[Thursday] 11am Strike Q&A Webinar & 6:30pm Town Hall

We are holding two essential strike-related events this Thursday where you can hear from postdocs who have gone on strike before, ask questions, and discuss. The Strike Informational Webinar is *now scheduled for 11am on Thursday, September 21*, and the Strike Town Hall will be Thursday evening at 6:30. Can you make it to at least one of them? RSVP below:

*11am* – Strike Informational Webinar

  • Featuring postdocs from the University of California and the University of Washington.
  • They will share insights on how they successfully negotiated their contracts after going on strike. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and gain tips for our contract campaign.
  • Hosted by us and SPOC (Mt. Sinai postdoc union)

RSVP to join the Webinar and submit questions for them

 (the recording will be also provided after the event)

6:30 pm – Strike Town Hall/Membership Meeting

  • Join us for a Town Hall and membership meeting to discuss the progress of our bargaining efforts and the next steps following our Strike Authorization Vote.

RSVP in person (Morningside, CUIMC and ZI) or zoom here 

These events will help us prepare for the possibility of a strike, which is the best way to put maximum pressure on Columbia and avoid having to strike at all. We look forward to seeing you there!

Cheers,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Bargaining & Organizing Committees.


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[RSVP] Strike Q&A Webinar & Town Hall

Our fight for a fair contract continues! While today’s bargaining session didn’t yield significant progress (see details below), we remain committed to win the priorities established by a majority of postdocs and ARSs. To help build this pressure, we have two important events scheduled for next Thursday, 09/21/23:

Noon – Strike Informational Webinar

  • This webinar will feature postdocs from the University of California and the University of Washington.
  • They will share insights on how they successfully negotiated their recent contracts after going on strike. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and gain valuable tips for our campaign for a fair contract.
  • Hosted by us and SPOC (postdoc union at Mt. Sinai)

RSVP to join the Webinar and submit questions for them

 (the recording will be also provided after the event)

6:30 pm – Strike Town Hall/Membership Meeting

  • Join us for a Town Hall and membership meeting to discuss the progress of our bargaining efforts and the next steps following our Strike Authorization Vote.

RSVP in person (Morningside or CUIMC) or zoom here 

Quick recap from Today’s session

  • Today marked our 20th bargaining session, during which we presented our latest package.
  • The Administration reiterated they don’t want to alter the research funding structure. Consequently, they consider our requests for institutional support for housing stipends and child care benefits unreasonable.
  • After deliberation, we have mutually agreed to explore the involvement of a Federal mediator in our upcoming session.
  • We have also scheduled two more bargaining sessions for September 22nd and September 27th, pending the mediator’s availability.

RSVP for upcoming sessions

Thank you for your continued support! We look forward to seeing you at these important events to ensure a fair contract!

Cheers,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Bargaining & Organizing Committees.


HAVE AN ISSUE? GET IN CONTACT!

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Columbia Must Address Inflation: Protest for a fair contract on Thursday, 9/7

After receiving CU admin’s unreasonable and unrealistic offer last Thursday (a compensation offer that is a real-terms pay cut), one thing became clear to all of our members in attendance: our strike authorization vote was unfortunately not enough to get the offer we deserve, and we need to keep escalating. At our membership meeting this week, we discussed minimum required thresholds for an acceptable contract, and escalating actions building up to potentially organizing for a strike to attain the contract we deserve. Keep an eye for further emails, meetings and spaces to discuss next steps!

This Thursday, 9/7, at 5pm, we have an opportunity to push Columbia to resolve our contract before a strike begins by offering institutional support against the inflation which has swallowed up our wages.

Join your fellow postdocs and ARSs and our union colleagues from across the university as we flier attendees to a lecture on inflation – hosted by President ‘Minouche’ Shafik – demanding that Shafik and Columbia stop ignoring the need of their own workers in light of our current economic injustices.

We will be joined by Columbia colleagues from other unions: SWC, 2110, SEIU 1199, and others – but our negotiations will not be successful without YOU!

