Join postdocs/ARS from around Columbia to urge the administration to agree to a fair contract now!
Citing the COVID-19 crisis, Columbia has made several steps backwards in bargaining. We are writing to the administration as Postdoctoral and Associate Researchers from across Columbia urging them to agree to a fair contract that provides adequate compensation and protection for researchers.

We are also engaged in a coordinated effort with UAW Academic Workers across the country to lobby Congressional Representatives to provide additional resources to universities during the COVID-19 crisis.

If you have not yet sent a letter to your representatives, please copy and paste this link into your browser: https://bit.ly/SustainHigherEd

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Dear Interim Provost Katznelson,

As Postdoctoral and Associate Researchers from across Columbia, we urge the administration to agree to a fair contract with our union, CPW-UAW. The COVID-19 crisis shows now more than ever why we need a fair contract with compensation, rights and protections that will enhance quality research and promote a more inclusive workplace.

As we all deal with the COVID-19 crisis, we appreciate the great challenges faced by the University. As a group, we have stepped up and pivoted in numerous ways to maintain our commitment to and critical role in Columbia’s core research operations as well as our University’s role in fighting the virus in one of its global epicenters. Some of us have shifted to COVID-19 research. Many others continue as essential employees maintaining critical research infrastructure and projects. Hundreds of us have also volunteered on biobanking COVID-19 samples, immunological testing, producing, sterilizing, and delivering PPE for frontline workers, and more.

As we know first hand the damage done to the overall research operations, and look ahead to restoring full productivity as we transition out of the pandemic, we and our larger Union have also joined Columbia to call on Congress to distribute critical resources to research and other university programs.

Amidst all these efforts, it has been particularly disappointing to see the university continue to fail to reach a fair agreement and even move backwards in bargaining. We fully understand the challenges the University faces at this time. However, given the unique funding structures for our work, we believe Columbia can and should avoid using the COVID-19 crisis to maintain compensation rates that leave Postdoctoral and Associate Researchers behind other New York City institutions and the uniquely high cost of living.

We deserve fair and competitive compensation. We deserve stronger protections against discrimination, harassment, and bullying. And we deserve the standard provisions that enable us to have a strong voice through our union. We voted overwhelmingly to have a union so that we could represent our interests with Columbia’s administration. We also know that through our union, we have more power and representation in Washington, DC, alongside tens of thousands of our academic colleagues across the country, to demand the resources that Columbia and other research institutions deserve.

We ask that you direct your team to reach a fair agreement, so that we can focus all collective energy on working through the crisis, preparing to transition out of it, and seeking the federal resources necessary for both.

Signed,

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