Here are the updates from the most recent COVID-19 bargaining session:

J-1 visa extensions for some scholars due to COVID-19

  • US Department of State has issued an automatic 2-month extension of J-1 visas for scholars who have program end dates between April 1 – May 31, 2020. Note that this J-1 visa extension does not automatically extend the scholar’s appointment with UC. However, the University is encouraging departments to also extend the appointment if possible.
  • For J-1 visa holders whose J-1 program ended in March but who remain in the US due to circumstances outside of their control (lack of flights home, etc.), the Department of State can reinstate and extend their program in SEVIS until May 31, 2020. For this to happen, the University needs to proactively notify the US Department of State. If your J-1 visa ended in March and you’re experiencing travel issues, please get in touch with your campus’ International office immediately. If you know any other Postdocs or Academic Researchers who this might apply to, please let them know!

No layoffs through June 30: Under the Postdoc and AR contracts, a layoff occurs when UC ends an appointment early due to a limited set of reasons (nearly always loss of funding). UC has agreed that there will be no layoffs through June 30 for all UC academic employees, which includes UC Postdocs and Academic Researchers. LBL is not included but LBL management has said no layoffs are being considered. Reappointments should still occur as normal; if you are experiencing any delays in reappointment, contact your union.

We are pushing for more job protections against COVID-19 impacts, including continuing these protections past June 30. If you’re unable to continue your work remotely, UC may give you a new assignment or you can also take advantage of several paid leave options. These include UC administrative leave (16 days), paid leave under the new FFCRA Act (10 days sick time and up to 10 weeks of family and medical leave), or accrued vacation, PTO, or sick time. Send any questions about work assignments or paid time off to and someone will get back to you right away.

Travel Reimbursement: UC agreed to reimburse UC-related travel cancelled due to COVID-19. Click here to see information for your campus about what steps to take to get reimbursed.

Support Your Union as a Member! All of these protections are possible because we have a strong union, and our power is directly related to our membership. If you have not yet joined, please help keep your union strong by clicking here to support as a member (Postdocs and ARs can both sign up at this link).

We are going to meet again with UC on Thursday, April 9 at 9am. Thanks to all of you who filled out the COVID-19 survey, it has been really helpful for us to understand all the impacts. If you haven’t yet, click here to do so.

In solidarity,

Postdoc Bargaining Team AR Bargaining Team
Anke Schennink, UC Davis Paul Lott, UC Davis
Neal Sweeney, UC Santa Cruz Theo Tarver, UCSF
Lydia Majure, UC Berkeley Claire Zedelius, UC Santa Barbara
Amanda McLaughlin, UC Berkeley Josh Carlson, UC Berkeley
Charisse Winston, UC San Diego Irma De Ley, UC Riverside
Alex Blacutt, UC Riverside Christina Priest, UCLA
Stephany Chacon, LBL Angelo Demuro, UC Irvine
Lisa Schwarz, UC Santa Cruz
Daniel Roston, UC San Diego