Membership Meeting TONIGHT and VOTE on Bylaws!

 Vote NOW to ratify our Local bylaws!  

Voting is now open to ratify our Local bylaws! Make your voice heard by voting here. Voting will close during tonight’s membership meeting, around 7pm, so that members can discuss our Local’s next steps.

 Register now to join our Membership Meeting TODAY at 6:30 pm by Zoom! 

As a reminder, the Bylaws Committee presented a proposal for Local bylaws at the membership meeting on March 21. These updated bylaws will provide the governance structure to allow democratic decision making in our Local Union. The summary slides are available here and the full text is available here. Today, there will be time for final discussion and questions regarding the proposed changes. RSVP here to attend in-person or on Zoom.

In solidarity,
Local 4100 Bylaws Committee

In solidarity,

Local 4100 Executive Board & Bylaws Committee


HAVE AN ISSUE? GET IN CONTACT!

Want to stay informed? Check out our website and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and join our and Slack​.

Vote on Amalgamated Bylaws: Membership Meeting Thursday April 4th @ 6:30pm!

📣 RSVP for the SPECIAL Membership Meeting to VOTE ON LOCAL BYLAWS: Thursday, April 4th, 6:30 pm 📣

At yesterday’s membership meeting, the Bylaws Committee presented a final proposal for Local bylaws incorporating feedback after a period of open consultation. A final draft of the proposed bylaws is available here, and summary slides are available here

There will be a special membership meeting in two weeks, on Thursday, April 4 at 6:30 pm, to vote to approve the bylaws – come and make your voice heard!.

Since we recently voted to join forces with Mt. Sinai postdoctoral workers and amalgamate under the same local, we will need new structures for our joint governance. These updated bylaws will provide the governance structure to allow democratic decision making in our Local Union and ensure the rights of union members in that structure.

Our Union Local now consists of two Units, one at Columbia (CPW) and one at Mt. Sinai (SPOC). Some highlights of the proposed bylaws:

  • The membership remains highest authority of the Local Union
  • The Joint Council will now be the next-highest authority:
    • Proportional representation by unit membership
    • Includes the eBoard + Head Stewards representing each Unit (1 Head Steward per 200 members)
  • The Executive Board is the next-highest authority: we introduce 1 additional Member-At-Large per Unit.
  • All major decisions affecting the Local Union must be made by membership, not only the Joint Council or Executive Board
  • Local Membership meetings will be held at least once every 4 months, with more regular Unit Meetings for Columbia Postdoctoral Workers in between (our monthly meetings).

You can read the complete proposed bylaws hereThe new bylaws will be voted in the special meeting on April 4th.  

If you have any questions or want to discuss the proposed bylaws feel free to contact us.

📣 RSVP for the SPECIAL Membership Meeting to VOTE ON LOCAL BYLAWS: Thursday, April 4th, 6:30 pm 📣

In solidarity,

Local 4100 Executive Board & Bylaws Committee


HAVE AN ISSUE? GET IN CONTACT!

Want to stay informed? Check out our website and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and join our and Slack​.

[TONIGHT] Membership Meeting Thursday (03/21) @ 6:30pm!

We have our membership meeting tonight Thursday March 21st, at 6:30pm both in person and on zoom. We will present and discuss bylaw changes proposed by the Bylaws Committee for our newly Amalgamated Local Union. 

Since we recently voted to join forces with Mt. Sinai postdoctoral workers and amalgamate under the same local, we will need new structures for our joint governance. The Bylaws will provide the democratic governance structure for our amalgamated union and establish the rights of union members in that structure.

A final draft of the proposed bylaw amendments is available here. The Bylaws committee met yesterday to discuss and incorporate suggestions submitted during the 6-day open consultation and feedback period. Join tonight for a final discussion!

Some topics that we will touch on:

  • How many representatives will Columbia and Mt. Sinai postdocs/ARSs have in the governing body of our local (Joint Council)?
  • How often will we have joint Membership meetings across both Columbia and Mt. Sinai?
  • How will Columbia postdocs/ARSs remain in control of bargaining their own contracts and deciding on issues specific to our workplace?
  • How will we ensure democracy, transparency and accountability in a Local with multiple groups of workers from different Universities?

Updates:

  • As previously mentioned, our staff member is part of a union representing other UAW international and local staff. Bargaining is ongoing (see our bargaining tracker and their demands HERE), for a contract that will cover our Local’s staff, meaning our Local is on the ‘management’ side of this process.
  • We will give a brief update of the bargaining, and report progress on hiring a legal counsel to advise us.

