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Mount Sinai postdocs ratify first-ever contract


Postdoctoral workers at Mount Sinai have ratified a contract that provides immediate 24-percent raises and six weeks of paid parental leave, their union announced Dec. 22.

The Sinai Postdoctoral Organizing Committee-UAW, which reached a tentative agreement with Mount Sinai Dec. 18 following a 12-day strike, said that 98 percent of the 390 members who participated in the ratification vote approved the deal.

The postdocs’ minimum pay will increase from $58,661 to $72,500, which the union called the “highest minimum pay of any postdocs in the United States.” Their pay will reach $80,000 by their fourth year on the job, in addition to 3-percent anniversary increases. 

The deal, which expires June 30, 2026, is the first contract for the 500 postdocs, who unionized during the summer of 2022.

“I am proud of what we were able to accomplish with this first contract,” said Andrea Joseph, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and a member of the bargaining committee. “It took an enormous amount of effort and community support to get to this point. Sinai postdocs overcame Sinai’s bad-faith bargaining to win a historic contract that enshrines industry-setting gains and labor standards. We secured this deal because we organized together, stood up together and went on strike together.”

Postdocs earned improved housing protections, including three years of guaranteed subsidized housing and a 2-percent cap on rent increases. The pact also provides just cause protections, increased safeguards against harassment and bullying on the job by extending the time frame workers can report harassment, and intellectual property protections for postdocs’ research.

The workers also negotiated an annual $50,000 emergency fund, as well as a $1,250 reimbursement for visa-related expenses and time off for visa renewal for international researchers.

After bargaining between SPOC-UAW and Mount Sinai reached an impasse, the postdocs overwhelmingly voted in August to authorize a strike. The researchers began their picket Dec. 6; City Comptroller Brad Lander, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and State Senator Jessica Ramos were among those who supported the workers' fight.

“Sinai postdocs have now ratified an amazing contract that sets new standards for researchers not just at Sinai, not just in New York City, but across the United States.  This is what worker-led organizing and strikes can do,” said Brandon Mancilla, Director of UAW Region 9A.  “Congratulations to every worker and ally who stood together to make this happen.”


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