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Postdocs Negotiate Pact With University of California

From Science Careers's blog, an end to a year and a half of wrangling:

Perhaps the longest-running soap opera in academic science ended early Saturday morning when PRO/UAW, the union representing the more than 5000 postdocs on the University of California's 10 campuses, reached a tentative agreement on a first contract with the University of California.

The new agreement adopts the pay scale used for postdocs funded by the National Institutes of Health. After the break, some details of the deal.

From the PRO/UAW's site:

Historic PRO/UAW Tentative Agreement

July 31, 2010

Dear PRO/UAW Postdocs:

After a 29 and 1/2 hour marathon bargaining session this Thursday, Friday and very early Saturday morning, we reached agreement on our ground-breaking first contract with UC. Exhaustion requires us to keep our remarks brief right now, but we will follow this quick update soon with more details about the contract and ratification process. Here is a very short summary of what we settled in this last session.

-- NIH/NRSA pay scale as a minimum wage for all new Postdocs. Phasing in over the next four years the NIH/NRSA step system for all existing Postdocs (and those appointed before June 2011). Postdocs on NIH steps will have their pay increase annually by the percentage that the NIH steps increase and by advancing to the next NIH step after each year of employment.

-- Annual 2% minimum wage increase for all Postdocs who are paid above their experience step level.

-- 3% up front wage increase effective October 1 2010 for all Postdocs earning less than $47,000 per year. 1.5% up front wage increase effective October 1 2010 for all Postdocs earning $47,000 or more.

-- 1 year minimum length of appointments.

-- No strikes: we agreed to language as the majority of UC unions not to go on strike for the life of the agreement.

-- Layoff protections.

-- No changes to healthcare for 2 years. Limited premium sharing starting in the third year. Limited possibility for renegotiating of healthcare costs for 2012.

-- This is for a 5 year agreement.

More details about the agreement and the ratification process to follow shortly!

Good morning,

The PRO/UAW Bargaining Team
Oki O'Connor
Laura Bartley
Pesach Lubinsky
Neal Sweeney
Xiaoqing Cao
Norval Hickman
Kirill Afonin