We will answer questions and have an open discussion about the proposed changes. The new bylaws will be voted in a special meeting on April 4th.   

You can RSVP for tonight’s meeting here.

📣RSVP for tonight’s Membership Meeting March 21st, Thursday 6:30 pm 📣

And bring any suggestions and questions!

And bring any suggestions and questions
In solidarity,

Local 4100 Executive Board & Bylaws Committee


HAVE AN ISSUE? GET IN CONTACT!

Want to stay informed? Check out our website and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and join our and Slack​.

[RSVP] Thursday March 21st 6:30pm: Membership Meeting to Discuss Initial Draft of Bylaws

This is a reminder that we will be holding a membership meeting next Thursday, 03/21 at 6:30pm with hybrid and in person options. It will be our first membership meeting as an amalgamated local! Joining postdoctoral researchers at both Columbia and Mt. Sinai. 

📣 RSVP for the Membership Meeting of March 21st, Thursday 6:30 pm 📣

As the primary agenda item, the Bylaws Committee will present recommendations for new bylaws for our Local Union as they relate to new structures for our joint governance between Columbia and Mt. Sinai postdoctoral workers. We will also answer questions and open discussion with members. The Bylaws will provide the democratic governance structure for our amalgamated union and establish the rights of union members in that structure. 

📣 RSVP for the Membership Meeting of March 21st, Thursday 6:30 pm 📣

In solidarity,

Local 4100 Executive Board & Bylaws Committee


HAVE AN ISSUE? GET IN CONTACT!

Want to stay informed? Check out our website and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and join our and Slack​.

Financial Hardship? Get repaid by the Hardship Fund! A victory of our union power.

With this email we would like to inform you that the first Hardship Fund application round will open tomorrow March 1st. 

Please check out the Hardship Support Fund website, for all the information and to apply (scroll to the bottom of the webpage). 

In short, through our union negotiations, we won the hardship fund included in the last CBA in November 2023. This fund is specifically for postdocs/ARSs who are experiencing financial hardship. 

  • You can apply for reimbursement for any accidental or unexpected medical or non-medical expenses, from bills going back to January 1st 2024. 
  • There are no additional requirements other than being a postdoc/ARS, however, you do have to provide a copy of the bill and proof of payment (and Explanation Of Benefits for a medical reimbursement). 
  • Each application will be reviewed by a small group of Union members and Columbia administrative workers but to the extent possible information will not be shared beyond the Review Committee.
  • At the end of each academic year, the Union and the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) will evaluate the utilization of the Hardship Support Fund. 
  • Union members will be able to suggest improvements in the process to continue building on our initial victory.

The website has all the info you need, so please go check it out. If you are unsure if your expense can be applied for, just go ahead and put in an application, or email us at postdocunion@uaw4100.org. . 

💸Apply to the Postdoc/ARS Hardship Support Fund here 💸

Becoming a union member makes a difference!

We won this Hardship Fund exercising our collective power during our contract campaign. We incentivized Columbia University to commit central money to support postdocs/ARSs. This victory would not have been possible without a majority of us becoming union members. 

Click to become a member today to keep building in our success!

Note if you want to object to membership you still need to indicate so in the link above, and contribute a fair share fee as a condition of employment as per our contract with Columbia (Art. 25 Section 4).

Solidarity,

Your friendly local Executive Board and Organizing Committee


HAVE AN ISSUE? GET IN CONTACT!

Want to stay informed? Check out our website and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and join our and Slack​.

Updates from your union: We are officially amalgamated with Mt. Sinai postdocs!

At yesterday’s membership meeting we announced that the UAW International Executive Board approved our Amalgamation with SPOC (the union of postdocs at Mt. Sinai). Our Local 4100 is now officially a multi-unit local, meaning our membership and power is growing!

💫🧾Establishing the governance of our Union: Our Local Bylaws

As part of the process of amalgamation we need to update our local bylaws to define the operation of our local as an amalgamated union, and create new structures in which members of both units will democratically decide our actions and priorities as a union. 

