lump Sum Payments

You may have noticed that the University has not yet processed the compensation increases we negotiated in our contract. Given the advance programming requirements of Columbia’s payroll system and the timing of our ratification process that ended two weeks ago, it was not feasible to do so by today’s payday.  

We raised this issue to the administration today. They said that early next week they will provide a more specific timeline for processing increases to the new minimum rates, including what is owed retroactive to July 1. If Columbia moves slowly, we may have to take other action – including possibly filing a grievance – to ensure that we receive these increases in a timely manner. We also expect to start receiving data from the University next week that will enable us to start working on finalizing a formula for processing the lump sum payments outlined in our contract. We will provide further updates as we learn more.

Health and Safety concerns during the ongoing research ramp-up

As the University has moved into the next phase of the ramp-up, many more of us are returning to campus. Recent email communications suggested more strongly than ever that researchers will face consequences if we do not return physically to work. However, established ramp-up safety guidelines about workplace density, PPE, etc. must continue to apply. Researchers should spend as little time on campus as needed to get work done, and those who can work remotely should continue to do so. We deplore any effort by the University to intimidate researchers into returning to the workplace. If you are uncomfortable returning to work and are being pressured to do so, please reach out so that we can help resolve the issue.

Show support for maintenance and custodial workers

TWU Local 241, the maintenance and custodial employees, urgently need our help to save their healthcare. Please go here to send a quick email (works best using a smartphone) to urge the university’s administration to give frontline workers who have kept the university running during COVID-19 the healthcare they deserve.

Their union is currently in contract negotiations and the university is trying to make drastic cuts to their healthcare. The members have authorized a strike.

This Sunday – CPW-UAW Local 4100 Picnic

This Sunday starting at 4pm we will be meeting in Riverside park for a socially distanced celebration of our new contract and Local Union. Click here for event details and to let us know if you can make it.

As a reminder, we will also be sending further information next week regarding next steps in setting up our Local Union.

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Local 4100 Bargaining Committee

Union Next Steps + Picnic this Sunday!

Join us for our CPW-UAW Local 4100 Picnic this Sunday 

We are holding a picnic this Sunday, 8/2 starting at 4pm in Riverside Park (next to Ellington in the Park, Riverside Dr & W 105th St, New York, NY 10025), to celebrate winning our first contract and moving into the next phase of building our Local Union, CPW-UAW Local 4100. If you can join us, please plan on wearing a mask and maintaining a safe social distance from others. This is a potluck, but the important thing is getting together. If you do not feel comfortable consuming food or drink provided by others please feel free to bring your own or buy at the nearby restaurant Ellington in the Park. If the weather on Sunday turns against us we will reschedule, but you can RSVP now and we will make sure to let you know the new date.

Summary of Next Steps for Our Local Union:

Thanks to everyone who attended our meeting Monday night regarding next steps in building CPW-UAW Local 4100! Below is a summary of suggested next steps we discussed in our meeting. Since not everyone could attend, we want to share this and allow for additional questions or feedback.

In short, in addition to maintaining our Organizing Committee, we now need to have a committee start to draft Local Union bylaws, have elections for officers to run our union, and elect an elections committee to administer the officer election. Below are suggestions for the structure and timelines for each of these.

Organizing: As we move into the next phase of our union, maintaining strong majority support and participation will be as important as ever.  The Organizing Committee will continue meeting to help coordinate efforts as Postdoc and Associate Researchers now start signing up as members of CPW-UAW Local 4100.  Strong majority membership will help us enforce our new rights under the new contract and help us have a strong voice beyond the contract.  The more of us that participate in organizing, the more efficient we will be. If you are interested in helping out please sign up here.

Elections Committee: Local Union officer elections in the UAW must be administered by a democratically-elected elections committee. Members of this committee serve a 1 year term and administer each election for officers (example duties include sending out nominations and election notices, confirming eligibility of candidates, overseeing elections, counting ballots, and announcing results). We plan to send a notice of nominations and election for a 5-member committee next week. 

Bylaws Committee: All Local Unions must have bylaws that lay out the democratic governance structure of our union. Bylaws address things like how often membership meetings happen and how they are run, the number of stewards, how officers and stewards are elected and can be recalled, how future bargaining committees are structured and elected, and how members can amend bylaws in the future.  An example of bylaws from a similarly-sized academic UAW Local like ours can be found here.

The bylaws committee is a significant time commitment, probably limited to August and early September. Committee members will draft bylaws (for example, by reading other Locals’ bylaws as examples and customizing them for our unit), present them to membership and incorporate feedback, put them to a vote by the members, then submit the approved bylaws to the UAW. We plan to begin seeking volunteers for a 5-member committee next week.

