Sinai responded to 2 out of our 15 economic proposals, which include salary, housing, childcare, and more, and did not respond to our proposed job security package.
Postdoc observers made a great show of support, demonstrating to Sinai our full engagement and demand for a fair contract now.
Volunteer here to get more involved in helping win a fair contract. Track our bargaining progress here, register to attend the next bargaining sessions here, and contact us with any questions or concerns at organizing@sinaipostdocunion.
We met on Tuesday for our 22nd bargaining session. On the table are a large set of proposals we introduced last session on the economic aspects of our working conditions, as well as several remaining non-economic issues. Sinai only provided two counters to our economic proposals: on Wellness and Recreation.
We had an extended, and disappointing, conversation on the Prohibition Against Discrimination and Harassment article. Last session, we expressed concern about how Sinai’s policies are spread across departments and policy documents that Sinai can unilaterally change. Definitions of prohibited conduct and recourse procedures against mistreatment remain deeply important to secure in our contract. Sinai made clear in their response that their priority is maintaining their ability to change certain policies without having to bargain over them with us, only expressing willingness to notify the union of and discuss the effects of their changes. We are not willing to accept this response.
On Intellectual Property, in response to Sinai’s last counter we proposed granting Principal Investigator status to eligible postdocs with pre-approval from their PI. On Union Access and Rights, we clarified our position on access by union representatives to email listservs and on campus. Sinai was not able to respond to either during the session.
On Grievance and Arbitration, we raised our concerns about Sinai’s proposed timeline, which is significantly longer than what they have agreed to with other unionized employees at Sinai. The administration’s team responded that different offices are responsible for handling grievances for each employee group, but did not address why postdocs should have to wait longer to resolve grievances than other groups.
We were also disappointed to learn that several members of Sinai’s team were unable to join yesterday’s session. This is because they were called as witnesses by Mount Sinai at the National Labor Relations Board hearing on the union petition of our graduate student workers colleagues who are forming their own union, SSW-UAW. More than 80% of the student workers at Sinai have signed authorization cards in support of forming a union. Sinai has taken the official position that student workers are not “employees” and should be denied the right to vote on unionization and engage in collective bargaining.
Lastly, Sinai would not commit to responding to our remaining economic proposals by our next bargaining session on July 28, roughly one month since we made these proposals. It has now been more than a year since our union election, and Sinai has so far shown no indication of moving with greater urgency on important issues like salary or housing. It is clear that we need to increase the pressure on the Sinai administration if we want to avoid further delays to reaching a contract that ensures a more just and equitable working environment for postdocs.
SPOC-UAW Bargaining Committee