Our bargaining committee will be hosting a Town Hall at the Lamont Campus on Friday, February 21st, 1:30-2:30pm in the Gary C. Comer Geochemistry Building, Seminar Room First Floor.
In our 26th bargaining session Wednesday, we signed two more tentative agreements (Health and Safety and Job Posting) and worked to get closer to agreement on a number of other outstanding proposals. Today’s agreements represent real progress on our rights as researchers and also help narrow the overall focus of our negotiations toward our core priority issues as we get closer to our April 6 deadline for a first contract.
We have been somewhat encouraged by the pace and focus of negotiations in our last two sessions; however, the University team still has so far failed to propose any of the kinds of improvements that would accomplish the priority goals that a majority of Postdocs and Associate Researchers have supported since we started bargaining nearly one year ago.
This session reminded us that we still have obstacles in our fight for fairness, excellence and equity. For example, a top University administrator once again tried to convince us that — despite substantial contrary evidence — Columbia provides fair and competitive postdoc compensation that compares well to other New York City research institutions. The administration team also continues to resist any meaningful discussion of our proposal for paid family leave, a critical component of our effort to enhance gender equity at Columbia.
See below for more detail on today’s session and upcoming opportunities to participate in our campaign for a fair contract.
Bargaining report from February 12. We signed two tentative agreements.
Health and Safety–This article codifies a contractual commitment by the University to follow OSHA and other standards to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, ensures that employees “will not be required to work in conditions that pose an immediate danger,” and establishes clear protections from retaliation for reporting health and safety problems. We also secured language committing the University to make reasonable efforts to address ergonomic concerns. In short, having these rights codified in our union contract improves our ability to address health and safety issues in a timely manner.
Job Posting–this article ensures that the university will continue following current policy regarding posting of available positions for Postdoctoral Research Scientists and Associate Research Scientists.
In addition to these agreements, our bargaining committee exchanged more proposals and had further discussion with Columbia on Appointments, Leaves, Intellectual Property, Union Access and Rights, Discipline and Union Security. We hope to make progress on these topics in our next session.
Regarding our overall goals, and despite their insensitive and out-of-touch comments regarding compensation, the university did indicate that they are hoping to have responses to our major economic proposals soon, hopefully by our next session. We hope that is the case so we can work diligently through March in an attempt to reach a fair agreement by April 6th.
Upcoming Sessions and Town Halls:
Our next scheduled session is Wednesday February 26th in Studebaker room 469 from 1:30-5:00. If you would like to attend, please let us know.
CPW-UAW Bargaining Committee