We look forward to seeing you (and your colleagues!) this Thursday at 5 pm! Forward this email on to lab mates or any peers who might also want to attend in solidarity

Sincerely,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Bargaining & Organizing Committees.


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and join our and Slack​.

Columbia continues to refuse any significant improvement

Yesterday we had our first bargaining session since our Strike Authorization Vote and we wanted to give a quick update, given how Columbia’s administration has behaved on the table. 

As a reminder, we ONLY had our economic package left to discuss. After initially refusing to talk about anything other than Art. 2: Appointments, and disrespectfully interrupting us multiple times, they offered a comprehensive offer of settlement. Here’s the summary:

The only movement made on housing was including a line on the hardship fund on how postdocs could request reimbursement in case of a housing emergency. If used as a housing supplement, this amounts to roughly $50 per postdoc per year. 

The administration urged us to “be more realistic and reasonable” with our requests. We think it’s reasonable that postdocs/ARSs should get a salary that compensates for the high inflation. We also think it’s realistic to ask Columbia University, a multibillion-dollar endeavor, to help us with affordable housing, especially in New York City.

What the University presented today results in postdocs/ARSs getting an effective pay cut and leaves them with no housing support. All the while Columbia remains the largest university landowner in the city. We think CU’s Admin offer is unreasonable and unrealistic.

We are saddened that the University is taking this route and believe that further collective action is required off the bargaining table. We will follow up with a more in depth report of the session and details on what these actions could look like in the coming days. 
In the meantime, please share this email with your colleagues and this letter of support written by some PIs supporting us. Reach out if your PI wants to add their signature!

Sincerely,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Bargaining & Organizing Committees.


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98% of union members vote YES in Strike Authorization Vote!

We are excited to inform you that our contract campaign is in full swing after these 2 past weeks of organizing for our historic strike authorization vote. Here are the headlines: 

  • 🗳️ 962 postdocs & associate researchers voted in our strike authorization vote – our highest participation since the 2018 vote to form our union! 
  • ✅ 97.56% of union members VOTED YES to authorize the bargaining committee to call a strike if there is not enough progress towards our contract demands
  • ✍️ In addition, over 130 new members have signed a membership card  to officially join our union since bargaining started, greatly building our power (haven’t signed yet? Do it here!)

What is next?

  • Wednesday August 30th at 6.30pm we will have our monthly membership meeting, in which we will discuss next steps including bargaining updates and if/when/how we would consider a strike
  • On Thursday August 31st starting at 10am (current location is Studebaker but trying to move it to CUIMC) – we will have our 19th bargaining session. Our team will present the results of the vote and let  Columbia admin know that we are ready and willing to truly fight for our demands.

Where are we in bargaining?

We are expecting a response from the Columbia administration in the few articles left to finalize. These are: 

1.- Compensation (new minimum salaries and yearly raises), 

2.- Benefits (including a housing stipend and the hardship fund to cover medical emergencies), 

3.- Child Care benefits

4.- Appointments (covering who is included in our union and will receive all benefits of our new contract and whether Fellows will have full employment status) and 

5.- Duration of our next contract –  which we will win next! 

While we continue our fight for key economic topics, it’s also important to remember that we have come a long way with important victories for our new contract (like $1,250 towards covering Visa renewal costs, neutral arbitration in cases of bullying and venues to improve IP/authorship rights & DEI during the life of the contract).

Thank You!

This campaign is possible thanks to hundreds of postdocs and Associate researchers building our union, reaching out to coworkers, engaging in meetings and rallies, petitions and events. Every vote in the SAV, every new member, and every conversation about our union builds our collective power and moves us closer to the contract we deserve. On behalf of the Organizing Committee, Bargaining Committee and Elections Committee, we would like to sincerely thank everyone for their ongoing time and efforts in this contract campaign! We hope you share the energy and excitement we feel at this moment, as we continue to use our strength to finish this campaign with a contract that recognizes our efforts, value and experience.

Become a member today!

Get involved to build your union!

Want to share the good news? Our emails often get blocked – share this email with a colleague today to make sure they’ve seen it and to celebrate together!

