On June 30, 2020, the University and Columbia Postdoctoral Workers union reached a tentative agreement. On July 16, 2020, the Union ratified the agreement. The current agreement expired on June 30, 2023.
The University and the CPW-UAW Union began negotiating a successor contract in April 2023. The parties have made progress over the twenty bargaining sessions, although they have yet to reach a final tentative agreement. Despite the expiration of the current contract, the University and the Union have agreed to continue bargaining and maintain the status quo.
During the 19th negotiation session on August 31, 2023, the University extended a comprehensive offer of settlement. This proposal would make Columbia one of the most competitive employers among our Ivy-league peers and other major research universities. The University’s offer of settlement includes immediate 8.33% increases to minimum compensation levels effective July 1, 2023, of $65,000 for Postdocs and of $71,606 for ARSs, with increases to minimums each year, and annual compensation increases of no less than 3%. The University’s offer also includes an increase in its child care FSA contribution to $5,000; a $400,000 hardship fund for reimbursement of unexpected medical expenses and housing assistance; an annual $3,500 payment to Fellows for retirement; a $1,500 relocation payment for new Postdocs and ARSs; and reimbursement of entry visa stamp renewal costs up to $1,250 for international Postdocs and ARSs. The University urged the Union to either endorse its offer and present it to their members for consideration or to come forward with pragmatic and actionable counter proposals. In response, the Union’s latest demand includes an immediate increase of 20%-26% to the minimum salary level for a 0-year experience Postdoc/ARS plus a 3% increase for each year of experience either at Columbia or any other institution. In addition, the Union demands annual compensation increases for each year of the contract of 6-8% and a $7,000 per year housing subsidy. To close the distance between the parties, the University has been suggesting the involvement of a neutral mediator in our negotiation sessions. The University is pleased that the Union has now agreed to mediation.