Welcome New Postdocs!

UCSD Postdocs during the 2016 bargaining campaign.

Welcome! UAW Local 5810 is the Union of the over 6,500 Postdoctoral Researchers at the University of California. Our union victories have been profound, most recently resulting in a four-year contract that includes major wage increases, increased appointment length, and paid parental leave for all Postdocs, while maintaining the low rates we pay for health benefits.

Whether you’re already new member or considering becoming a member of the Postdoc Union, please read the information below. We also urge you to click here to read Frequently Asked Questions, and click here to learn more about our union’s leadership team. Email uaw5810@uaw5810.org or call 510-845-5726 with further questions or concerns.

Across the state, members took part in the union’s March for Science social media campaign.


Join the Union!
Strong majority union membership has enabled Postdocs to negotiate and enforce wage increases, improvements to health insurance, improved job security, rights for International Postdocs, strong non-discrimination and sexual harassment protections, as well as other improvements. Click here to become a member of UAW Local 5810!

All Postdoc salaries must comply with an experience-based minimum salary scale. Under this scale, minimum salaries are linked to the Proposed 2017 NIH NRSA scale but UC Postdocs are paid at least 2 steps higher than their NIH experience level (“NIH Plus 2 Steps”). When the NIH increases its scale in the future, our scale will increase as well. Nothing prevents the University from paying Postdocs above this scale.

Postdoctoral Scholar Experience Based Salary/Stipend Minima
UC Scale – Effective December 1, 2016
UC Appointment Step for Postdoctoral Scholar Experience Level Projected NIH/NRSA Stipend for FY 2017*
0 (0 – 11 months) $48,216
1 (12 – 23 months) $50,316
2 (24-35 months) $52,140
3 (36- 47 months) $54,228
4 (48 – 59 months) $56,400
5 (60-71 months) By exception $58,560


* Article 4.A.1: “Nothing shall preclude the University from providing compensation to Postdoctoral Scholars at rates above those required in this Article. Such rates may be provided on appointment, reappointment, anniversary date, and/or as a merit increase.”


In December of 2016, UC Berkeley Postdocs waged a successful campaign to maintain Postdoc access to Sutter Health facilities.

Health Care Benefits and Retirement
We have negotiated a comprehensive, high-quality, low-cost benefits plan that is available to all Postdocs and their families. The benefits plan includes medical, dental, vision, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance and a number of additional benefits. Click here for more details about UC Postdoc benefits.

Most Postdocs also contribute to a pre-tax retirement account (known as DCP-Safe Harbor) and also have several additional retirement plan options. Click here for more information about Postdoc retirement plans.

Tax Information
All Postdocs are required to file federal and state tax returns each year on April 15. If you are on a fellowship you may be required to file quarterly taxes in April, June, September and January to avoid late fees. Click here for more detailed information on taxes for Postdocs.

Connect with the Postdoc Community
Monthly Membership Meetings are a great way to meet other Postdocs and get involved in our Union! Each month features a discussion on a different topic that is important to Postdocs. The membership meeting schedule is included in our Union calendar, click here to view and subscribe.

Also check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for Postdoc-related news and updates!

UCLA Postdocs at the Los Angeles March for Science.

Career Planning
Our contract guarantees the right to develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP) with your mentor, the ability to pursue career development activities during work time, and the guarantee that work-related travel and training will be reimbursed. If you would like to get involved with career development activities at your campus, contact us at uaw5810@uaw5810.org.

Campus-specific Resources
Click here to check out recommendations from Postdoc peers on preferred doctors, dentists, daycare etc., and learn about other resources available to Postdocs as well as union specific activities and actions at your campus.

What We’re Working On
Collective power enables Postdocs to fight for our rights and those of our peers, friends and allies here at UC and beyond. We are engaged with the UC administration and with community leaders and electeds on the issues of science funding, climate change, immigration reform, gender equity and more. A strong and engaged membership is essential to ensuring that our rights are enforced, and that we are a strong voice for social justice, science and the humanities. Please click on the links below for details on recent and current campaigns and collective actions.