May 142018

Happy spring! Our update this month is about parental leave. Because UC Postdocs were committed to improving gender equity at UC during the 2016 contract negotiations, we are the first Postdocs in the US to have guaranteed paid parental leave at full pay for all parents.

Paid parental leave rights in our contract
You have a number of options (that may be used in combination) for taking paid time off after birth or adoption (check out this flyer for more details):

  • 4 weeks of Paid Parental Leave at full pay for all Postdocs within 1 year of your child’s birth or adoption, which may be used in a flexible manner (e.g. half-time for 8 weeks)
  • 24 days of Paid Personal Time Off (PTO) – available immediately each year; in addition to 4 weeks of Parental Leave
  • Short-Term Disability (for birth parents) and Sick Leave may also be used for paid time off
  • Longer leave – If provided by your funding source (such as NIH NRSA fellowships), our contract ensures you receive longer leave

Protecting your rights
On a regular basis we hear from Postdocs who are given misinformation by UC about parental leave rights or are discouraged from taking it. This is why we have a union – these issues can usually be resolved quickly and easily. Contact us at if you have any questions about parental leave or any other issue.

We’re not finished – and how you can help
Winning these rights was a big victory but of course gender inequity remains a major problem in academia. For example, UC prohibits Postdocs on Short-Term Disability (which is 70% pay) from “topping-up” their salary to 100% with PTO or Sick Leave. Meanwhile, NIH does not allow new parents to extend the 2-year post-PhD deadline for applying for K99 grants. Our union is actively working to change these policies and more. If you support these efforts and are not a Postdoc Union member yet, please do your part by signing up 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