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January 18, 2007

An Old Rant but still relevant?

A landmark report in 2000 revealed the poor state of postdoc pay in the United States.
This work force is highly skilled and consists of some of the best and brightest minds in the country. They exist in the amorphous state between finishing their PhD. and finding a permanent academic position. This group needs to be treated better. While nature is lauding the increase in pay, it is still at the bottom scale of what a manager at a Wal Mart or McDonalds would make. And McDonald's mangers get benefits. Clearly there is going to be erosion if this is not taken care of.
Postdocs number about 50,000 and they are the engine that drives much of the research in leading journals. So why is pay so low? Because there are too many of them. The dirty little secret of science is that we train far too many PhDs than we need in academia or industry. When supply is high, salaries are low. So why are so many students pursuing PhDs? Because research labs need graduate students to do their work. In my opinion, it would be better for all if we had more technicians and fewer graduate students. Of course that would cost more money, these employees would want to have a life outside of their research, benefits, etc.

THIS BLOG IS AN EFFORT TO EDUCATE, UNITE AND VOICE FOR THE POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS/POSTDOCS IN USA. ALL THE POSTDOCS AND POSTDOC WELLWISHERS ARE WELLCOME TO CONTRIBUTE AND POST YOUR MESSAE HERE. GOOD LUCK.

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PRO/UAW Site

http://www.prouaw.org/home/home.php
Here is the PostDoc Wheel of PRO/UAW, this is like the Wheel of Dhamma of Lord Buddha's that is a symbol of justice and liberation. The latest news from PRO/UAW is very promising to the 5000 or more postdocs in different campuses of University of California System.
PRO/UAW

The Union for Postdoctoral Researchers at the University of California
PRO/UAW is the Union for over 5,000 Postdoctoral Researchers at the University of California. By signing up a majority of Postdocs, we can exercise our legal rights to bargain with UC. Postdoc representatives we choose will survey us to determine priorities and will then negotiate a contract with UC. We can negotiate for improvements in wages, hours, benefits, and terms and conditions of employment. Postdocs will then have an opportunity to democractically approve the agreement that UC and our bargaining team reach, before it becomes a binding contract.