We met yesterday with UC via videoconference to bargain over changes in our working conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the call, we developed bargaining demands; you can read the Postdoc demands here and the Academic Researcher demands here.

During our presentation to UC’s bargaining team, we emphasized how the pandemic has impacted Postdocs and ARs and what UC should do to mitigate these impacts. Our proposals included:

  • Increasing available paid time for COVID-19-related needs
  • Giving clear guidance on remote work, including not requiring Postdocs and ARs to sign remote work agreements
  • Ensuring visa processing is being carried out in a timely fashion
  • Extended deadlines for Academic Researchers to submit of merit increase and promotion packages,
  • Reimbursing costs incurred due to working from home, and
  • Repurposing UC labs to focus on COVID-19 testing and research.

UC’s team had several responses, including that no AR or Postdoc is required to sign a remote work agreement (win!). If you have already signed an agreement and have concerns about it, contact the union. UC’s team also said that parking is free at all campuses during the crisis. On the remaining topics they said they would look into them and get back to us, including timely visa processing (on which they were very misinformed, thinking that “very few” H-1B visa applications require premium processing).

We are going to meet again on Tuesday, March 31 at 10:30 am. We are also developing a quick survey to understand COVID-19 impacts on Postdocs and ARs – look for that soon! And let us know if you have any comments or questions at uaw5810@uaw5810.org.

In solidarity,

Postdoc Bargaining Team AR Bargaining Team
Anke Schennink, UC Davis Paul Lott, UC Davis
Neal Sweeney, UC Santa Cruz Theo Tarver, UCSF
Lydia Majure, UC Berkeley Claire Zedelius, UC Santa Barbara
Amanda McLaughlin, UC Berkeley Josh Carlson, UC Berkeley
Charisse Winston, UC San Diego Irma De Ley, UC Riverside
Alex Blacutt, UC Riverside Christina Priest, UCLA
Stephany Chacon, LBL Angelo Demuro, UC Irvine
Lisa Schwarz, UC Santa Cruz
Daniel Roston, UC San Diego