May 052017
 

Welcome to the next edition of our quarterly newsletter! From last month’s Science March to our latest Op-Eds in Nature and the SF Chronicle, we are excited to share all of the latest updates with you. To stay up-to-date, please visit the website and make sure to follow UAW 5810 on Facebook and Twitter.

Table of Contents

  1. March for Science
  2. Salary Grievance Win
  3. Our Open Letter to Congress on Visas/Immigration
  4. Update: Airport Protests and Fighting the Visa Ban
  5. Union’s Op-Eds in Nature and SF Chronicle
  6. January Joint Council Meeting

March for Science

On April 22, UAW 5810 led delegations of hundreds of UC researchers up and down the state at local Marches for Science. Postdocs and other researchers joined the hundreds of thousands of people marching across the country to defend the important role that science and research plays in our universities, communities, and world.

UCLA Postdocs at the Los Angeles March for Science

In the lead-up to the march, Postdocs held sign-making parties, letter writing campaigns to the EPA, panel discussions, and more. Four UC Postdocs – Keolu Fox, Carly Ebben Eaton, Lydia Majure, and Reem Al Olaby – were speakers at the March for Science in San Diego, San Francisco, Berkeley, and Sacramento, respectively.

UC Davis Postdocs at one of a number pre-march sign-making parties

The following week, Postdocs once again demonstrated our determination to fight for a more just world by attending the People’s Climate Marches on Saturday, April 29th, and May Day marches on Monday, May 1st.

 

UCSD Postdocs join the San Diego May Day march

Postdocs’ continued involvement in the fight against attempts to roll back decades of progress is essential, so please be sure to take this survey to indicate which issues you think are most important to focus on, and stay tuned for upcoming plans and actions.

 

UC Berkeley, San Francisco and LBL Postdocs at the San Francisco March for Science

Reply to this email if you’d like to get more involved.

Salary Grievance Win

Our new contract requires that Postdoc salaries comply with a new experience-based minimum salary scale. Under this scale, salaries are linked to the 2017 NIH NRSA scale but UC Postdocs are paid at least 2 steps higher than their NIH experience level (“NIH Plus 2 Steps”). Your experience level includes Postdoc experience at other institutions.

Although many Postdocs have seen an increase in their salary since we won our new contract, there have been many instances in which the university has failed to pay at least the minimum salary requirement. UAW 5810 filed a formal grievance in February, and we are pleased to report that we have settled a number of these cases, resulting over $50,000 in back pay to Postdocs who were not given their proper increase, with more cases pending.

If you did not receive your increase as mandated by our new contract or have any questions regarding the new minimum salary scale, do not hesitate to contact us.

Open Letter to Congress on Visa/Immigration

UAW 5810 strongly opposes the Trump administration’s immigration policies, so we started an Open Letter urging our Federal and State representatives to expand opportunities for international students and scholars to work in the US. To date, delegations of Postdocs have delivered thousands of signatures to Reps. Pelosi, Speier, Costa, Garamendi and Peters, Lee and Carbajal, and have received their commitment to continue addressing the issues affecting international scholars at UC.

 

If you haven’t already, please take a moment to sign the open letter here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OpenLetter5810.

Update: Airport Protests and Fighting the Visa Ban

Following the announcement of the Trump administration’s Executive Order banning entry from seven Muslim-majority countries, Postdocs up and down the state participated in airport protests, and we are using our collective strength to keep pushing back. UAW 5810 President Anke Schennink filed a declaration on behalf of UC Postdocs in federal district court to support a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the visa ban. The declaration described the personal impacts and potential repercussions of travel restrictions on Postdocs.

If you, your family, or anyone else you know is facing difficulty entering the US because of the Executive Order or needs any kind of assistance, please email uaw5810@uaw5810.org so we can find ways to help. We also have a resource page – Advice for Postdocs Who Are Foreign Nationals – on our website at: http://uaw5810.org/advice-for-postdocs-who-are-foreign-nationals

Op-Eds in Nature and the SF Chronicle

 

We’re thrilled to have two exciting op-eds recently published. UAW 5810 President Anke Schennink’s op-ed, Securing the Rights of Scientists in the Age of Trump, was published in Naturejobs, and Financial Secretary and UCB climate scientist Carly Ebben Eaton co-wrote an op-ed with former EPA employee Kathy Setian in the SF Chronicle. These op-eds discuss the chilling effect the Trump administration’s policies and rhetoric are having on research and the important role that unions of researchers have to play in pushing back against attempts to undermine our work.

January Joint Council Meeting

In late January, Postdoc Union leaders from across the state gathered for our quarterly Joint Council meeting. We discussed plans to increase our super-majority membership and to take action against the Executive Orders and anti-science policies, and also heard presentations from two groups that have been fighting on the frontlines for years, Sierra Club and Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE). We also welcomed 17 new elected leaders from across the state!

 

Our victories this past year are a powerful demonstration of our collective power when we are organized and prepared to fight for our rights. A strong and engaged membership is absolutely essential to ensuring that our rights are enforced, and that we are a strong voice for justice at UC and beyond in the coming years. If you are not currently a member of the union or if you are unsure, please do your part by simply replying to this email to request a membership card.

If you ever have questions, want to volunteer or if you have an idea for our next newsletter, please contact us at 510-845-5726 or by email at uaw5810@uaw5810.org.

In Solidarity,

Anke Schennink, President, UC Davis
Neal Sweeney, Vice President, UC Santa Cruz
Melissa Agnello, Recording Secretary, UC Los Angeles
Carlena Ebben Eaton, Financial Secretary, UC Berkeley
Matt Grimmer, Trustee, UC San Francisco
Lydia Majure, Trustee, UC Berkeley
Wen Jiang, Guide, UC Los Angeles
Charisse Winston, Sergeant At Arms, UC San Diego