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Postdocs, Mount Sinai reach deal


Following a 12-day strike and a yearlong fight for a first contract, more than 500 postdoctoral researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai represented by the United Auto Workers reached a tentative agreement with hospital management Monday morning. 

The deal, announced by the Sinai Postdoctoral Organizing Committee, includes raises of 30 percent for the duration of the contract, six weeks of parental leave benefits, three years of guaranteed subsidized housing and more.  

“This is a massive achievement and would not have been possible without years of efforts by hundreds of postdocs and our incredible allies who stood with us,” SPOC wrote on its social media pages.

Andrea Joseph, a member of the union’s bargaining committee, told The Chief that the union held a town hall meeting with members to discuss the contract and that the response to the deal was overwhelmingly positive. Members will vote on the deal in the coming days, and the union hopes to publish the results by the end of the week. 

“Overall people are really excited about a lot of different pieces of this agreement,” Joseph said. “People are really happy with what the contract looks like and really appreciative of the fight that we all put in together to win these things.” 

The deal gives Mount Sinai postdocs the highest minimum salary of any postdocs in the country — nearly $75,000 — Joseph said, a substantial raise from the $58,000 minimum salary in place since 2019. The workers also are now explicitly guaranteed three years of housing — the first postdocs in the country to achieve such an assurance. A similar policy was nominally in place beforehand but was often disregarded, Joseph said. 

New postdocs won’t have to pay their rent until they receive their first two paychecks and rent increases will be capped at 2 percent. Workers also achieved stronger protections against harassment and bullying and better job security. 

Mount Sinai did not respond to a request for comment but two academic deans at Mount Sinai, Eric Nestler and Marta Filizola, sent the postdocs an email following the announcement of the tentative deal. 

“We are delighted that Mount Sinai and the UAW have reached a three-year agreement, subject to ratification by the union membership, that will allow all of us to return to our life’s passion: to study biological mechanisms in health and disease and advance those discoveries into improved care for our patients,” the deans wrote.  

Joseph said the deal was evidence of postdocs’ strength, solidarity and perseverance. 

“We’ve been fighting for improved equity and affordability to keep postdocs, especially our young people, women and parents in science, and I see everything we've won as an important step in that fight,” she said. "We're excited for more." 



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  • Practical123

    It’s about time they worked it out!

    Wednesday, December 20, 2023 Report this