We are pleased to announce that today we have reached a tentative agreement with the University of California on a new one-year contract until September 30th, 2016. The new contract improves conditions for postdocs in key areas and maintains our hard-fought rights. As your bargaining committee we encourage you to vote to ratify the contract during our ratification vote starting on Monday, October 19th and continuing through Tuesday, October 27th.
Below are the contract highlights and ratification information. You can read the complete language of the contract here.
Guaranteed Annual Raises: Postdocs’ minimum salaries will continue to be linked to the NIH/NRSA pay scale – which over the past five years has resulted in an average 6% raise per year for postdocs on the scale. All postdocs who are above scale, including Paid Directs and Fellows, will receive at least a 2% raise per year. We fought off UC’s attempts to impose many different kinds of wage cuts.
Improved Health Benefits at a Lower Cost: Medical plans will now have preventative care and contraception coverage without co-pays, dental benefits will improve and there will be a new supplemental life insurance option. Monthly costs for the medical HMO plan for 2016 will decrease by 4% (rates will be less than $10/month for individual HMO coverage or about $45/month for family HMO coverage), and medical PPO rates will remain frozen at the same level since 2013 ($20-60, depending on the number of dependents), and all dental and vision coverage will still be free. For full details of the new benefits and costs, see here.
New Protections for International Postdocs: After a long fight, we won protections to ensure that international postdocs facing termination can defend themselves, including the requirement that UC assist with visas and travel costs to testify in an arbitration hearing.
Improved Family-Friendly Benefits: The union and UC will form a Family-Friendly Committee that will meet at least two times in the next year with the express purpose of designing a childcare reimbursement program for UC postdocs. Use of Sick Leave will be expanded to include taking care of family members and number of Personal Time Off and Sick Leave days will remain the same.
More Rights for Career Development: Postdocs won the right to participate in career development activities on paid time and UC will be obligated to fund these career activities (such as travel to conferences) that are outlined in your Individual Development Plan (IDP). We also won the right to have multiple career mentors in developing an IDP.
1 Year Duration: More frequent bargaining equals more workplace democracy by giving future postdocs the power to negotiate over their rights and working conditions.
No Concessions: Other areas of the contract, including job security, are all the same or better than our previous contract. In particular, we maintained 1 year minimum appointments and defeated UC proposals which would have severely degraded job security in a number of ways, including allowing UC to end a postdoc’s employment for being stuck out of the country for visa renewal, for being sick, or for no reason at all during a probationary period.
How to Vote
On Monday, October 19th you will receive via e-mail a ballot to vote online – simply follow the link contained in the message body. To locate the email search for the phrase #5810Ratify. Each link is unique and should only be used by the person receiving the e-mail.
Alternatively, you can vote in person on Monday, October 19th and on Tuesday, October 27th. Please check below for your campus voting location and times:
10/19: 12 pm – 1 pm | in front of Stanley Hall
10/27: 12 pm – 1 pm | in front of Li Ka Shing
10/19: 12 pm – 1 pm | at the plaza outside of Peasant Pies (Mission Bay)
10/27: 12 pm – 1 pm | at Saunders Court (Parnassus)
10/19: 12 pm – 1 pm | at the northside of the Silo
10/27: 12 pm – 1 pm | at the northside of the Silo
10/19: 12 pm – 1 pm | at the courtyard outside the Lantern Café
10/27: 12 pm – 1 pm | at the courtyard outside the Lantern Café
10/19: 12 pm – 1 pm | between the Science and Engineering Library and Natural Sciences 2
10/27: 12 pm – 1 pm | between the Science and Engineering Library and Natural Sciences 2
10/19: 12 pm – 1 pm | at Nano Café
10/27: 12 pm – 1 pm | at Nano Café
10/19: 12 pm – 1 pm | at the Court of Sciences in front of Young Hall
10/27: 12 pm – 1 pm | at the Court of Sciences in front of Young Hall
10/19: 12 pm – 1 pm | on Ring Road, in front of Frederick Reines Hall (FRH)
10/27: 12 pm – 1 pm | on Ring Road, in front of Frederick Reines Hall (FRH)
10/19: 12 pm – 1 pm | at Webber Hall, outside the west entrance
10/27: 12 pm – 1 pm | at Webber Hall, outside the west entrance
10/19: 12 pm – 1 pm | at Leichtag, main entrance next to the coffee cart
10/27: 12 pm – 1 pm | at Leichtag, main entrance next to the coffee cart
Thank you for all of your hard work to make this tentative agreement possible! We look forward to your participation in the contract ratification vote.
Anke Schennink, Ph.D., President, UC Davis
Neal Sweeney, Ph.D., Vice President, UC Santa Cruz
Stephanie Wolahan, Ph.D., Recording Secretary, UC Los Angeles
Ben Cain, Ph.D., Financial Secretary, UC Davis
Sahar Houshdaran, Ph.D., Trustee, UC San Francisco
Yijin Wang, Ph.D., Trustee, UC Santa Barbara
Kristen Yankura, Ph.D., Trustee, UC Los Angeles
Jessica Budke, Ph.D., Sergeant-At-Arms, UC Davis
Alex Hoepker, Ph.D., Guide, UC Berkeley