Yesterday, we had our 18th bargaining session with Sinai and made some significant progress, after months of increasing the pressure around our demands for a fair contract.
RSVP now to join an important union rally with our student worker colleagues in Sinai Student Workers-UAW (SSW-UAW), Monday, May 15, 12:00 – 12:30 pm, outside of the Icahn Building, to send a clear message to the Sinai administration that postdocs and student workers are united and determined to support one another in fighting to improve our shared working conditions as researchers.
We made significant progress by reaching a tentative agreement (TA) on Workload, including language that would protect postdocs from an unreasonable work schedule. The article specifies that as postdocs, our work schedule must be reasonable and related to research needs, rather than to working a specified number of hours.
On Health and Safety, Sinai made an improved proposal that includes many of our demands, including providing and maintaining a safe workspace for both postdocs and their unborn child. Significantly, Sinai agreed that after a postdoc reports conditions that may be unsafe, they will not be required to work in such conditions until an investigation is completed.
In contrast, Sinai made no progress toward strengthening protections against Discrimination And Harassment. At today’s session, the administration continued to reject many of the protected categories in our proposal, including culture, caste, and language, arguing that these categories are not protected in Sinai’s current policies, despite the fact that they appear in policy documents hosted on Sinai’s own website. This type of inconsistency highlights the importance of including specific language in our agreement regarding a wide range of protected categories, definitions of harassment, and immediate measures to support survivors.
On Intellectual Property, Sinai continues to argue that disputes regarding postdocs being listed as co-PIs on grant applications should not be subject to the grievance procedure. We argued that having access to a neutral third party to reach a final decision is critical to reaching fair resolutions to this kind of dispute.
On Union Access and Rights, Sinai made minimal movement.
Our ability to win more improvements depends on showing Sinai that all of us are united in our efforts to reach a fair contract. You can strengthen our ability to win a strong contract by getting more involved in our union!
Join us at our upcoming Union Rally with the Sinai Student Workers (SSW-UAW), on Monday, May 15, 12:00 – 12:30 pm. The more Postdocs and student workers participate, the stronger we will be!
As always, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or thoughts.
SPOC-UAW Bargaining Committee