Both a strong union and a postdoc organization can play an important role in improving the lives of Columbia University postdocs. While CUPS is a university sponsored and supported association that makes it possible for postdocs to participate in numerous social and career development opportunities, the organization is not an alternative to a union.

CUPS can make recommendations to the administration on behalf of postdocs and researchers but cannot serve as a representative in bargaining collectively as equals with the Columbia University administration over wages, benefits, and the terms and conditions of employment to reach a binding contract. CUPS can – and does – give input on improving the postdoc experience, but their input is not as powerful or potentially binding as a union’s would be.