After more than one year of negotiations, we have reached agreement on some important topics that we believe will enhance life for Postdoc and Associate Researchers. But Columbia has still failed to agree to a full set of fair provisions addressing the core issues that motivated our overwhelming 68% majority vote to form our union. One example is stronger discrimination and harassment protections.
Postdocs and Associate Researchers (PARs) have made it clear throughout our entire campaign that we need stronger recourse against harassment, discrimination and bullying. Over the past year we have devoted countless hours to bargaining over this topic. Over 2500 PARs and graduate employees signed an open letter to Columbia demanding that the university make progress on this topic. Numerous union supporters have shared their personal experiences in bargaining sessions with the shortcomings of current procedures, and how the union can provide additional protections for researchers facing unfair treatment at work. We also know that researchers have communicated the importance of these issues in other university forums as well.
Columbia has made some important steps forward in our negotiations on such protections: agreeing that a researcher could take a grievance to a neutral arbitrator after exhausting the current process; and agreeing to form a campus-wide committee on bullying. But we still believe Columbia can and should do more to ensure a timely, effective set of protections against discrimination and harassment that can help establish a more inclusive research community.
As we continue working hard to reach a fair agreement by April 6th, your feedback and stories can help guide us during this critical time. Please share how you think stronger protections for Postdocs/ARS experiencing discrimination or bullying improve Columbia’s research mission.
Our next bargaining session is tomorrow, on Thursday, March 5th at 1:30pm-5pm in Studebaker 469. You do not need to stay for the whole time or arrive at the beginning, but please let us know if you plan to attend.
The CPW-UAW Bargaining Committee