This week we had bargaining at the UC Office of the President (UCOP) in Oakland on Wednesday and Thursday, and on Friday – for the first time ever – at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL). On Monday, September 12, the California Public Employee Relations Board officially certified the addition of LBL postdocs to UAW 5810. This historic event makes the entire union, now representing both UC and LBL postdocs, even stronger!
Bargaining at UC Office of President – Wednesday and Thursday
In the first two days of bargaining, we made a series of tentative agreements on parts of the contract on which the University had repeatedly proposed unnecessary, anti-postdoc changes. These tentative agreements either preserved the current contract language or made improvements to postdocs’ ability to enforce their rights. UC management also finally retracted their absurd proposal on probationary periods for postdocs. You can see the full proposals and tentative agreements here and a summary chart here. Despite these steps forward, we are still waiting for substantive responses from UC on the issues that postdocs care most about: compensation, paid parental leave, health benefits, childcare, job security, etc.
Bargaining at Lawrence Berkeley Lab – Friday
We started Friday with high hopes for productive and collaborative negotiations on integrating LBL postdocs into the current bargaining process. Unfortunately, only one representative from LBL management was there when we arrived, and throughout the day UC’s team took long breaks to prepare minimal proposals. UC proposed a disruptive transition for LBL postdocs and offered bureaucratic excuses to delay progress on compensation and benefits. These are, of course, unacceptable to us!
Because of the strong majority support for joining UAW 5810, LBL postdocs are now, for the first time, equals with the administration in determining postdoc working conditions. The more active, involved, and united we are, the more power we have!
We will be bargaining next week on September 21 and 22 at UCOP in Oakland, and September 23 at our union office in Berkeley. There are only 8 more scheduled days of bargaining before our contract expires on September 30. So, the time is now to get involved in order to win the best contract possible! To become active or if you have any questions, just send us an email.
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