A supermajority of the unit voted #UnionYes

NEW YORK CITY – Postdoctoral Scholars at Cornell University’s Weill Cornell College of Medicine in New York City have voted by an overwhelming margin (328 to 4, or 98.8%) in favor of joining Weill Cornell Medicine Postdocs United (WCM Postdocs United-UAW), according to ballots tallied Wednesday night by the National Labor Relations Board. WCM Postdocs United will represent approximately 500 Postdoctoral Scholars.  

“With participation from nearly 70% of the unit, this is a resounding vote for our union,” said Dr. Caitlin Williams, a Postdoc in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Disease. “WCM Postdocs face unpredictable salaries that don’t match the skyrocketing cost of living in New York City,  bureaucratic hurdles for international workers, insufficient family benefits, and the lack of enforceable protections against sexual harassment, discrimination, and bullying. These challenges add unnecessary stress to the postdoc experience and make it more difficult to focus on quality research. We look forward to bargaining as equals with the university administration to make progress on these issues and more.”

Postdocs perform breakthrough research at labs across Weill Cornell. They work on everything from vaccines to new pathologies and treatments for the most insidious diseases we face. Together, they help secure millions in funding and drive Weill Cornell’s research mission. Postdocs started discussing the idea of forming a union in 2022 in response to a lack of sufficient support from Weill Cornell on issues that affect vulnerable communities, including parents and international workers.

“We formed our union one conversation and one worker at a time, and made sure people had accurate information about what it means to form a union. Now, we’re looking forward to channeling this energy into improving our working conditions and building a stronger Weill Cornell,” said Dr. Sahar Jalal, a Postdoc in the Department of Radiology. 


“We are excited to welcome Weill Cornell postdocs into the UAW family,” said Brandon Mancilla, Director of UAW Region 9A, which covers New England, New York City, and Puerto Rico. “They join a growing wave of UAW academic workers in New York City and across the U.S. who are standing up to win the rights and respect they deserve.  We look forward to supporting Weill Cornell postdocs as they start bargaining for a first union contract.”

Postdocs at Weill Cornell join more than 100,000 UAW-represented academic workers across the United States. In the last five years alone over 40,000 academic workers around the country have chosen to become part of the UAW, including nearly 15,000 from the east coast area.

Learn more at WCMPostdocUnion.org.