This morning, the Supreme Court released its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, a case backed by corporate billionaires intended to weaken public sector unions (which includes us). The 5-4 decision, with the conservative justices in the majority, will create challenges in our union’s ability to negotiate for improvements and enforce those protections. But the future is in our hands – if we stand together and support our union, we can continue to win better working conditions for all Postdocs.
The decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case specifically affects non-member “fair-share” fees. These fees ensure that everyone who benefits from a union contract contributes to the associated costs. For example, we consult lawyers, maintain a few offices, and hire staff to help with bargaining and contract enforcement. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court sided with big business lawyers who argued that fair-share fees violate free speech rights. We vehemently disagree with this argument. This decision means that while all Postdocs will continue to benefit from the contract, only Postdocs who are members of the union will contribute to the costs.
Having a union for Postdocs has meant average salary increases of over 35% (or about $13,000) since 2010, guaranteed annual raises, and the highest pay of Postdocs at any public institution; a low-cost, high-quality health benefits plan that includes dependents; 3 times more fully-paid parental leave than Postdocs in the rest of the US; critical rights and protections for international Postdocs; and much more — and we’re not done yet.
We can keep our union strong, but it’s up to us! Our ability to enforce the current protections and win future improvements is directly dependent on the strength of our membership. So if you’re not currently a member of the union, please do your part by clicking on this link to sign up today.
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