This is the first edition of our new monthly update! We’ll be providing updates about your rights under our contract and other topics. This month’s topic is salary.
How salaries work under our contract
Minimum salaries are linked to the NIH NRSA scale but UC Postdocs are paid at least 2 steps higher than their experience level (“NIH Plus 2 Steps”). So if you have zero years of Postdoc experience (at any institution), you are paid at Step 2, and so on. Everyone gets a raise after each year of employment, and when the NIH increases its scale, typically on an annual basis, our scale increases accordingly. Importantly, there is nothing in the contract that prevents salaries above these minimums, and many Postdocs are paid more.
Having a union means much better pay
Since UC Postdocs formed a union in 2010, the average salary has increased from $41,600 to $54,751, an increase of 34%, or about 2.5 times faster than Postdocs nationwide (most of whom do not currently have a union). We now make about $6,300 more than the national Postdoc average and are the highest paid Postdocs at any public institution in the US!
What to do if you’re not getting the correct salary
UC consistently fails to pay Postdocs the correct salaries. Through our union, we work to ensure that all Postdocs receive the correct salary. We have corrected pay errors for 789 Postdocs and prevented over $3 million in lost wages. If you are not receiving the correct salary according to the contract, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll look into it and help to resolve any issues.
Join the Union!
More members means more power to fight for higher salaries, better benefits, and to make sure no one gets underpaid. It only costs about $11 more per month (0.27% of salary) to be a member but with our union, monthly salaries have increased by an average of $1,100. If you are not currently a Postdoc Union member, please do your part by signing up to be a member using this online form. We have lots of events for members like informational sessions about visas/green cards, tax workshops, and social events (and of course becoming a member does not obligate you to attend).
If you have any questions or ideas for future topics for this update, email us at email@example.com.
Anke Schennink, President, UC Davis
Neal Sweeney, Vice President, UC Santa Cruz
Carlena Ebben Eaton, Financial Secretary, UC Berkeley
Zach Reinert, Recording Secretary, UC Irvine
Matt Grimmer, Trustee, UC San Francisco
William Kelly, Trustee, UC Davis
Lydia Majure, Trustee, UC Berkeley
Aaron Sullivan, Guide, UC San Francisco
Charisse Winston, Sergeant At Arms, UC San Diego