February 9, 2023

In yesterday’s small bargaining session, we began with an extensive discussion on Sinai’s current Intellectual Property policies with Dr. Erik Lium, the Chief Commercial Innovation Officer for the Mount Sinai Health System and the President of Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP). In our proposed article, we seek to protect postdocs rights to publish and share our research with the science community, and receive appropriate credit. We asked questions about how postdocs engage with the process of requesting approval to license intellectual property.

Sinai passed counters on Intellectual PropertyGrievance and ArbitrationUnion Access and RightsEmployment RecordsSinai’s counter on Grievance and Arbitration included an extremely lengthy process in which a postdoc could be forced to wait more than four months before bringing a complaint to a neutral third-party arbitrator. Such a prolonged timeline would put unnecessary stress and uncertainty on postdocs, especially for time-sensitive issues. Our proposed timeline would ensure that issues are resolved in a timely and fair manner and is also in line with what other union’s at Sinai already have, like the union of interns and residents (CIR). 

We also reached a Tentative Agreement on Workspace and Materials, ensuring that postdocs at Sinai will be provided with the space, equipment, resources, services and materials needed to do our research work, including remote work.

Again, we left the table frustrated with how little time Sinai is willing to provide for us to meet and discuss proposals, which is stalling negotiations. We did not have time at yesterday’s session to ask questions about Sinai’s proposals or give them our counters. Sinai continues to argue that this is the best they can do with their busy schedules. Postdocs voted overwhelmingly to form a union because our current situation is not sustainable – it is clear that without more pressure from postdocs, Sinai will continue trying to extend that situation for as long as possible . 

Our next bargaining session will take place on Tuesday, February 21 at 2pm EST. Click here to attend an upcoming session. 

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

In solidarity,

Pablo Knobel
Environmental Medicine and Public Health
SPOC-UAW Bargaining Committee