We have received inquiries related to vacation and time off under our union contract and there is misinformation circulating that we want to clarify.  Please fill out this short survey to let us know what is happening in your department

We have been informed that there are departments requesting Postdocs and ARS to fill out forms to track their time off. Our union contract does not require the use of timesheets or the tracking of time off. Doing so is a decision by the Columbia administration, and is one method the university can take to ensure that departments and labs provide the amount of time-off that we deserve under our contract. If you would like assistance, have any questions or doubts about how to fill in tracking sheets or whether they are consistent with our contract, please contact us.

Note that vacation policy per our contract does not modify the previous policy for Postdocs and ARS’s. According to our contract, Article Section 1: 

Full-time Employees shall earn two days of vacation for each month of appointment, up to a maximum of twenty-three (23) days, during their first twenty (20) years of full-time service and two-and-one-third days for each month, up to a maximum of twenty-eight (28) days, thereafter. 

  • In addition, we have 14 holiday/personal days indicated in Article 11 (12 holidays/2 personal days at CUMC and 11/3 on the rest of the campuses). If you have to work on any of the indicated days you have the right to request an alternate day off. 
  • You maintain vacation days accumulated before the ratification of the contract, as long as you use them before June 30 of the following year in which it was earned. At least one department has attempted to use the previous absence of tracking and the collective bargaining agreement as excuses to strip a worker off their previously earned vacation time, as well as other violations of Columbia policy and our contract.
  • Upon the ending of your appointment if you have unused vacation days you have the right to receive payment in lieu of your days off. 
  • You should plan vacation time in consultation with your principal investigator but your request can’t be unreasonably denied. If you have any issues planning your vacation/time off please reach out as soon as possible. 
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellows are entitled to the same rights to vacation as Postdoctoral Research Scientists/Scholars unless the provisions of the granting agency specify otherwise. 


In order for us to understand more about how this policy is being implemented across departments, please fill out this short survey so that we can detect and correct any issues that are arising. The results of the survey are confidential and only non-identifier information will be shared unless we receive your permission to share it. 

If you have any questions, concerns, or are not sure whether you are having an issue you can contact us at: columbiapostdocunion@gmail.com or fill in a Workplace Issue Form.


CPW-UAW Local 4100 Executive Board

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