  • Bylaws committee meetings will be at least weekly, and are open to all union members!Become a member here online!
  • Proposed changes will be posted for a for members to submit feedback
  • The bylaws will be presented at a membership meeting
  • In the subsequent membership meeting members will vote to accept or reject the updated bylaws. 
  • When approved we will establish the structure and rules governing our union Local!
  • Our bylaws committee members are: 

The first Bylaws meeting will be next Friday 03/01 at 5pm if you want to propose any changes join by RSVPing here or email us at postdocunion@uaw4100.org

🙋A member proposed a change to our bylaws:

As per Art. 21 of our bylaws which allows for members to propose amendments to our bylaws, a member proposed adding  the following to our bylaws: “Statements made by the union as a whole must be approved by a majority of the union membership as distinct from a majority of those voting”.

  • Now the bylaws committee will determine whether it is in accordance with the UAW Constitution and work with the member for any needed changes. If the proposal is edited, it will be re-proposed at a membership meeting. 
  • At our March meeting the bylaws committee will report on the proposal. If the proposal is in accordance with the UAW Constitution, members will vote whether to accept or not that amendment.
  • As per our bylaws in order for this change to be accepted it needs to be approved by a ⅔ majority of the members.

🗳️🎉The Elections Committee is seeking new members!

We have open positions for our Elections Committee! An excellent way to build your union without a huge time commitment. 

  • At the March membership meeting members can accept nomination to serve in our elections committee and we all will vote on our new elections committee! 

Email John Christin (Postdoc in Medicine serving on our elections committee) at cpwuawelections@gmail.com  to learn more!

💪🔥Our working Groups are getting busy!

We also heard reports from some of the working groups and committees that work on specific topics, from fighting for new rights to enforcing our contract! 

If you’d like to join a Working Group (or just see how it works) sign up here! Members can also propose 


⚠️You need to accept or decline membership in your union to be employed as a postdoc or Associate researcher at Columbia University⚠️

Under our contract all Postdoc and Associate researchers must decide between signing up as a Union member and contributing membership dues or declining membership and paying “fair share” fees (Article 25). 

According to our records you have not fulfilled this requirement and are in violation of your contract. You can make your choice now in this link.

The benefits that postdocs and ARSs at Columbia receive from our collective bargaining agreement (our contract) are the result of our collective power and the effort of all of us building your union strong to defend the rights postdocs and ARSs!

Solidarity,

Your friendly local Executive Board and Organizing Committee


HAVE AN ISSUE? GET IN CONTACT!

Want to stay informed? Check out our website and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and join our and Slack​.

Membership Meeting Next Thursday (02/22)!

RSVP HERE for our monthly membership meeting – Thursday, 02/22 at 6:30 pm. 

As usual, we will be hybrid and on the two main campuses: 

  • CUMC Room
  • MS Room

⚠️ Membership Meeting Agenda – Key Topics ⚠️

  • Bylaws Committee: We’ll introduce our new committee members responsible for drafting the new bylaws that we will have following the amalgamation with SPOC-Mt. Sinai. If you are interested in working on the bylaws, you can attend the bylaws committee meetings.
  • Elections Committee: At the next month’s meeting we will take nominations and vote for new members of our elections committee. This committee oversees all elections that our Union runs and is a key part of how we function! At this month’s meeting we will discuss what are the roles and answer any questions in case you are interested to run. 

📣 Updates 📣

  • Fellows Working Group: We will have a new report from the working group responsible for ensuring that fellows are treated equally by CU. Here’s a summary of the new rights we have won in our recent contract.
  • Anti-Racism, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (ARDIEA) Working Group: We will also have a report from this working group developing ways to make academia a more diverse, equitable and supportive environment for all postdocs and ARSs. 
  • Contract Enforcement: We will go over how our new Hardship Fund is being organized and enforced, as well as updates on the salary raises we have received since the new contract!
  • Legal Counsel: As we discussed during our January meeting, we will be hiring a legal counsel to advise us during our bargaining with UAW Staff United (USU). We will have a new report on the counsel chosen and the financial details of it.

And bring any suggestions and questions!

Sincerely,

Your friendly local Executive Board and Organizing Committee


HAVE AN ISSUE? GET IN CONTACT!

Want to stay informed? Check out our website and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and join our and Slack​.

[ACTION NEEDED] With our new contract, now is the best time to become a member!

Throughout our contract campaign a majority of postdocs and ARSs at Columbia have become members. This has given us the collective power to win a contract securing $10k increase to the minimums + at least 3% increases per year, guaranteed; more workplace protections for Internationals, Fellows and a Hardship Fund to help you face unexpected financial hardships. And overall, we have strengthened our voice as researchers at Columbia!

JOIN THE MAJORITY AND BECOME A MEMBER TODAY!

