May 182016

UC Riverside postdocs met with Congressional Representative Mark Takano to discuss the importance of the proposed DOL regulations for postdocs and millions of other workers.

Victory! The Department of Labor just released its new overtime rule for salaried employees. Under the new rule, postdocs must be paid more than $47,476 annually to remain exempt from overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). UC has until December 1, 2016 to comply with the new regulations, which most likely means raising salaries above the new threshold.

This is a tremendous win as it will lead to higher salaries for thousands of UC postdocs and postdocs around the country, as well as millions of other workers. The Director of the NIH, Francis Collins, and the Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, released a joint statement titled “Fair Pay for Postdocs: Why We Support New Federal Overtime Rules” and announced that the NIH will raise the NRSA postdoctoral stipend levels above the new overtime threshold. Collins and Perez write: “Our nation should embrace the fact that increasing the salary threshold for postdocs represents an opportunity to encourage more of our brightest young minds to consider choosing careers in science.” We could not agree more.

UAW 5810 members, along with UAW members nationally and other locals of higher education, were instrumental in ensuring these new regulations became a reality, even as right-wing forces (joined by the University of California) pushed hard to exclude postdocs or defeat the rules altogether. Postdocs met with Congress and members of the Obama administration, submitted public comments, and communicated with the public to make sure that postdocs and millions of other workers will receive long-overdue salary increases.

Negotiations for a fair, new contract start at the end of this month! If you’d like to get involved or get more info on bargaining, please click here.

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