May 17, 2022
We are writing with an update on next steps in forming our union and to put Sinai’s initial response to our campaign in context. Last week we filed for our union election with support from an overwhelming 80% of postdocs at the institute, and nearly one hundred of us reached out to the Mount Sinai administration calling on them to remain neutral.
Earlier today, Sinai sent us an email related to our petition which unfortunately contained a number of points seemingly aimed at discouraging us from forming a union. This is disappointing, but not surprising given how frequently employers in the U.S. try to persuade employees not to unionize, as we’ve seen recently at Amazon and Starbucks. If you have questions after reading the email, please feel free to reach out to us at organizing@sinaipostdocunion.
Notably, the email repeatedly mentions the United Auto Workers (UAW) but does not mention that we chose to form our union with the UAW because it represents 100,000 academic workers across the country, more postdocs and student employees than any other union, and has a strong track record of helping researchers negotiate significant improvements to working conditions. Most recently, our postdoctoral colleagues at Columbia University and 17,000 student researchers at the University of California have formed unions with the UAW.
We also wanted to highlight an upcoming step in the process of forming our union. The Sinai administration is required to write a formal statement of their position to the National Labor Relations Board on our effort to unionize by next Monday, May 23rd, which we hope will start to clarify when we can expect our election to be scheduled. We will make sure to keep everyone updated as soon as we receive their statement.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns, and feel free to check out our website for more information on our campaign.
Members of the SPOC-UAW Organizing Committee,