Info for New Postdocs

UCSD Postdocs during the 2016 bargaining campaign.

Welcome! UAW Local 5810 is the Union of over 6,500 Postdoctoral Researchers and 4,500 Academic Researchers at the University of California. Our union victories have been profound, most recently resulting in a historic four-year contract that includes major salary increases, a high-quality low-cost benefits plan, increased appointment length, fully-paid parental leave, and many more rights and protections. By becoming a member of the union, you help strengthen the voice of Postdocs and help us win more improvements at UC and beyond.

Postdoc Union members created this page to help you adjust to life at UC and get involved with the Postdoc and Academic Researcher community. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate contact us at or 510-845-5726.

Join the Union!

Click here to become a member

From our earliest days, the Union of Postdocs has been strengthened by a supermajority of Postdocs becoming members. More members directly translates to higher wages, better benefits and more protections. Members vote on all union decisions including electing our leadership and ratifying bargaining demands and contracts, and also enjoy many other benefits. If you have any questions about becoming a member, see our Frequently Asked Questions.

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!

UC Berkeley and LBL Postdocs at their annual union BBQ in 2018

What We’re Working On

The collective power of our union enables us to fight for our rights and those of our peers, friends and allies here at UC and beyond. Click on these links to learn more about how Postdocs are working to advance science funding and policy, immigration reform, gender equity and more.

Career Planning

Because of our contract, you have the right to develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP) with your mentor, pursue career development activities during work time, and be reimbursed for work-related travel and training. If you would like to get involved with career development activities at your campus, contact us at


All Postdoc salaries must comply with an experience-based minimum salary scale. Under this scale, minimum salaries are linked to the 2020 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.

New UC Postdoctoral Scholar Experience-Based Scale
Effective February 1, 2021
UC Appointment Step (Postdoc Experience at all institutions) Minimum Salary/Stipend (NIH Plus 2 Steps)
0 (0 – 11 months) $54,540
1 (12 – 23 months) $56,712
2 (24-35 months) $58,608
3 (36- 47 months) $60,780
4 (48 – 59 months) $63,036
5 (60-71 months) By exception $65,292

* 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.”

Executive Board member Carly Ebben Eaton presents at the Alameda Labor Council Labor Convergence on Climate in April, 2019

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. Click here for more details about UC Postdoc benefits.

You also have several options for pre-tax retirement savings plans. 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 January, April, June, and September. Click here for more detailed information on taxes for Postdocs.