Election of Officers: While Local Unions like ours have regular open membership meetings, we also must elect executive board (“E Board”) officers: President, Vice President, Financial Secretary, Recording Secretary, Sergeant-at-arms, Guide, and three Trustees.  Once finalized, our bylaws will also outline the number of, and process for electing, Stewards. Stewards organize and help workers enforce rights under the contract along with the E Board.We plan to hold elections for our E Board in mid-September, and elections for Stewards after completing our bylaws.  Notice of nominations for E Board officers would likely go out in the second half of August.

 We are excited to move ahead with establishing the democratic governance structure of our Local Union and encourage you to consider getting involved. Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback, and join us for our Picnic this Sunday!

In solidarity,

The CPW-UAW Local 4100 Bargaining Committee

More progress on childcare! And 7/27 meeting reminder

In case you missed it, Columbia announced a new childcare benefit this week! The new benefit offers up to $3000 in additional funding to offset childcare costs for researchers required to work on campus during July and August.  

We are excited to see this new benefit since the CPW-UAW bargaining committee, along with other constituencies on campus, highlighted childcare concerns as a significant obstacle for women and others with families in relation to the research ramp-up. We are also excited that the new benefit is offered to Postdoctoral Research Fellows and advances our union’s larger goal of enhancing equity and making Columbia a more family-friendly and inclusive research community.

Details on the new benefit can be found on the Columbia Human Resources website. If you have any trouble accessing this benefit, please let us know.

Reminder – CPW-UAW Local 4100 Next Steps Meeting 7/27, 6pm.

As we move into the next phase of our union campaign, CPW-UAW Local 4100 will hold a meeting next Monday, July 27, 2020, at 6pm to discuss some of the necessary next steps in the creation of our Local Union here at Columbia. Please click here to RSVP and receive the zoom link.

While we have achieved important milestones as a union, such as winning our NLRB election in the face of university opposition in 2018, and negotiating our first contract, the work involved in having a strong voice through our union will continue. It is important that Postdoc and Associate Researchers continue to be actively involved to make sure our rights under the new contract are enforced, to fight for strong policies against bullying, and to mobilize in support of national policy issues like international worker rights, science funding and non-discrimination.

We also need to take certain steps to establish our Local Union. At the meeting on the 27th, we will discuss these steps and a variety of opportunities for union members to get involved. Such next steps include:

  • Discussing how to maintain the strong mobilization spirit that has carried us so far

  • Drafting Local Union bylaws that will provide the governance structure of our union

  • Electing an Elections Committee to run local union officer elections

  • Setting a timeline for electing officers and stewards

Clearly, there will be many opportunities to get involved in this exciting new phase of our union’s life. Please click here to RSVP for this meeting.

In solidarity,

The CPW-UAW Local 4100 Bargaining Committee

Meeting to Discuss Next Steps in Building our Local Union at Columbia

As we move into the next phase of our union campaign, CPW-UAW Local 4100 will hold a meeting next Monday, July 27, 2020 at 6pm to discuss some of the necessary next steps in the creation of our Local Union here at Columbia. Please click here to RSVP and receive the zoom link.

While we have achieved important milestones as a union, such as winning our NLRB election in the face of university opposition in 2018, and negotiating our first contract, the work involved in having a strong voice through our union will continue. It will be as important as ever for Postdoc and Associate Researchers to be actively involved in enforcing our rights under our new contract, continuing to fight for strong policies against bullying, and mobilizing in support of broader policy issues like international worker rights, science funding and non-discrimination.

We also need to take certain steps to establish our Local Union. At the meeting on the 27th, we will discuss these steps and a variety of opportunities for union members to get involved. Such next steps include:

  • Discussing how to maintain the strong mobilization spirit that has carried us so far

  • Drafting Local Union bylaws that will provide the governance structure of our union

  • Electing an Elections Committee to run local union officer elections

  • Setting a timeline for electing officers and stewards

Clearly, there will be many opportunities to get involved in this exciting new phase of our union’s life. Please click here to RSVP for this meeting.

In solidarity,

The CPW-UAW Local 4100 Bargaining Committee

Tentative Agreement approved and next steps!

The vote on whether to ratify our tentative agreement with Columbia has concluded as of 12:00pm today and 99% of those participating voted yes to ratify our contract. The results are as follows:

859 – Yes
7 – No
1 – Blank
4 – Bargaining unit status unclear

Thank you to everyone who participated in the vote. After years of organizing and 16 months of bargaining, this vote is a strong mandate for researchers to continue improving our working conditions and the research conditions at Columbia.

Next Steps in Building our Local Union

We will soon announce a meeting to start formally establishing our union here at Columbia, CPW-UAW Local 4100, including next steps like drafting Local Union bylaws, electing officers, and planning ongoing organizing efforts. If you are interested in attending and/or participating in such efforts in the near future, please click here and let us know your general availability.