You can also share this news on Twitter or Instagram

In solidarity, 

CPW Organizing committee & Organizers

Panos Oikonomou, Associate researcher in Biological Sciences 

Michael Mauro, postdoc in Pathology and Cell Biology

Thomas Donoghue, postdoc in Biomedical Engineering

Álvaro Cuesta-Domínguez, Associate researcher in Physiology and Cellular Biophysics

Elsy El Khoury, postdoc in Chemistry

Jatan Buch, postdoc at Earth and Environmental Engineering

Bill Glassford, Associate researcher in Zuckerman Institute

Jinqiu Lu, postdoc in Medicine – Hematology and Oncology

Marti Cadena Sandoval, postdoc in Pathology and Cell Biology

Nachi Kamatkar, postdoc Fellow in Medicine – Preventive Medicine 

Josue Curto Navarro, postdoc in Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

Mark He, postdoc in Biostatistics

Matt Jerram, postdoc in Geochemistry

Tanguy Lucas, postdoc in Zuckerman Institute

Sreeharsha Gurrapu, Associate researcher in Genetics

Jeff Johnston, postdoc in Zuckerman Institute

Rosie Cater, Associate researcher in Physiology and Cellular Biophysics

Giulia Zanni, Psychiatry

Rossella Labella, postdoc in Physiology and Cellular Biophysics

Oriol Bover Centelles, postdoc in Medicine – Pulmonary

Tania Wong, Associate researcher in Pediatrics – Infectious Diseases

Laura Xicota Vila, Associate researcher in Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center

Rachel Gonzalez, postdoc fellow in Physiology and Cellular Biophysics

Martina Proietti Onori, postdoc in Zuckerman Institute

Anna K. Yoney, postdoc in Department of Genetics and Medicine

Syed M. Shoiab Bukhari, Associate researcher in Medicine – Immunology

Samantha Plummer, Associate researcher in the Justice Lab

Gan Zhou, postdoc in Dental Medicine

Chiara Camillo, Associate researcher in Surgery

Astrid Deryckere, postdoc Fellow in Biological Sciences

CPW Bargaining committee

Cora Bergantiños-Crespo, previous Associate researcher in Genetics and Development 

Enrica Calzoni, previous postdoc in Pediatrics 

Erica Rodriguez, postdoc Fellow in Zuckerman Institute

Fede Amoedo, Associate researcher in Neurology

Georgia Ntermentzaki, Associate researcher in Systems Biology

PJ Brun,  Associate researcher in Medicine – Preventive Medicine

Rafa Gras,  Associate researcher in Medicine – Nephrology

Stefano Cataldi,  Associate researcher in Psychiatry

Sumaira Zamurrad,  postdoc fellow in Zuckerman Institute

Thiago Arzua,  postdoc in Zuckerman Institute

CPW-UAW Elections Committee

John Christin, postdoc in Medicine – Hematology and Oncology

Camilo Duarte, postdoc in Mechanical Engineering


HAVE AN ISSUE? GET IN CONTACT!

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Strike Authorization Vote Results are in! Majority Votes YES!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Strike Authorization Vote, which ended yesterday at midnight. Postdocs and Associate Researchers at Columbia University cast a total of 962 ballots. Union members voted with a majority of 97.56% Yes to authorize our elected Bargaining Committee to call a strike if they believe it is necessary to achieve our contract demands. 

Members voted as follows: 

  • 97.56% voted in favor of authorizing a strike
  • 0.86% voted against authorizing a strike
  • 1.58% Abstained

Out of the total ballots cast:

  • 96.36% voted in favor of authorizing a strike
  • 1.25% voted against authorizing a strike 
  • 2.39% abstained

We will follow up soon with more details about these results and our next steps. We look forward to discussing with everyone as we continue to build our campaign to win a fair contract. 

In solidarity,

CPW-UAW 4100 Elections Committee


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Vote Now! LAST DAY of our Strike Authorization Vote!

Please take a minute to vote YES in our Strike Authorization Vote.

Since opening our Strike Authorization Vote last week hundreds of postdocs and ARS from across the university have participated, and we’re excited to continue talking with colleagues as we go into the final days of our historic vote. The vote will close TODAY Thursday, August 24 at 11:59pm (midnight). 

