Skip to main content

5000 Postdoctoral Researchers from University of California campuses Join UAW!!

Hmmm...!!!, this is one of the news I was anticipating to take place long, long time ago. This is a slow progress, but considering the complexities and slavery that exists in the academic circles, the PRO/UAW's effort to get the postdocs sign the cards to join Union is a great success.

It is not an exaggeration to say here that there was a huge noise in the minds of academics and postdocs when they heard PostDoc Union for the first time from the Uconn Health Center Postdocs. Because, there was no such thing as postdoc or researchers union few years ago, though the university faculties in many places are in union. Postdocs talking about union was considered like a taboo or something unimaginable or some kind of a academic insult, how ignorant these academics, postdocs and union bashers in the universities??.

Well, just after we (Uconn PostDocs) unionized the postdocs
successefully at our UCONN Health Center via the 3837 local union branch of AFT-CIO, the University Health Professionals (UHP) (AFL-CIO is affiliated to American Federation of Teachers). We sat down for negotiating a contract, it was not a smooth ride or spoon feeding blessings, it was a long standing fight against the administration and the academics to gain some respect, equity and position in making policies and rules to the university administration. First we had to go the state labour board to get a recogniztion as employees (what a tragedy that our working system is so dilapidated and skewed that PostDocs are not employees, those in the administration, Professors and ignorant people will trumphet this lines : Oh Postdocs are not employees, Oh Postdocs are temporary, Oh postdocs are trainees...all those fuc....! craps), we had to win over all these intricately woven ignorance, then after the board gave us upper hand and recognized us as employees, we had to organize an election, there were steps to derail our efforts and hard work, there were intimidation and direct threats, but we did not give up, we fought with all the courage and putting our only jobs in risks, we won the election, then within 6 months we struck a great deal of contract which brought smiles, happiness and dignity in the labs, though the faculties (some of them?) and administration felt the blow on their face, they started realizing this is real and truth and they have no other choice to co-operate and accept reality......what happened after this is a great working atmosphere, no more intimidation or threat, no more disrespect and the university is doing good, probably better now with this heightened PostDoc consciousness, a respect that was brewed over years at the Uconn is in fruition..........all the postdocs benefit from our efforts.

We knew right away this historic event is going to cause some tremors in the academic circles, but there were lot of people who do not believe in change or positive reconstruction of academic/university policies did not give a second look at this great historic event of UCoNN, but wait and see.

The Dhamma work is very powerful, it might move slowly but it is powerful enough crack the most strongholds of our academia, the University of California Postdocs effort to join PRO/UAW is the first largest crack the Postdoc unionization is making, it will sure extend beyond what one can think or conceive in their minds about the role and values of postdocs, if you mistreat them or mistreated them for decades, it is time to look back and do what is needed to be done for postdocs, or else perish in your thoughts, a unionization drive will kick your ass.........!!!.
Ever since the Uconn PostDocs got unionized, there was a commotion among the faculties, university administrations, govt agencies and postdocs as well as the unions as to whether or not the postdoc unionization effort will die down with the Uconn alone or will it transcend to other university campuses and institutions. The answer is what is happening in at the PRO/UAW!........

5,000 University of California Researchers Join UAW

by James Parks, Jul 11, 2008

Some 5,000 postdoctoral researchers at the University of California (UC) took a huge step toward joining a union after a majority signed cards authorizing the Postdoctoral Researchers Organize/UAW (PRO/UAW) to represent them in collective bargaining.

“We’re excited that postdocs have formed their own union so they can have a stronger voice in their workplace,” UAW Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Bunn says in a statement.

These workers make significant contributions to biomedical and other scientific advances, and deserve the same voice that other workers have.


Popular posts from this blog

PostDocs in some labs can be so horrible?

PostDocs in research labs face pierce competition because a colleague or a graduate student is working along the same problem or area in which the laboratory chief wants to get pappers published as soon as possible, if he can't publish a paper, he is not going to get a funding or a renewal fo NIH funding. Competition is via two routes, the boss creates an atmosphere so that someone can get him/her the best results or a data that can quickly generate a paper for him and the postdoc, sometime to all the members of the lab.Though ethically wrong to put names of the member of lab or outside who did not adequately contributed to a publication, it does happen and it is quite widespread, just to please a colleague, a friend or a possible grant reviewing senior member of scientific community, scientists do put their name. It all happens in a smooth and sweet manner, not a big deal ah?. No, things go wrong and such publication conspiracy's come out in the limelight, we have seen them t…

Is the "ongoing PostDocs Crisis"a symptom of Broader problems Plaguing BioMedical Research, Are the PostDocs a Grunt work force of today's Science?

The "plight of PostDocs"has become a major crisis of the Science/biomedical research field, however, where is the crux of the problem lies?. It is the  academic structure itself is the basis for this terrible young scientists crisis. While the awareness about impending issue amongst the postdocs, academics and administrators is slowly picking up steam after almost a Decade of our UCONN Health Center Postdocs Unionization,the mainstream media and scientific media broadly ignored this topic. Seems like they are ready to write about it, I am hoping it is time they too come forward and participate, create and raise awareness about the plight of postdocs and that is actually the plight of our todays scientific research field. The following Boston globe "Metro" news piece seems like a step in that direction of mainstream participation.              Gary McDowell, 29 a Biology student reveals the cliff of PostDocs crisis, he quotes that the lab bench work and research for…

New Federal Overtime Rules and Fair treatment for PostDocs!!

Finally, despite all the odds of science funding cuts and change in politics, policies in DC, Francis S. Collins and Thomas E.Perez's huff blog post sounds petty interesting and timely, it looks like the top scientific leaders of the nation, and scientists from various organizations are working together to make "Postdoc" experience a better part of a scientists life,thereby enhancing a postdocs life. Still long way to go in this goal, but a good direction. Some of the leaders suggested explicit salary increase that would set base salary for Postdoc to be $50,000, that is the start up postdoc salary. Not a bad idea at all, the Unionization already brought up the base salary quite significantly compared to where it was 10 or 15 years ago, and making further improvement to it will go well for the entire scientific community and for the nation to make progress in Scientific and medical field.
Fair Pay for Postdocs: Why We Support New Federal Overtime Rules By Francis S. Collin…