February 4, 2023

Postdocs from across campus came out to our town hall to discuss ways we can urge Mount Sinai to make progress.

On Wednesday we met with the Sinai administration for another bargaining session. They made counter proposals on WorkloadAppointment SecurityAppointments and ReappointmentsDiscipline and Dismissal, and Professional Development. While we were able to make some progress in areas like minimum appointment lengths, for the most part Sinai continues to make proposals that go below the current status quo, and to reject basic provisions that are standard for unionized postdocs at other institutions, including the right to just cause (i.e. protection from unfair discipline and termination) and a reasonable workload.

We then made counter proposals on Workspace and MaterialsEmployment FilesUnion SecurityProhibition Against Discrimination and Harassment, and an updated, written version of our proposed Housing ExtensionClick here to read counters from today’s session. In our counter for Prohibition Against Discrimination and Harassment, we reiterated how our proposal would address the well-documented problem of the below-national average rate of reporting at Sinai. One of the major factors affecting underreporting is a lack of confidence in the existing processes. Our proposal addresses these issues by offering a timely and fair process that includes immediate and supportive measures for survivors to ensure that they are protected from any additional acts of harassment if they do choose to report.

We ended the session by reiterating our proposal to meet weekly, either with both sides’ full teams or a subset of each to accommodate Sinai’s scheduling concerns. This would allow both sides to exchange proposals more quickly, have more time for clarifying questions, and make more progress. Sinai immediately rejected this, saying that their teams’ schedules would not allow them to meet weekly. By comparison, our elected bargaining team typically meets multiple times per week to prepare for bargaining sessions while balancing our own research work. 

Postdocs from across Mount Sinai attended our town hall yesterday to get an update on bargaining and discuss next steps. We also heard from a member of the University of California postdoc union, UAW Local 5810, about their campaign to win a fair contract, which resulted in significant wins on childcare, fully paid parental leave, protections against bullying, a two-year minimum appointment, and up to 57% pay increases over the life of the contract, among other gains.

Our next bargaining session will take place next Wednesday, February 8 at 9am. Click here to attend an upcoming session. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or thoughts.

In solidarity,

Elza Rechtman
Environmental Medicine and Public Health
SPOC-UAW Bargaining Committee