“After over a year at the bargaining table and three Unfair Labor Practice charges filed, we have no choice but to move towards a strike,” said Andrea Joseph, a Postdoctoral Researcher and member of the bargaining committee.
Manhattan – More than 500 Postdoctoral Researchers at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine will walk off the job and onto the picket line on Wednesday, December 6th unless Sinai rectifies its unlawful conduct so that meaningful progress can be made at the bargaining table.
The Sinai Postdoctoral Organizing Committee-UAW (SPOC-UAW) represents more than 500 Postdoctoral Researchers at Mount Sinai, who together power the institution’s research mission. After months of growing frustration over Sinai’s unlawful conduct thwarting progress at the tables over key issues, workers voted overwhelmingly to authorize their bargaining team to call a strike.
At a mass meeting on Friday afternoon in Central Park, workers decided to proceed with a strike on December 6th, unless Sinai ceases its unlawful conduct in order to reach a fair contract before then.
“We cannot wait forever,” said Natalia Ferressini Gerpe, a Postdoc in the Microbiology Department. “As an international worker, working for below-market wages with very little job security weighs on us and our families. Sinai’s unlawful conduct undermines the bargaining process – they need to bargain in good faith towards a fair contract that lessens our precarity, so we can focus on our work.”
“Too many people – myself included – are being forced off our career paths because we aren’t paid enough to afford the rising cost of housing, have no paid parental leave and no meaningful protections against discrimination and harassment,” said Jessica Wang, a former Postdoc in the Cardiology Department who resigned last month. “While I was pregnant, I contacted Sinai’s HR department and was bluntly told that “There is no maternity leave at Mount Sinai.” I was then paid incorrectly, or not at all, for several weeks. Coming back to work would have meant paying more than 70% of my paycheck for daycare, which is totally unaffordable and led me to resign. Sinai’s policies essentially hold out a “Do Not Apply” sign for working mothers – and that is unacceptable.”
“Our hope is that Sinai remedies its unfair labor practices so that we can reach a fair agreement before December 6th,” said Andrea Joseph, a Postdoctoral Researcher and member of the bargaining committee. “We will do everything in our power to make that happen. But we perform the vast majority of research at Sinai, and we are prepared to strike if necessary to hold Sinai accountable, and ultimately move us forward as a stronger institution.”
Visit SinaiPostdocUnion.com for more information.