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We met with the Sinai administration today about their attestation form and other bargaining topics. We didn’t reach any new agreements during the session, although Sinai was more forthcoming about their objections to our proposals on housing and childcare. It’s clear we will need to increase our efforts to convey the importance of these issues for postdocs and our families. Read below for more details.

Today was the third day of our strike, and the end of our first week! We had our strongest participation yet, with hundreds of us postdocs coming out and more support from elected officials – NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and our State Senator Cordell Cleare – as well as fellow unionized academic workers, medical residents, and nurses.

Over the weekend we will not be holding active picket lines at Sinai. Instead, we will be flyering on campus and preparing to escalate in the coming week. Stay tuned!

We were joined on the picket line by our State Senator Cordell Cleare!

Bargaining Update:

Attestation Form: We maintained our position that Sinai made a unilateral and therefore illegal decision to ask postdocs to fill out daily attestations tracking our work. Sinai was unable to clearly answer how data from the form would be used and accessed, among other topics. Sinai confirmed that PIs should not ask postdocs to fill out the attestation form. Please let us know if you see this behavior so we can help address it.

Housing: One of the reasons we are currently on an unfair labor practice strike is because of Sinai’s failure to provide timely information about bargaining. Today Sinai gave their clearest explanation so far of their resistance to guaranteed housing for four years. Sinai argued that, unlike residents and students who have more predictable start and end dates, the rolling basis of postdoc appointments makes it more challenging to ensure that there insufficient vacancy rates for more than three years of housing. However, they appeared interested to learn about the policies of other institutions on the Upper East Side like Memorial Sloan Kettering, which guarantees postdoc housing for at least four years. We are working on a response that would keep Sinai competitive with peer institutions while acknowledging their capacity concerns.

Childcare: We asked questions about why Sinai continues to oppose a dedicated childcare fund for postdocs. For the first time since starting to discuss this topic Sinai made clear that they are not categorically opposed to the idea of dedicated support for childcare. But they expressed a clear, strong desire to limit the overall cost of our contract. Postdocs at other unionized institutions have won childcare funds comparable to what we have proposed. We drive the vast majority of research at Sinai, which  attracted close to half a billion dollars in grant funding in 2022. Given the value we bring to Sinai, and the importance of addressing gender equity and the retention of women and parents in academia, we will continue to fight for this benefit.

Overall, today’s session was productive in that it gave us a clearer understanding of Sinai’s concerns, although it is unfortunate that Sinai made no real movement. Sinai also agreed to look for more dates between now and our next confirmed session on Tuesday, December 12. Please click here to RSVP for the session.

In solidarity,
SPOC-UAW Organizing and Bargaining Committees

Our student worker allies have been showing up at the picket line every day of our strike. Together, we drive research at Sinai.

We held a noon rally with fellow postdocs, student workers, and other campus workers.

Bargaining committee members gave an update to strikers after our bargaining session.