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Bargaining Committee

[Reminder-vote!] Voting on Tentative Agreements ends Thurs 7/16

Click here to participate in our CPW-UAW contract ratification vote.

Voting on whether to ratify the CPW-UAW tentative agreement with Columbia is continuing until Thursday, July 16 at 12:00 PM, at which point results will be counted and announced. The bargaining committee recommends ratification of the agreement as our first union contract. To read a summary and/or the full tentative agreement, click here.

Signing an authorization card is necessary in order for you to be eligible to vote. If you have not already signed an authorization card, please do so here in order for your vote to be counted.

While voting is taking place, please encourage your colleagues to vote! The more postdoctoral and associate researchers who participate, the more we can show Columbia that we are engaged and ready to continue fighting for more improvements during the life of our contract.

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Bargaining Committee

Contract Ratification Continues & UAW Academic Workers host July 10 Info Session on F1 ICE decision

If you have not already done so, click here to cast your vote on our first union contract.

Until July 16th Columbia postdocs and Associate Researchers are voting on our first union contract. The tentative agreement with Columbia includes substantive and important improvements, including new minimum salary rates that will make postdoc minimum salaries at Columbia the highest in NYC. The bargaining committee overwhelmingly recommends ratification of the agreement as our first union contract. To read a summary and/or the full tentative agreement, click here.

Tomorrow, Friday July 10 at 1PM-2PM PT / 4PM-5PM ET, UAW Academic Workers are hosting an info session about the recent SEVP ICE decision. Guest speaker is Stacey Gartland from immigration law firm Van Der Hout, LLP. The main topic will be the recent SEVP F1 ICE decision.* Please click here to RSVP. You will receive the Zoom details shortly before the meeting.

*During the info session, we’ll address general questions. We will not be able to address questions about your specific case. If there is a general topic you would like to get more info on, please let us know on the registration form. If you have a question about your specific situation, you can schedule a consultation appointment with one of the attorneys.

This session is co-hosted by UAW 2865 (UC Students Workers Union), UAW 5810 (Union of Postdocs and Academic Researchers), UAW 4121 (Union of Academic Student Employees & Postdocs at the University of Washington), Washington Science Policy Network, UAW 4123 (Union of Academic Student Employees across CSU), UAW 2110 (Graduate Workers of Columbia and NYU Graduate Student Organizing Committee), UAW 5118 (Harvard Graduate Students Union), UAW Local 7902 (Student Employees at The New School), CPW-UAW Local 4100 (Columbia Postdoctoral Workers), UAW Local 6950 (University of Connecticut Graduate Employees and Postdocs), UAW Local 1596 (UMass Boston and Lowell Graduate Employee Organization), Boston College Graduate Employees Union – UAW, and Graduate Employee Union at Northeastern University – UAW.

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW Bargaining Committee

Reminder-Voting on the Tentative Agreement Continues

Click here to participate in our CPW-UAW contract ratification vote.

Voting on whether to ratify our tentative agreement with Columbia is now open. The bargaining committee overwhelmingly recommends ratification of the agreement as our first union contract. Voting will end on Thursday, July 16 at 12:00 PM, at which point results will be counted and announced. While voting is taking place, please encourage your colleagues to vote! To read a summary and/or the full tentative agreement, click here.

Signing an authorization card is necessary in order for you to be eligible to vote. If you have not already signed an authorization card, please do so here in order for your vote to be counted. Anyone who is currently employed by Columbia and is in the job titles of Postdoctoral Research Scientist/Scholar, Postdoctoral Research Fellow or Associate Research Scientist/Scholar is eligible.

Please join members of the bargaining committee this Wednesday July 8th at 1:00pm for a virtual town hall. You can register here. We will be giving a summary of the highlights of the agreement and will be available to answer any questions.

The more postdoctoral and associate researchers who participate, the more we can show Columbia that we are engaged and ready to continue fighting for more improvements during the life of our contract.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

In solidarity,

The CPW-UAW Bargaining Committee

Voting on the Tentative Agreement Now Open

Click here to participate in our CPW-UAW contract ratification vote.

Voting on whether to ratify our tentative agreement with Columbia is now open. The bargaining committee overwhelmingly recommends ratification of the agreement as our first union contract. To read a summary and/or the full tentative agreement, click here.

Signing an authorization card is necessary in order for you to be eligible to vote. If you have not already signed an authorization card, please do so here in order for your vote to be counted.

Voting will end on Thursday, July 16 at 12:00 PM, at which point results will be counted and announced. While voting is taking place, please encourage your colleagues to vote! The more postdoctoral and associate researchers who participate, the more we can show Columbia that we are engaged and ready to continue fighting for more improvements during the life of our contract.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

In solidarity,

The CPW-UAW Bargaining Committee