According to our records, you have not made a decision yet, follow the link above and accept or decline membership! Everyone covered by our contract has to choose between becoming a member or declining membership and paying fair-share fees! A majority of postdocs and ARSs at Columbia have already chosen to become members. Make your choice now!


New Year, New Contract – More Rights and Higher Salaries

It’s an exciting time for postdocs and ARSs at Columbia – we recently ratified our second contract, securing $10k increases to the minimums + 3% guaranteed increases per year. That is up to 24% increases through June 2026!, In addition, we won new protections against bullying, reimbursements for visa expenses, and a brand new hardship fund!

SEE ALL THE NEW CHANGES HERE

Reach us out at postdocunion@uaw4100.org if you did not get any of the promised benefits

These wins were built on collective power, meaning we all worked together during the last year to get where we are now. But obviously, this does not stop with just the contract campaign. We are now in the process of ensuring that Columbia University implements all these changes, including raises, visa cost reimbursements, and setting up the hardship fund. This means maintaining and building our power to continue building our union strong into the future, and using this power to enforce and fight for our rights. To do that, we need your help!

Membership Drive: Making Sure Everyone Contributes Equally

A key part of being a union is right there in the name: Unity. We are collectively representing almost 1,700 researchers at Columbia, all of whom have since November gotten higher salaries, more protections, and better rights. We will always work together like this, but it is important that EVERYONE contributes towards our goals of making this a better working place.

As a reminder, everyone covered by our contract has to choose between either becoming a member or declining membership and paying fair-share fees. Become a member today following this link!

Membership dues and fees are crucial to support our operations – to provide the resources that enable us to continue to represent all Postdoc/ARSs effectively by paying for negotiation, administration, and enforcement of our contract; legal representation, arbitration, research, and technical support; campaigns and related costs (such as events, legal fees, etc).

As a member you will have the right to participate in decisions about how we spend these economic resources. You only pay dues or fair share fees for the time you are employed as a Postdoc/ARS by Columbia.

The financial difference between membership or declining is small but the difference to our collective power is huge: ensuring a continued majority support for our union will give us more power to enforce our new rights and continue fighting for improvements.

Over the next weeks, union organizers will be contacting members, to check in and assist with any issues related to contract implementation, and to check in on membership. Note that it is a condition of employment that all Columbia employees covered by our contract choose to either sign up as a union member or decline membership and pay fair share fees to cover the cost of representation – so you must make a decision soon! Make your choice in this link.

We look forward to working with you all in this next exciting phase of our union, implementing our new contract and continuing to pursue campaigns that advocate for the rights that all postdocs and ARS’s deserve.

Sincerely,

Your friendly local Executive Board and Organizing Committee


HAVE AN ISSUE? GET IN CONTACT!

Want to stay informed? Check out our website and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and join our and Slack​.

Postdocs/ARSs in CPW voted to merge with postdocs at Mt. Sinai (SPOC)

Yesterday, we held a meeting to discuss and vote on whether to form an amalgamated local with our postdoc colleagues at Mt. Sinai (SPOC), who have recently secured their first union contract. 51 union members voted in the meeting, with the results being 49 YES, 1 NO, and 1 abstain – meaning that the membership vote has officially approved the motion to move forward to become an amalgamated union with Mt. Sinai!

To help us understand more about amalgamated unions, we were joined by colleagues in the amalgamated Local 7902, which covers academic workers at NYU and the New School about their experiences as part of an amalgamated union. 

Now that the membership has approved this motion, the next step involves submitting a petition to the International Executive Board (IEB) of UAW. As we discussed during the meeting, the amalgamation will include updating the organizational structures within our Local, including  creating a new Joint Council comprised of representatives from both CPW and SPOC. It will also necessitate amendments to our Local bylaws such that we can democratically decide and define how we operate as an amalgamated union. Importantly, these changes provide opportunities for any union member to actively participate in shaping our collective future – so keep an eye out for updates if you would be interested in joining the Joint Council and/or helping with the bylaws!

As the Executive Board of the union, we are excited about this new chapter for local 4100, and believe it will offer benefits to the stability and resources of our operation, which will both improve our capacities to pursue our goals for strengthening our union and protecting the rights of our workers here at Columbia, as well as offering exciting new opportunities to work with our colleagues and build collective power across institutions to advocate for the rights of postdocs and researchers all across academia. We would like to thank everyone for taking the time to consider and engage in this topic, and look forward to working with you all on this exciting new stage of our union!

