Columbia postdoctoral researchers vote to unionize

October 04, 2018 - 6:34 pm

NEW YORK (AP) -- Some 2,000 postdoctoral researchers and associate research scientists at Columbia University have voted for representation by the United Auto Workers.

The union announced the vote by the postdocs Thursday and urged Columbia ``to move swiftly toward bargaining.''

The move comes months after the university said it would not bargain with the graduate students who voted for union representation in December 2016.

Columbia administrators have argued that graduate teaching and research assistants are primarily students, not workers.

Columbia representatives did not immediately return emails seeking comment about the postdocs' vote.

Postdocs generally have earned a doctoral degree and are engaged in research or further training in hopes of pursuing an academic career.

The UAW says Columbia postdocs are performing world-class research in areas including Alzheimer's, AIDS and climate change.