They are some of the smartest people in the nation. Proving just how smart they are, the 6,500 postdoctoral researchers in the University of California (UC) system became union members and negotiated a first-ever union contract even though Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed cutting $2.5 billion from education in his budget proposal.
When they’re not devising strategies to successfully negotiate contracts in tough economic times, these postdocs conduct research on cancer, stem cells, climate change, alternative fuels and many other cutting-edge fields in science and engineering. In fact, UC’s researchers represent some 10 percent of all postdoctoral researchers in the United States.
These members of Postdoctoral Researchers Organize/UAW (PRO/UAW) reached a tentative agreement with university administrators Aug. 1.” This is a great tentative agreement,” said Xiaoqing Cao, a biochemist from UCLA and member of the PRO/UAW bargaining committee.
We’ve improved compensation and our rights at UC and have helped set standards for postdocs across the country.
Says UAW President Bob King:
This agreement demonstrates that when workers come together to form unions—no matter where they work—they can achieve great things.