In Solidarity,

CPW-UAW Executive Board


HAVE AN ISSUE? GET IN CONTACT!

Want to stay informed? Check out our website and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and join our and Slack​.

Join the Amalgamation Meeting on January 18th at 6:30pm + Vote YES!

This email is to remind you that on Thursday, January 18th at 6:30 pm we will have our dedicated membership meeting to discuss and vote on whether to create an amalgamated union by joining with the Mt. Sinai postdocs. This vote is regulated by the UAW Constitution and will be in person at this dedicated meeting, so attendance is encouraged. As the Executive Board of CPW 4100, we also want to express our support on amalgamating and our recommendation of a YES vote on the amalgamation vote.

Our recommendation on this vote is informed by our understanding of what is best for our local and our members here at Columbia, our history working with other union campaigns across the city, including at Mt. Sinai, and our broader goals for building collective power in academia and setting higher standards for postdocs and researchers across academia.

At the local level, we believe that becoming an amalgamated union will provide greater resources and operational stability for continuing as a self-sustaining local for a strong future. By having a larger membership and dues pool, and by sharing responsibilities for management of our organization (which takes up a great deal of the Executive Board’s time), becoming an amalgamated union puts us in a stronger position to support our day to day operations. Our experience thus far has emphasized to us the need for continuity in resources for organizing and bargaining, and that we always benefit from more postdocs willing to participate.

At the city level, since we formed the first postdoc union at a private university in 2020, NYC has become a hotbed for postdoctoral research unions. Throughout this process, Columbia Postdocs & ARSs have supported new campaigns in the city, including Mt. Sinai, who are now the second private university with a union contract for postdocs. Within and across our locals, we have run successful contract campaigns, unifying postdocs across campuses and fields of research, addressing our shared issues, and we will continue to do so. We have also seen how our employers coordinate – engaging the same tactics against us, which we learn from each other how to counter, and matching each other’s offers, such that a win for one of us is often a win for all of us – emphasizing our shared fights and the benefits of working together. It is through this history of collaboration and solidarity that we know we can work together productively in service of the shared goals of ensuring fair working environments for postdocs across the city.

Beyond New York City, academia is in an exciting time as workers are recognizing our rights and turning to unions to protect them. In considering what comes next, we are also acutely aware of the issues beyond the scope of any single employer that affect our day to day working lives – be it standards of academic training and mentorship, policies relating to fellowships and employment, or the availability of grant opportunities and funding policies. While these topics go beyond individual employers and contracts, they are issues that can begin to be tackled by continuing to develop and deploy collective power and resources through dedicated and sustained campaigns across the sector that work to demand and protect higher standards for all researchers and postdocs that we can better engage in as an amalgamated.

In making this recommendation, we also want to re-emphasize several key points:

  • Where we see the benefits of the broader structure of an amalgamated, on the ground operations at Columbia will remain largely consistent, as we would maintain our own organizing committee, stewards, grievance process, meetings, and campaigns. All decisions that are specific to Columbia will be decided solely by Columbia postdocs and ARSs.
  • Columbia and Mount Sinai postdocs/ARSs will continue to have separate contracts, each with their respective employer. This would not change anything about our current contracts. Future contracts will be negotiated independently by bargaining committees elected separately from each institution.
  • In the case of an amalgamated union, we will update our bylaws to formalize the operation of the amalgamated and to ensure representation for all workers in the Local.

Collectively, we believe an amalgamated union offers the structure whereby our local campaigns and issues will be strengthened by the resources and stability of a larger structure, which will formalize our collaborations across the city, and contribute to the broader project of fighting for just employment for all researchers. It is with this in mind that we endorse a YES vote on the decision of whether to form an amalgamated union.We are looking forward to a vibrant discussion on Thursday about the pros and cons of amalgamation, and urge you all to participate. Please let us know what information you would find helpful in voting on this topic in advance of the January 18th meeting – you can share any questions or thoughts on this form and check our FAQs to learn more.

In Solidarity,

CPW-UAW Executive Board


On January 18th, at 6:30 pm we will have a special meeting – in person and zoom – to discuss and vote on the topic of amalgamating (merging) our local with the postdocs at Mt. Sinai. 

RSVP to attend the membership meeting on 01/18 @ 6:30pm! ✅

❓❓Have questions about amalgamation? Submit them HERE ❓❓


HAVE AN ISSUE? GET IN CONTACT!

Want to stay informed? Check out our website and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and join our and Slack​.