Columbia’s Proposed Framework for Bargaining

After more than three years of organizing by postdocs to establish our union, Columbia University proposed a framework agreement to recognize and bargain with Columbia Postdoctoral Workers-UAW. CPW-UAW postdocs and associate research scientists and scholars voted 95% in favor of accepting the proposal and beginning negotiations no later than February 25th. You can read the proposed framework agreement here.

The Bargaining Committee unanimously supported this proposed agreement and recommended that CPW-UAW supporters vote “yes.” These are the main reasons why we supported the proposed framework:

  • The proposed framework provides a clear path toward negotiating a contract with the administration, while agreeing not to strike between now and April 2020.
  • The administration will recognize and start bargaining with our union by February 25th, giving us enough time to prepare our bargaining goals and proposals.
  • The administration agreed to withdraw its legal action at the National Labor Relations Board to overturn our right to a union, which is currently delaying the beginning of bargaining.
  • The administration will also bargain with our graduate employee colleagues, who have been fighting for recognition of their union for almost two years.
  • The agreement makes clear that postdoc organizations like CUPS and the Senate will continue to exist in their important functions as advocates on academic and other issues.
  • The administration acknowledges that the union “can play a constructive role” in  addressing harassment and discrimination, and agrees we can negotiate additional procedures that do not undermine Columbia’s existing processes.

We believe we can generate a strong campaign for a fair contract by April 2020, but reserve the right to take action if the administration does not negotiate in good faith in that time. This proposal by Columbia is a direct result of our overwhelming vote in support of unionization and we encourage all union supporters to vote.

Read the bargaining committee’s summary of the proposal here.

Voting ended on Monday, November 26th, 2018 at 11:59PM EST. Eligible voters were currently employed Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Scholar and Fellows and Associate Research Scientist and Scholars who have signed a CPW-UAW authorization card or filled out our Bargaining Survey.