Postdoc Union members at our statewide membership meeting in October.

2018 was a big year for our union — starting salaries went up by over $2500, we successfully enforced our rights and pushed for pro-science policies, we nearly doubled in size with the addition of Academic Researchers, and much more. This progress isn’t random – it’s because of our strong union membership and Postdoc participation. Keeping our union strong is up to us! If you’re not currently a member of the union, please do your part and sign up today.

Highlights from 2018

  • Due to our contract, the minimum salary for new Postdocs ($50,760) and average salary ($55,900) continued to increase, maintaining our status as the highest-paid Postdocs at a public institution
  • Maintained access to high-quality health, dental, and vision insurance for all Postdocs and dependents at 1/10 the cost that Postdocs pay elsewhere
  • Pushed for and won health benefit eligibility for domestic partners
  • Successfully stopped UC from charging visa service fees to international Postdocs
  • Restored Postdoc access to Family Housing at UC Riverside after the university tried to eliminate it
  • Defended Postdocs who UC attempted to discipline or dismiss without just cause
  • Held frequent informational meetings and social events at every campus

Postdocs met with U.S. Representative Judy Chu in October of 2018 to discuss discriminatory restrictions against Chinese Visa holders.

Fighting to Protect Science and Researchers
Our union also made progress in defending science and fair working conditions against attempts to roll them back. UC Postdocs knocked on thousands of doors to help elect many pro-science, pro-worker, pro-public education candidates who will be advocates for us on the state and federal level. We also worked to build support in Congress for repealing discriminatory restrictions on Chinese visa holders, and hundreds of Postdocs also signed our petition in this effort. To promote gender equity, we provided UC detailed comments on the shortcomings of its sexual harassment policy and spoke out against the Trump administration’s attempts to slash Title IX protections for students reporting sexual misconduct.

Big Win for Academic Researchers United!
In November, the state labor board verified that a majority of the approximately 5,000 UC Academic Researchers (Project Scientists, Specialists, Professional Researchers, and Coordinators of Public Programs) support joining our union as a second bargaining unit. ARs are ready to start negotiations but the start of bargaining has been delayed due to baseless objections by UC. We will be keeping the pressure on UC to come to the table with ARs, look out for more on this in the coming weeks. Learn more about this huge win, and contact us if you will be transitioning to an AR position.

This campaign was part of a groundswell of academic organizing in 2018 as tens of thousands of Postdocs and academic workers across the country chose unionization as the best way to create change at their institutions.

Kicking Off 2020 Bargaining
This year, we’ll be doing surveys, meetings, and more to gather as much data as possible about how we can improve conditions for UC Postdocs. As we saw with our 2016 contact campaign, when lots of Postdocs are involved we can make important wins — there are lots of ways to help, email us to learn more!

And if you haven’t joined the union, please do your part and sign up today using this online form. More members means more power!

In solidarity,

Anke Schennink, President, UC Davis
Neal Sweeney, Vice President, UC Santa Cruz
Carlena Ebben Eaton, Financial Secretary, UC Berkeley
William Kelly, Trustee, UC Davis
Lydia Majure, Trustee, UC Berkeley
Jijun Huang, Guide, UC Los Angeles
Charisse Winston, Sergeant At Arms, UC San Diego