SPOC-UAW Initial Bargaining Goals

We, the Postdoctoral Fellows at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai present the following contract demands to (1) improve our working conditions, (2) better support Mount Sinai’s mission to conduct world-class research, foster diversity, attract and retain talents and (3) recognize the importance of its location in New York City. These demands are based on bargaining surveys completed by a supermajority of the over 500 Postdoctoral Fellows.

These demands reflect the specific needs of Postdocs and a vision for our research community. They take into account the historic shifts towards a longer postdoctoral stage, the specific challenges of living in New York City, and the need for an academic pipeline supporting greater diversity among rising research faculty. We aim to ensure fair pay and benefits for all Postdocs; to support all Postdocs’ career development; to provide greater stability for non-citizen researchers; to provide paid leaves of absence for Postdocs who become parents; to ensure that Postdocs with families can afford childcare and associated costs; and to build a truly inclusive, accessible, and diverse research community free from bullying, harassment and discrimination.

We believe that the achievement of these goals will facilitate the recruitment and retention of the most talented, diverse group of Postdoctoral Fellows, and therefore enhance our ability to produce the world-class research conducted at Mount Sinai.

1. Establish fair wages

We strive for improved pay for all, commensurate with the value of our work and the high cost of living, including a significant increase to pay minimums and guaranteed experience-based annual salary increases.

2. Increase access to housing

We strive for longer and more affordable access to housing for all Postdoctoral Fellows, increased control and transparency in the housing selection process, with expanded eligibility criteria, increased quality conditions and amenities and improved resources for those seeking accommodations outside of Sinai housing.

3. Create a more family-friendly workplace

We strive for fully paid parental leave, priority access to and significant financial support for childcare on and off campus, after school programs, tuition benefits, and affordable insurance coverage for dependents.

4. Improve healthcare for all

We strive for improvements to the quality and affordability of medical, mental health, dental, and vision coverage, including dependent coverage, as well as access to healthcare providers affiliated with Mount Sinai.

5. Ensure freedom from harassment and bullying

We strive for a fair, timely and enforceable process for addressing sexual, gender-based, and other forms of workplace harassment and bullying.

6. Foster a safe and productive work environment

We strive to establish a fair process to resolve health and safety problems, and improve access to wellness resources and recreational facilities.

7. Ease the burden for new employees

We strive for a transparent hiring procedure, including offer letters that detail funding sources and length of available funding, responsibilities, salary, benefits, access to the resources necessary to perform the work, explanation of current and future visa options, relocation cost coverage, and access to the SPOC-UAW contract agreement.

8. Enhance retention and advancement opportunities

We strive for transparency and consistency for all renewal, advancement, and dismissal proceedings, timely reimbursements, clear expectations associated with promotions, raises, and dismissals, improved minimum notice for non-renewals, and improved minimum appointment lengths.

9. Broaden access to and improve retirement and other benefits

We strive for the right to better plan for our futures through improved access to retirement, and other benefits including life insurance, disability insurance, tax withholding for all researchers, and access to free financial and tax advice.

10. Increase support for international researchers

We strive for improved visa options, appointment lengths, access to information on visa options, support for visa and Green Card processing, immigration, and stronger protections for researchers holding visas.

11. Improve rights to paid vacation and leave

We strive for enhanced, and guaranteed access to paid holiday, vacation, as well as medical, family and other leaves of absence.

12. Expand access to educational resources and professional development

We strive for access to funds supporting individual professional development opportunities, including courses offered at Mount Sinai, tuition assistance, expansion of support to PEC and OPA for career development, and expedited reimbursement for work-related expenses.

13. Improve transit and parking benefits

We strive for improved and equitable transit and parking benefits to relieve the burden of commuting costs and support Postdoctoral Fellows with bicycles, cars and other forms of transportation.

14. Recognize and promote union rights and representation

We strive to maximize the ability of our union to engage in effective representation, including a variety of standard provisions on union representational rights and contract enforceability, as well as ensuring that all new employees receive adequate orientation about rights and benefits under our contract.

15. Protect academic freedom and intellectual property

We strive to improve intellectual property and academic freedom rights, including clear guidelines on authorship criteria and protection against listing without consent.