Candidate Statements:

Stefano Cataldi:

I’m a Postdoc Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and union member for District 5. I have a BS in Pharmacy from the University of Ferrara, Italy, and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia, Canada. I joined Columbia in September 2018, at the early stages of our Union, Local 4100, and always been supportive and available to help whenever possible, but I felt I needed to contribute more. Therefore, I will be running for Steward for our district.

Throughout my career I developed communication and management skills, first as business associate for a tourism company and as lab manager during my PhD at UBC, skills that will serve me well in this position. I’m familiar with the University bureaucratic systems through my work as student representative at the University of Salamanca, Spain, and as International Students Mentor at the University of Ferrara.

I’m dedicated to fighting for the needs of this Local Union and will do what it takes to ensure that our voices are heard. We already achieved a lot, including raise in salary, new rights for international postdocs, protection against discrimination and harassment, and more. Yet we need to work harder, particularly against bullying and harassment, and for better protection for Postdoc Fellows. Receiving a fellowship should be recognized as an incredible achievement and not punished with fewer benefits.

Despite the results of this election, I’m looking forward to working together to ensure our interests are well-represented.

Abigail Greenleaf:

I would like to be a steward for District 5 because I both have the skills and enthusiasm for the position. My communication style is very responsive, meaning I value timely responses to emails, a skill that will engender trust in me as a steward. I also try to be empathetic in my communication and acknowledge people’s experiences which I hope would improve the experience of a union member who is coming to me with a grievance. Another skill that would serve me as a steward is interest in being help to others. I would look forward to getting to know fellow union members in my district and mobilizing them to strengthen the union. Being a steward for CPW-UAW would be a privilege and I hope an opportunity to not just work with those in my district but to get to know union members throughout Columbia and build a more equitable work environment.  

I have been actively involved in CPW-UAW for the past four months. Prior to coming to Columbia, I was a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University where unionization of post-graduate researchers is still underway.

I am currently an Associate Research Scientist at ICAP at the Mailman School of Public Health. The other two candidates in this district are from the Psychiatric Institute. The union would benefit from having one steward in the district that represents the school of public health as my connections to the school could increase participation.

Jozsef Meszaros:

My name is Jozsef (Jo) Meszaros and I’m running to be a union steward because I want to make sure that all of my coworkers have a positive and engaging experience with our Union. I strongly believe that Unions will be central in solving many of the issues and injustices we encounter: being underpaid, discriminated against, excluded from important decisions that directly impact us. My experience with our Union started when I became a bargaining committee member in the fall of 2019. I stayed on the committee until the close of the negotiations this summer. During that process, I kept many of my coworkers informed and asked them about their ideas. It has always been important to me that my Union effort is shaped by the members. Now I want to make sure the promises that were made in that contract are kept. In addition to my faith and confidence in my coworkers and our contract, I spent three years in law school and almost ten years doing research and advocacy related to abusive relationships. I am looking forward to bringing my knowledge and experience to this position!