Thursday, January 3, 2019

Dear Colleague,

Happy New Year and hope you had a fun and relaxing break! In the new year, we look forward to having our union certified and beginning to bargain the first-ever Academic Researcher contract with UC administration. But first, we wanted to briefly look back at what we achieved in 2018.

UCSC ARs at an Organizing Committee meeting early in the campaign.

A Historic Organizing Campaign
In late 2017, a group of Academic Researchers came to a collective decision that it was essential for ARs to form a union. One year and literally thousands of conversations later, a majority of ARs from each of the four AR job titles (Researcher, Project Scientist, Specialist, and CPP) have signed authorization cards in support of forming our union, Academic Researchers United / UAW 5810. With nearly 5,000 ARs across the 10 UC campuses, we are the largest-ever union of Academic Researchers in the United States!

Postdoc and AR Advocacy

UCSD Researchers canvassed for newly elected US Representative Mike Levin.

Our union has also been active this year in fighting for better conditions for ARs, Postdocs, and workers in general. Here are just a few of many examples:

  • In response to the Trump administration’s discriminatory new rules that target Chinese visa holders, we launched a petition and worked with members of Congress Judy Chu (San Gabriel Valley) and Pramila Jayapal (Seattle) to build support for repealing them.
  • As the #MeToo movement accelerated on campuses nationwide, we worked to improve UC’s sexual harassment and sexual violence policy and supported California legislation that will help survivors win justice.
  • In the run-up to the midterm elections, we put together a list of pro-science, pro-public education, pro-worker candidates (“The Science Slate”) then knocked doors and made calls to support them. 90% of our endorsed candidates won their races!

Press Coverage of our Union
Our union reaching majority support was covered in both the local and national press, and longtime New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse called it “a big win for labor.” This widespread coverage was indicative of how our effort, and the campaigns of tens of thousands of other academic employees across the country, is increasingly gaining national prominence and power.

What’s Next?
Despite majority support, UC chose not to recognize our union because “The University reasonably doubts the appropriateness of the proposed unit.” We find UC’s position unacceptable, and in fact PERB—the State agency with the authority to make such decisions— has previously ruled that ARs are part of an appropriate unit. We are hoping to meet soon with UC administrators and PERB in hopes that this can be resolved amicably and our union can be certified. Ultimately, PERB can order a hearing if UC does not drop their objections voluntarily.

In the meantime, we are continuing to prepare for bargaining! There are many ways that you can get involved, including helping with outreach to other ARs, research to inform bargaining proposals, or communications about our campaign. Contact us to get involved, and be sure to fill out our bargaining survey if you have not already.

Lastly, please take a moment to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get all the news and updates. And, as always, you can contact us at if you have any questions.

In solidarity,

Academic Researchers United Organizing Committee

UC Berkeley
Holly Aaron, Specialist
Fred Bauman, Project Scientist
Sadie Costello, Assistant Researcher
Benjamin Croze, Junior Specialist
Mark Delucci, Researcher
Vincent Guacci, Assistant Researcher
Howard Isaacson, Specialist
Bo Liu, Associate Specialist
Sa Liu, Associate Researcher
Benjamin Lynch, Associate Researcher
Karen Orlando, Coordinator of Public Programs
Jessica Penchos, Coordinator of Public Programs
Isabella Rauch, Associate Specialist
Anatalia Robles, Associate Specialist
Kelsie Scruggs, Coordinator of Public Programs
Adam Zeilinger, Associate Specialist

UC Davis
Omran Abu Aboud, Assistant Researcher
Gerard Arino Estrada, Assistant Project Scientist
Leah Hartman, Junior Specialist
Tony Herren, Assistant Project Scientist
Karam Kim, Project Scientist
Sergio Silva, Junior Specialist
Vikrant Singh, Project Scientist

UC Irvine
Andrea Anzalone, Project Scientist
Briac Halbout, Assistant Project Scientist
Guaciara M. dos Santos, Project Scientist
Christopher Ma, Associate Specialist
Rongwei Mao, Associate Specialist
Kishore Pangaluru, Assistant Project Scientist
Amanda Wortman, Specialist

UC Los Angeles
Silvia Diaz-Perez, Associate Project Scientist
Stephen Hancock, Assistant Project Scientist
Christian Hofmann, Assistant Project Scientist
Laura Marinelli, Assistant Researcher
Dennis Montoya, Assistant Researcher
Manash Paul, Assistant Project Scientist
Christina Priest, Assistant Project Scientist
Anna Salazar, Assistant Project Scientist
Jiannis Taxidis, Assistant Project Scientist
Rosane Teles, Assistant Project Scientist
Fen Fen Wu, Associate Project Scientist
Paolo Zimmaro, Assistant Project Scientist
Elizabeth Zuniga-Sanchez, Assistant Researcher

UC Merced
David Quint, Associate Project Scientist
Arianna Campiani, Associate Specialist
Mourad Sadqi, Assistant Project Scientist

UC Riverside
Ahmed Farouk Abdalla, Assistant Project Scientist
Maria Irigoyen, Assistant Project Scientist
Miguel Lopez, Assistant Project Scientist

UC Santa Barbara
Heda Agic, Visiting Researcher
Evangeline Ballerini, Associate Specialist
Patrick Callahan, Associate Specialist
Brandon Kuczenski, Researcher
Jean-Charles Stinville, Associate Specialist

UC Santa Cruz
Sergio Covarrubias, Associate Specialist
Paul Mattern, Assistant Researcher
Andreas Rechtsteiner, Associate Project Scientist
Lisa Schwarz, Assistant Researcher
Stella Villegas, Assistant Project Scientist

UC San Diego
Rain Bosworth, Associate Researcher
Hugo Carreira, Assistant Project Scientist
Saikat Chakraborty Thakur, Associate Project Scientist
Ching-Wen Chang, Assistant Project Scientist
Mateusz Gola, Assistant Researcher
Leonardo Nogueria, Assistant Researcher
Sonia Podvin, Assistant Project Scientist
“Rina” Catherina Salanga, Assistant Project Scientist
Francesca Soncin, Assistant Project Scientist
Thomas Touboul, Assistant Project Scientist
Jonathan Yu, Associate Project Scientist
Chun Zheng, Assistant Project Scientist

UC San Francisco
Oliver Bogen, Associate Researcher
Luke Bonser, Assistant Researcher
Jocelyne Fadiga, Junior Specialist
Royce Harner, Assistant Specialist
Sahar Houshdaran, Specialist
Maria Luisa Mandelli, Assistant Researcher
Nicole Nasholm, Associate Specialist
Ajay Ravindranathan, Specialist
Maike Roth, Assistant Specialist
Veronica Steri, Associate Specialist
Theo Tarver, Assistant Specialist
Tanner Wakefield, Assistant Specialist