Constant delays across departments leaves postdocs/ARS without pay, healthcare and other benefits sometimes jeopardizing workplace access and Visa renewal.
We work effectively with OPA to correct the problem once it arises while requesting structural changes to prevent it from happening in the first place.
In response, Columbia leadership will implement some measures: notifying HR, the department chair and another officer 120 days before the end of the appointment.
This is insufficient. We know researchers themselves have done this before and yet the problem remains.
Reach out if you learn about any delays in appointment/reappointment. We can help and collectively make sure that Columbia fixes this issue once and for all.
Postdoctoral Fellows benefits
Postdoc Fellows are still penalized, losing access to several benefits like retirement, tuition benefits and getting their healthcare taxed as imputed income.
Columbia has assured that any fellow who accrued 2-years as a non-fellow will access some benefits, but still have not guaranteed full equality for fellows.
Join our Fellows working group as we design language to ensure equality for our next contract campaign.
Several postdocs/ARSs reached out to the union after suffering bullying and power-based harassment. The problem persists and in most cases is just better for them to leave Columbia as we still lack tools to protect ourselves and our research.
Members of our union along with the union of Graduate Workers, Faculty and Administrators worked tirelessly for months to produce comprehensive recommendations for an anti-bullying policy.
The recommendations are now waiting for feedback from the Senate. We don’t have a clear timeline for its implementation.
Join our anti-bullying working group to design contract language to protect postdocs/ARSs when they need
Unit List and Dues/Fair Share Fee Deductions
Postdocs/ARSs at Columbia deserve to know their rights, to union protection and representation and our ability to collectively ensure fair and safe working conditions.
The university makes no effort to inform us all and also fails in providing us with accurate, updated, monthly lists of postdoc/ARSs working at Columbia, as they contractually agreed. We have received only 8 lists in 2 years (from 24 we are owed), with wrong location and start dates information and removing researchers without reason.
In addition, the university jeopardizes our collective power by not properly deducting the dues and fees that sustain our ability to inform, protect and advocate for our rights and to improve our working conditions.
Our contract ensures that we are paid for any unused Paid Time Off (Holidays, Vacations and Personal Days) at the end of the appointment.
Some departments implemented burdensome timesheet trackers, with unclear policies blaming postdocs/ARSs when the requirement is delayed for reasons out of their control.
We have requested that if departments implement timesheet tracking, the policy has to be adjusted to the reality of our working conditions and not cause unnecessary burdens.
Naeem, Erica, Stefano, Fede and Cora