Jun 252018

Sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination are widespread in academia and can derail promising careers. Our union contract makes a big difference in addressing these issues: 1) We have negotiated improvements in our contract to address shortcomings with UC’s policies and 2) continue to push for new anti-discrimination and anti-harassment protections. 3) If you or a colleague needs advice or support, don’t hesitate to contact us at uaw5810@uaw5810.org.

Issues with UC’s harassment/discrimination policies and how our contract directly addresses them:

Problem #1: UC takes months or even years to even investigate a case
Our contract: Postdocs have the option of using a grievance process that has strict timelines to issue a report and take action.

Problem #2: UC’s internal investigations of harassment/discrimination rarely find violations by faculty members
Our contract: Under the grievance process, harassment and discrimination cases can be appealed to a neutral third-party arbitrator who has the power to order remedies.

Problem #3: Postdocs who report harassment/discrimination fear retaliation
Our contract: Postdocs who report a claim are protected against retaliation and guaranteed to continue their research in a harassment- and discrimination-free environment while the investigation proceeds.

Working to prevent harassment and discrimination
We are pushing funding agencies like NSF and other funding agencies to take real action against PIs found to have violated discrimination policies. We have also used information requests to uncover that 30% of UC supervisors have not completed sexual harassment training, and are keeping the pressure on UC to fix this. We support current legislation that would improve protections for Postdocs and other workers. If you want to get involved in any of these efforts, please send an email to uaw5810@uaw5810.org.

Strong membership is key to our union’s efforts
There is a direct relationship between how many Postdocs are union members and our ability to fight harassment and discrimination. So if you support these efforts, please do your part by becoming a member using this online form.

In Solidarity,

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
Jijun Huang, Guide, UC Los Angeles
Charisse Winston, Sergeant At Arms, UC San Diego