UAW 5810 Contract Summary for UC Postdocs


Please click here if you are a Postdoc at Lawrence Berkeley Lab (LBL).

Major Increases in Postdoc Compensation

We negotiated significant improvements to our pay scale that makes UC Postdoc pay higher than any public university in the US. These increases will bring pay at UC in line with recommendations set forth by the National Academy of Sciences.

  • December 1 Salary Increases: All Postdoc salaries must comply with a new experience-based minimum salary scale as of December 1, 2016. This scale is based on the 2017 NIH NRSA scale but UC Postdocs will be paid at least 2 steps higher than their NIH experience level (“NIH Plus 2 Steps”).
  • This means that by December 1, a Postdoc with less than a year of prior experience must be paid at least $48,216 (Step 2 on the 2017 NIH NRSA Scale) – an increase of 10.35% over the current minimum salary. The same applies for all levels of experience: a Postdoc with 1 year of experience will be paid at least Step 3 on the 2017 NIH NRSA Scale ($50,316), a 10.7% increase from the current minimum, and so on for all the steps. See the new scale below.
  • Annual Salary Increases: After December, 1, 2016, on each Postdoc’s anniversary date, they will receive either the next step on the scale, or a 2% increase, whichever is greater.
  • This “NIH Plus 2 Steps” scale will continue through the duration of the four-year contract and will increase as the NIH increases the NIH NRSA scale each year. This means that many Postdocs will have their pay increase annually by both advancing to the next step (currently 3-4%) and the percentage the NIH scale increases annually (which we predict will be 3%).
Amount of Total Postdoctoral Experience
Equivalent NIH/NSRA Step
Minimum Annual Salary as of December 1, 2016

0 – 11 months

12 – 23 months

24 – 35 months

36 – 47 months

48 – 59 months

60 – 72 months

Maintains High-Quality Benefits Plan at Low Cost

The low rates we currently pay for our high-quality comprehensive benefits plan will be locked in for the length of the four-year contract. Premiums for the HMO plan will be 2% for individual Postdoc or Postdoc+children, and 3% for Postdoc+partner and Postdoc+family. Premiums with the PPO will remain at $20 for individual postdoc, $40 for Postdoc+children and Postdoc+partner and $60 for Postdoc+family for the next 4 years.

New Paid Parental Leave

All Postdocs now have 4 weeks of fully paid parental leave that can be used within 1 year of birth or adoption. We also added language that enables postdocs to use this leave in various ways if they choose to – flexibility which will allow each Postdoc to shape parental leave to benefit both them and their family. This new parental leave benefit is in addition to all of the other leave and personal time off options from our previous contract: 24 days of personal time off each year, 12 sick days each year that accumulate if unused, and paid leave via short-term disability insurance.

Longer Minimum Appointment Lengths

We have expanded job security for Postdocs by building multi-year appointment provisions into our new contract. Postdoctoral Scholar-Employees will receive minimum one-year initial appointments and minimum two-year reappointments. Postdoctoral Scholar Fellows and Paid Directs will receive appointment lengths to match the length of their fellowship funding: e.g., a Postdoc with a three-year fellowship will receive a three-year appointment. We have also added a new job title for recent UC graduate students who want to finish up their work under the protections of our contract.

Important Improvements to Non-Discrimination Protections

We have won a greatly improved process for resolving claims of sexual harassment and discrimination, including:

  • Strict timelines for UC investigators to deliver an initial assessment and a comprehensive report,
  • Protections for Postdocs who report a claim to ensure their research and career progress are not derailed,
  • Expanded definitions of protected classes to include gender identity and gender expression and a strong statement that all forms of retaliation are prohibited.

In addition, the Union and UC will jointly develop Postdoc-specific training to prevent sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination.

We also now have stronger rights to lactation rooms and all-gender restrooms.

Time and Effort Commitment

The agreement adds provisions to the Time and Effort Commitment Article to reflect new FLSA overtime threshold and protect Postdocs who choose to work part-time schedules.


This contract will be in effect for four years until September 30, 2020.