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March 23, 2010

Post Doc Fight at UC continues!

Postdocs play a critical role in the University’s world-renowned research operations: performing complex research in diverse fields, ranging from AIDS and cancer research to developing improved technologies and addressing climate change; publishing scholarly articles; and writing grant proposals. All of this work helps bring more than three billion dollars in grants and contracts to the 10 UC campuses each year. The vast majority of this money comes from federal sources such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF), whose budgets have increased recently as part of the Obama administration’s efforts to reprioritize federal funding of scientific research for its own sake as well as to stimulate economic growth.

A recent survey found that Postdocs were the primary author on 43% of the articles in Science magazine, the premiere research journal in the world.

Despite their critical importance to the academic machine, postdoctoral researchers have not been granted many of the basic benefits that most other employees at universities enjoy. As a result of these disparate benefits, postdocs in California unionized a few years ago, joining the PRO/UAW union, which now represents over 5,000 postdocs working for UC schools. Negotiations between UC and the PRO/UAW have been ongoing since December of 2008, but right now it looks like negotiations have stalled over wages, as UC President Mark Yudof doesn’t want to budge on this issue. Here are some of the benefits the postdocs are seeking:

1 comment:

Oki said...

hey - I want to send you a press release about this issue, but I lost your contact info - can you email me your contact info at and then delete this comment?

Thanks, Oki

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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.

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.