We had another half-day bargaining session today. In our discussion and in their counterproposals so far, Columbia again made clear its desire to include as few rights in our contract as possible. In response to the university’s previous proposal that would require PARs to address sexual harassment or discrimination only through Columbia’s existing procedures, we have started an open letter.

Please click here to sign the open letter articulating our desire for stronger protections on sexual harassment and discrimination.

Not only were they resistant to several of our articles covering basic rights concerning our working conditions, they have so far refused to put some of the basic components of current policies in the contract.  While we find this approach frustrating and lacking a substantive basis, we did continue to have some worthwhile discussion.

We submitted 8 new proposals: Appointment Notification and Job Description, Appointment Security, Job Posting, Workload and Work Quality, Leaves of Absence, Discipline & Dismissal, Grievance Procedure & Arbitration and Union Rights & Access.

The University gave us counterproposals on our initial proposals on Severability, Travel & Reimbursement,  Union-Management Committee, Vacations, Holidays, Training & Orientation and outright rejected our proposals on Past Practices, Successorship, Subcontracting, Employee Assistance Program, Employment Files and Workspace & Equipment.

Summary of our new proposals:

Appointments- This article would establish minimum appointment and reappointment lengths, timelines and content for notifications of offers of appointment and description of assignment.

Appointment Security- This would ensure that once Columbia has offered an appointment to a Postdoc/ARS, they guarantee the position and conditions through the length of the appointment.

Job Posting- Guarantees that job postings will continue to adhere to university policy encouraging transparency and equal opportunity for candidates.

Workload- Gives Postdocs/ARS the ability to address unreasonable workloads that are not connected to research needs.

Leaves of Absence- Outlines paid leaves of absence for medical, parental, bereavement and other forms of approved absence from assigned duties.

Discipline and Dismissal- Creates a fair process for progressive discipline in the case that the University is contemplating disciplinary action.

Grievance and Arbitration- Creates a process in which provisions in the contract can be enforced. This article would allow for Postdocs/ARS to take a grievance to a neutral third party if they are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution with the University.

Union Rights and Access- Provides the union with the necessary information and access to the workplace to ensure that members of the bargaining unit are represented.


CPW-UAW Bargaining Committee