At today’s session with the Sinai administration we saw some more progress towards reaching an agreement – read their proposal here. Sinai agreed to a separate parental leave bank of 30 business days for a postdoc’s appointment. While this is progress, it still falls short of Columbia’s parental leave benefit, which is 6 weeks per child. Sinai provided an example that illustrates this:  saying that it would provide three weeks for a first child, three weeks for the next.

Sinai also argued against the basic concept of a more equitable system of benefits, in which postdocs with unique challenges are provided support to stay in academia. Sinai continued to reject any dedicated childcare funds, which is increasingly standard for unionized postdocs. Researchers at UC, UW, and Columbia all have dedicated money for childcare. Sinai failed to propose any housing support beyond the first three years of postdoc.

We formed our union to make Sinai more equitable, more inclusive, and a leader in working academic working conditions we could all be proud of. While Sinai has made significant progress over the past week in response to our strike deadline, they reject benefits that other unionized postdocs have. 

Despite their overall response, we are encouraged by the fact that Sinai continued to make movements today. We are working on a response to their proposal – in the meantime, we are prepared to strike tomorrow over these important issues. We will keep you updated with any progress we make tonight. Please stand by to hear from your strike captain on logistical information for the strike.

In solidarity,

Pooja Viswanathan
SPOC-UAW Bargaining Committee