September 30, 2022
We are excited to announce that we will hold our first bargaining session with the Mount Sinai administration on Tuesday October 4th. Our sweeping union election win by an overwhelming 89.5%, followed by a bargaining goals ratification vote of 99.6%, gives us a strong mandate to negotiate for much needed improvements to our working conditions at Sinai.
As we approach our first session, we wanted to take a moment to share what we see as our path towards a strong first contract that improves our lives and working conditions as Postdocs at Mount Sinai, and how we intend to promote a transparent and representative bargaining process in order to reach that goal. You can also read the statement on our website.
Our Path Towards a Strong Contract
As the bargaining committee, we will fight for a contract that makes Sinai more accessible, inclusive, and competitive by securing essential workplace protections and benefits, such as: salaries that keep pace with the rising cost of living in NYC, longer and more affordable access to Sinai housing, more rights and support for international workers, more cost-effective health benefits, paid parental leave, subsidized child care, longer appointments, enforceable protections against harassment and bullying, and more.
To ensure this, we will:
Make every effort to keep all postdocs informed throughout bargaining
Encourage a majority of postdocs to participate in the process of winning a strong contract
We hope Sinai does not push back on key priorities as some other research institutions have. Either way, we know that in order to win the strongest possible contract we will need a strong majority of us to support the bargaining committee by actively participating in the process. Having the majority of all Postdocs united behind the bargaining committee will give us the strength and leverage at the bargaining table to win a fair agreement with Mount Sinai. We will use multiple strategies from our own and other campaigns to make it as easy as possible for you to stay informed and participate:
Grassroots organizing: We will continue to engage in local outreach to colleagues to help keep each other updated, informed, and provide lines of ongoing communication with the bargaining committee, building on the strong track record of majority participation and support throughout our campaign so far. If you want to get involved in organizing please let us know here!
Bargaining updates: We will provide regular, timely updates on bargaining sessions to keep you informed of which proposals are being passed, as well as any progress or challenges in the negotiations.
Regular town-halls: We will host regular town halls to update the unit on our progress, to get feedback on updated proposals and to answer any questions. Participation in these forums by as many Postdocs as possible will be critical.
Open email communication: We remain committed to being responsive to the priorities and needs of all Sinai postdocs by answering any emails that you send to email@example.com with specific concerns in a timely manner. This includes your reports of unfair labor practices — these will be kept confidential within the bargaining committee and we will work with you to help find immediate solutions. Identifying unfair practices also helps us to make sure that the contract will prevent these practices in the future.
Topic-specific working groups: We plan to establish working groups as needed to provide support with the bargaining process. These groups will stay in regular contact with the bargaining committee in order to assist with research, give feedback on proposals, and drive issue-based campaigns that add to our leverage at the bargaining table.
Open negotiation sessions: While actual negotiation sessions will be between our bargaining committee and Sinai’s administrative team, we welcome interested supporters who would like to attend a session—we just ask that you reach out to us in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org to prepare. We plan to bargain intensively to achieve the best contract as soon as possible and will post bargaining dates on our website as soon as they are scheduled.
Sidebar conversations: “Sidebar” or off-the-record conversations between our bargaining committee and the administration can be a useful tool at the negotiation table when on-the-record negotiation reaches a roadblock, particularly for exploring underlying reasons for lack of progress that Sinai might not otherwise communicate. As a committee, we will make sure the entire bargaining committee is aware of the sidebar and agrees before using this tactic.
Bargaining Goals: We put great effort into incorporating as much feedback as possible into an inclusive set of initial bargaining goals to guide us in negotiations, drawing on surveys by a supermajority of Postdocs, electronic feedback, town halls, and hundreds of individual conversations, as well as best standards across the academic sector and other unionized institutions. We are proud that a majority of Sinai Postdocs voted by 99.6% (280-1) to ratify these goals. We continue to gather feedback through comments written by Postdocs as part of the goals ratification process.
LET’S DO IT.
SPOC-UAW Bargaining Committee