October 12, 2022

Yesterday our elected bargaining committee had our second negotiation session with the Sinai administration. We presented a range of non-economic articles related to our workplace and union rights, explaining the reasoning behind each of them.

You can read a full summary of proposals passed during our session below.  During the session, Sinai’s bargaining team and our bargaining committee reached tentative agreements (TAs) on two of the proposed articles: Recognition and Severability, which is a great start for the first discussion on articles.  

Sinai’s bargaining team informed us that they will require time to review the rest of the articles and make counter proposals, pending availability of their bargaining team members, only offering potential bargaining dates in November. We re-emphasised the urgency of both economic and non-economic articles and informed them that we have enough articles ready to warrant more frequent meetings. We will post the date and time of the next bargaining session on our website as soon as it is finalized. Finally, Sinai’s team also proposed a set of ground rules for bargaining, which establish parameters for how negotiations should take place. We will continue to discuss these ground rules between now and our next session.

Summary of SPOC-UAW Proposals:

Recognition (TA): would codify official recognition of SPOC-UAW
Severability (TA): would protect remainder of contract if one provision is declared unlawful and ensure our right to bargain over any impacts
Appointment Security: would ensure that once Sinai has offered an appointment to a Postdoc, they guarantee the position and conditions through the length of the appointment.  
Appointments and Reappointments: would establish minimum appointment and reappointment lengths, timelines and content for notifications of offers of appointment and description of assignment. 
Job Posting: would ensure fair and transparent policies for the posting of postdoc positions
Employment Files: would ensure access to and rights to ensure accuracy of our employment records
Training: would ensure that Postdocs are paid for all time spent at trainings
Workload: guarantees that work schedule will be reasonable, related to research needs, agreed upon with the Postdoc.
Workspace and Materials: would ensure that Sinai provide space, materials, equipment, and facilities necessary for Postdocs to perform our work
Discipline & Dismissal: would create a fair process for progressive discipline in the case that the institute is contemplating disciplinary action. 
Grievance & Arbitration: would create a process in which provisions in the contract can be enforced. This article would allow Postdocs to take a grievance to a neutral third party if they were unable to reach a satisfactory resolution with the institute.
Successorship: would preserve our contract if ownership of Sinai is transferred
Union-Management Meetings: creates a joint committee to meet regularly during the life of the contract on matters related to our contract
Union Access and Rights: would provide the union with the necessary information and access to the workplace to ensure that members of the bargaining unit are represented. 
Union Security: would ensure that Postdocs contribute equally to the cost of representation
Copyright and Intellectual Property: would give Postdocs more rights related to authorship and what happens with research that we produce.

As always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or thoughts,

Yajing Xu
SPOC-UAW Bargaining Committee

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