These demands reflect the specific needs of Postdocs and Associate Researchers and a vision for our research community. They take into account the historic shifts towards longer postdocs and self-directed associate researchers, 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 and Associate Researchers; to support all Postdocs’ and Associate Researchers’ continuing independent research and other careers; to provide greater stability for non-citizen researchers; to ensure that Postdocs and Associate Researchers with families and afford childcare and associated costs; and to build a truly inclusive, accessible, and diverse research community free from harassment and discrimination.
We believe that these goals will improve the world-class research conducted at Columbia University by increasing recruitment and retention of a diverse group of Postdoctoral and Associate Researchers.
1. Establish fair wagesWe will strive for improved pay for all, commensurate with the value of our work, and the high cost of living, including a significant increase to minimums and guaranteed experience-based annual increases.
2. Improve healthcare for allWe will strive for improvements to medical, mental health, dental, and vision coverage, including dependent coverage, as well as access to healthcare providers affiliated with Columbia University. While improving benefits for all, we will also propose eliminating inequities in coverage based on funding source.
3. Increase access to housingWe will strive for better access to affordable housing for all incoming Postdoctoral and Associate Researchers, increased transparency in the housing selection process, and improved resources for those seeking accommodations outside of University housing.
4. Create a more family-friendly workplaceWe will strive for increased access to affordable and subsidized childcare and educational resources, including affordable daycare and after school centers located near campus, tuition benefits for dependents, expansion of parent-friendly facilities, and improvements to guaranteed parental leave.
5. Ensure freedom from harassment and bullyingWe will strive for a fair, clear and consistent process for addressing sexual, gender-based, and other forms of workplace harassment and bullying with access to neutral arbitration when necessary.
6. Foster a safe and productive work environmentWe will strive for a neutral arbitration process, establish a fair process to resolve health and safety problems, and improved access to wellness resources and recreational facilities.
7. Ease the burden for new employeesWe will 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 CPW-UAW contract agreement.
8. Enhance retention and advancement opportunitiesWe will strive for transparency and consistency for all renewal, advancement, and dismissal proceedings, timely paychecks and 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 benefitsWe will 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 researchersWe will strive for improved visa offerings, 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 will strive for enhanced, guaranteed, and transparent access to paid holiday, vacation, as well as medical, family and other leaves of absence.
12. Expand access to educational resources and professional developmentWe will strive for access to courses offered at Columbia, expansion of tuition assistance, expansion of university support to CUPS and OPA for career development, expedited reimbursement for work-related expenses, and access to funds supporting individual professional development opportunities.
13. Improve transit and parking benefitsWe will strive for improved and equitable transit and parking benefits.
14. Recognize and promote union rights and representationWe will strive to maximize the ability of our union to engage in effective representation, including a variety of standard contract provisions on union representational rights as well as ensuring that all new employees receive adequate orientation about rights and benefits under our contract.
15. No loss of benefits from changes in funding sourceWe will strive to ensure that no individual loses benefits as a result of changes in funding source.