Thursday, March 13, 2019

Dear Colleague,

My name is Benjamin Lynch and I’m an Associate Research Physicist at the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley. I am part of the 25-person Academic Researchers United / UAW 5810 bargaining team and I’m proud that we represent a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Over the past couple of months, we have been working hard to collect bargaining surveys and talk to our colleagues to craft demands that will address and correct major issues at UC to benefit every Academic Researcher.

The Initial Bargaining Demands document summarizes the four main areas that encompass and will inform our bargaining priorities. So far, over 1,500 Academic Researchers have read and endorsed the Initial Bargaining Demands! In order to create enough leverage for a contract that will support us and all of our work, we are asking everyone to please read and endorse the demands.

Through bargaining, we intend to win protections and improvements for all soft money researchers, from early career researchers to independent principal investigators. All Academic Researchers deserve to be compensated at a level that reflects the value we bring to UC, all new parents should have access to paid leave, and no International researcher should have to work under the stress of short term visas or inadequate support for transitioning to permanent residency.

As a bargaining team member, PI, and Associate Researcher, I support these demands because I think UC can do *much* more to support research. Too many independent researchers have to deal with constant stress around job security and the grant funding treadmill. More of UC’s financial resources, much of which we ourselves generate, should go to supporting our research programs – not to paying expensive outside legal counsel to deny us our democratically chosen union.

We will continue to take feedback and urge everyone to continue to participate when we go to the bargaining table. But right now, I ask that you please help us take the first step by reading and endorsing the bargaining demands today!

In solidarity,

Ben