I write to share this letter from Dr. Li Jiang, a Postdoc at UCSD whose story was recently covered in NBC News and Inside Higher Ed. After raising allegations of data falsification in her lab, Li was told by her PI that her Postdoc appointment would not be renewed as of August 8. She faced losing her pay, benefits, and visa status, all while being 7 months pregnant. But after organizing with her fellow union members, she won an appointment extension and has important updates and personal reflections to share.

To my fellow union members and warmhearted supporters,

It has now been a little over half a month since my situation was brought to light. Two days ago I received the official confirmation email from the UC extending my appointment for another 5 and a half months. I’d like to wholeheartedly thank my fellow union members and other warmhearted supporters for caring for and supporting me and my baby. This has now allowed both of us to safely make it through what should have been a wonderful time in my life, but turned out to be an incredibly difficult one. I also deeply understand that without the help of our fellow union members, it is hard to imagine how my baby and I would live in this foreign country in my third trimester. No words can express my gratitude. My baby and I will forever hold gratitude in our hearts and I will work to continue to pass on everyone’s compassion and support.

In light of this experience I also did some deep self-reflection. The influence of my traditional culture and family upbringing has always taught me to stay humble and positive. My love for science and dedication to my career has also always led me to believe that I can overcome any and all challenges as long as fundamental moral and ethical lines are respected. I now realize how incredibly wrong I have been. Throughout the way I worked incredibly hard, conducted myself with humility, did everything to the best of my ability with the fastest speed, and even accepted many tasks that had no connection with the subject of my research. Even so, I still gave into injustice over and over. In the end, if I did not choose to organize with my union and my many supporters, my baby and I would not have gotten even a sliver of sympathy, nevermind hoping for some measure of fairness and justice.

Through my fellow union members and everyone’s support, I experienced a kind of warmth and sincerity that I have not experienced in a long time. I have also come to finally understand that ultimately the power I have as an individual is limited, especially when coming up against a vast disparity in status and power. I hope that no one will ever have to experience what I had to go through ever again, but if it does happen, I hope that they will have the courage to speak up. I’m confident that we can organize and unite collectively to overcome any future struggles together.

I wanted to once again convey my gratitude for my fellow union members and other kind supporters, who have come from different nationalities and skin colors, and yet all share a fundamental sense of justice and kindness.

-Li Jiang, Postdoc, UCSD

The victory we have won with Li’s case shows clearly why it is so important to be a dues-paying member of our union. Our strength as a union comes from how many Postdocs and Academic Researchers are dues-paying members. If you are not currently a dues-paying member of our union, I strongly urge you to sign up now by clicking on this link.

In solidarity,
Joyce Chan, Postdoc, UCSD

Original letter:






-Li Jiang,UCSD博后