Sep 242016

Happy National Postdoc Appreciation Week! At our 10th bargaining session, we met with UC for three days in Oakland.

UC finally made movement on the concept of parental leave. UC’s new proposal no longer requires that postdocs exhaust their Personal Time Off before receiving any parental leave. However, UC’s proposal of two weeks parental leave still falls far short of the NIH mandated eight weeks.

We reached tentative agreement on Articles 1 and 25, creating a new job title for recent Ph.D. recipients who need a few months to finish their projects between graduation and moving to their next position. Until now, these researchers have been improperly placed in positions that do not reflect their expertise, with lower pay and many fewer protections than they will have under our union contract.

We also had an insightful discussion on how to integrate Lawrence Berkeley Lab (LBL) postdocs into our contract. When we began to ask simple questions on holidays, compensation, job titles, and other central facets of the postdoc experience at LBL, it became immediately apparent how disorganized and disjointed LBL management is. One example: LBL payroll may not even know the salaries of an alarming number of LBL postdocs (and whether these salaries meet any minimum standards). This situation further reinforces the need for the protections of an enforceable, collectively bargained contract.

You can see the full proposals and tentative agreements here and a summary chart here. We will be bargaining all five days next week at UC Office of the President in Oakland before our contract expires at midnight on September 30. We are deeply inspired by the support we continue to see from every campus, and are looking forward to an intense, productive next week! To get involved or if you have any questions, just send us an email.

In Solidarity,

Anke Schennink, PhD, President, UC Davis
Neal Sweeney, PhD, Vice President, UC Santa Cruz
Virpi Leppa, PhD, Recording Secretary, UC Los Angeles
Ben Cain, PhD, Financial Secretary, UC Davis
Matt Grimmer, PhD, Trustee, UC San Francisco
Lydia Majure, PhD, Trustee, UC Berkeley
Carlena Ebben Eaton, PhD, Trustee, UC Berkeley
Wen Jiang, PhD, Guide, UC Los Angeles
Iros Barozzi, PhD, Bargaining Team Representative, LBL
Nils Zimmermann, PhD, Bargaining Team Representative, LBL