Our Path Towards a Strong Contract

As the Bargaining Committee, we will fight for a contract that makes WCM more equitable, inclusive, and competitive by securing essential workplace protections and benefits, such as: salaries that keep pace with the rising cost of living in NYC, guaranteed and affordable access to WCM housing, expanded rights and support for international workers, more cost-effective health benefits, paid parental leave, affordable child care, longer appointments, enforceable protections against harassment and bullying, and more. 

To ensure this, we will: 

  1. Make every effort to keep all postdocs informed throughout bargaining
  2. Encourage a majority of postdocs to participate in the process of winning a strong contract

The Bargaining Committee is not the only source of power during the negotiation process: truly strong negotiation power comes from all of us, hard-working, creative, and talented postdocs at WCM. To win the strongest contract, we need the overwhelming support of postdocs across our campus by actively participating throughout the process. Having the majority of Postdocs united behind the bargaining committee will give us the strength and leverage at the bargaining table to win a fair agreement with WCM. We will use multiple strategies from our own and other campaigns to make it as easy as possible for you to stay informed and participate: 

Grassroots organizing:

We will continue to engage in local outreach to colleagues to help keep each other updated, informed, and provide lines of ongoing communication with the bargaining committee, building on the strong track record of majority participation and support throughout our campaign so far. If you want to get involved in organizing please let us know at organizing@wcmpostdocunion.org.

Bargaining tracker and online communications:

We will provide regular, timely updates on bargaining sessions through our online communication channels on Twitter/X and Instagram to keep you informed of which proposals are being passed, as well as any progress or challenges in the negotiations through our bargaining tracker.  

Regular town-halls:

We will host regular town halls to update the unit on our progress, to get feedback on updated proposals and to answer any questions. Participation in these forums by as many Postdocs as possible will be critical to show our unity to the administration.

Open email communication:

We remain committed to being responsive to the priorities and needs of all WCM postdocs by answering any emails that you send to organizing@wcmpostdocunion.org with specific concerns in a timely manner. This includes your reports of unfair labor practices — these will be kept confidential within the bargaining committee and we will work with you to help find immediate solutions. Identifying unfair practices also helps us to make sure that the contract will prevent these practices in the future. 

Topic-specific working groups:

We plan to establish working groups as needed to provide support with the bargaining process. These groups will stay in regular contact with the Bargaining Committee in order to assist with research, give feedback on proposals, and drive issue-based campaigns that add to our leverage at the bargaining table.

Open negotiation sessions:

While actual negotiation will be between the Bargaining Committee and  WCM’s  administrative team, you can support us at bargaining sessions by participating as an observer.  Your presence as an observer represents our unity and power to the WCM administration and provides critical leverage for the Bargaining Committee. We will update you on the bargaining dates on our website and through emails as soon as they are scheduled.  We just ask that you reach out to us in advance here to prepare. 

Sidebar conversations:

“Sidebar” or off-the-record conversations between our Bargaining Committee and the administration can be a useful tool at the negotiation table when on-the-record negotiation reaches a roadblock, particularly for exploring underlying reasons for lack of progress that WCM might not otherwise communicate. We will make sure the entire Bargaining Committee is aware of the sidebar and is in agreement before using this tactic.

Bargaining Goals:

We put great effort into incorporating as much feedback as possible into an inclusive set of initial bargaining goals to guide us in negotiations. These goals were drawn based on surveys among the supermajority of Postdocs, town halls, and hundreds of individual conversations, as well as best standards across the academic sector and other unionized institutions.  We are proud that a majority of WCM Postdocs voted unanimously (253-0) to approve these goals. We will continue to gather feedback from Postdocs as part of the bargaining process.


In solidarity,

WCMPU-UAW Bargaining Committee