Despite the many actions we have taken to show Columbia how urgently we need a fair contract, Columbia has failed to reach a fair agreement that makes needed improvements on salary, childcare, and other issues. Just this week we saw NYU Langone move to increase postdoc salaries to $70,000, following Rockefeller and Memorial Sloan Kettering earlier this summer. Columbia’s current proposals fall far below what postdocs and ARS need and deserve. 

Columbia’s current proposals:

  • Minimum salary $63,600 for postdocs and $70,066 for ARS with 3% raise for year of service, which fails to keep pace with cost of living in NYC.
  • $1,000/year increase per family to the current childcare benefit – not included in the contract (so it can change)
  • No support for housing
  • Maintain Fellows’ higher taxation and lower benefits by providing them $3,000/yr.

With a strong Strike Authorization Vote we can win more. Please take a moment to vote: https://columbiapostdocunion.org/sav/

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or thoughts,

Sincerely,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Bargaining & Organizing Committees.


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 Now! 48HR LEFT of our Strike Authorization Vote!

Please take a minute to vote YES in our Strike Authorization Vote.

Only today and tomorrow left to vote in our historic Strike Authorization Vote! In response to the wave of postdocs organizing nationally and researcher strikes at University of California and University of Washington, major research institutions across the country have increased postdoc salaries significantly, including Princeton, Penn, Yale, Harvard, Rockefeller, MSK-Cornell and most recently NYU. Columbia has now fallen far behind.

Vote Yes to authorize a strike if Columbia’s Administration does not give us fair salaries and economic support that keep pace with other institutions and NYC’s cost of living. Please take a moment to vote now: https://columbiapostdocunion.org/sav/ 

Next Wednesday August 30 we will have a membership meeting to discuss next steps ahead of our next Bargaining session on August 31st. RSVP for our meeting (in person and zoom) here.

Sincerely,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Bargaining & Organizing Committees.


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​.

Update! Sinai Postdocs Voted YES to Authorize a Strike

Please take a minute to vote YES in our Strike Authorization Vote.

We are excited to announce that our fellow unionized postdocs at Mount Sinai have voted by an overwhelming 91% to authorize their Bargaining Committee to call a strike if circumstances justify. Like us, Sinai postdocs have faced delays and inadequate proposals at the bargaining table.

Our strike authorization vote ends this Thursday 08/24 (at midnight), and the more of us who vote, the more pressure we can put on Columbia to reach a fair agreement! Please take a moment to vote now: https://columbiapostdocunion.org/sav/

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or thoughts,

Sincerely,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Bargaining & Organizing Committees.


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 NOW: Strike Authorization Vote Ends on Thursday, 8/24

Please take a minute to vote YES in our Strike Authorization Vote.

Since opening our Strike Authorization Vote last week hundreds of postdocs and ARS from across the university have participated, and we’re excited to continue talking with colleagues as we go into the final days of our historic vote. The vote will close on Thursday, August 24 at 11:59pm (midnight). 

Despite the many actions we have taken to show Columbia how urgently we need a fair contract, Columbia has failed to reach a fair agreement that makes needed improvements on salary, childcare, housing and other issues.

Just this week we saw NYU Langone move to increase postdoc salaries to $70,000, following Rockefeller and Memorial Sloan Kettering earlier this summer. Columbia’s current proposals fall far below what postdocs and ARS need and deserve. 

Columbia’s current position:

  • Minimum salary $63,600 for postdocs and $70,066 for ARS with 3% raise for year of service, which fails to keep pace with cost of living in NYC.
  • $1,000/year increase per family to the current childcare benefit – not included in the contract (so it can change)
  • No support for housing
  • Maintain Fellows’ higher taxation and lower benefits by providing them $3,000/yr.

With a strong Strike Authorization Vote and the ability to strike we can win more, like the UW postdocs who won a 28% salary increase through their one week strike. Please take a moment to vote: https://columbiapostdocunion.org/sav/

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or thoughts,

Sincerely,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Bargaining & Organizing Committees.


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​.