At the University of California and the University of Washington, organized Postdoctoral Researchers and other academic workers have made critical improvements in the workplace and advanced political power by organizing. Being affiliated with the national UAW means joining the union’s 65,000 organized academic workers nationwide. Tapping into the support and resources of the UAW’s network enhances the power of academic workers to win improvements at the university, state and even federal level including science funding and immigration reform. As the single largest union for graduate student employees and Postdocs in the US, UAW has achieved important progress due to the strength of its membership, long-standing relationships and unique knowledge of the issues.

Read more about the progress organized Postdocs and other academic workers have won at UC and UW:

Science Funding

Science is under attack by the Trump administration. Scientists, researchers and academic workers are not powerless to stop these attacks, however. In fact, organizing is one solution to the problem – by increasing power, the research community is better able to reject the attacks on critical funding for scientific agencies, research grants, climate science and more. UAW Local 5810 (the Union of Postdocs at UC) has long fought to protect national science funding, including back during the Sequester when billions of dollars in cuts were threatened. The UC Postdoc Union rallied the support of key legislators across the country to oppose these devastating cuts to science and innovation, and they will be taking to the streets again for candidates and leaders who support fact-based research and increased investments in science and research funding. Read more:

Visa & Immigration

Particularly in this time of high uncertainty around immigration and visas, unions of academic workers have a unique role to play in defending members’ rights to live and work in the US. With a high percentage of international members, UAW 5810 (the Union of Postdocs at UC) devotes key resources to supporting International Postdocs, and improving visa and appointment policies to reduce administrative distractions and enhance job security. UAW has played in active role in opposing Trump’s travel ban, and backs candidates and officeholders who support immigration reform and the value that talented individuals from around the globe contribute to the science and research community. Read more:

Gender Equity

One of UAW Local 5810’s (the Union of Postdocs at UC) key issues during their last round of bargaining was to stop gender inequity at UC. The pervasive sexual harassment crisis in the sciences, including at UC, is forcing many talented women out of promising careers, and organized Postdocs and academic workers are dedicated to reversing this unacceptable reality. The Union of Postdocs is focused on changing UC’s policies on sexual harassment and assault, and improving other policies like paid family leave and childcare subsidies. Read more:

Workers’ Rights

UAW Local 5810 (the Union of Postdocs at UC) bargains for new workplace rights and protections on topics including health and safety, layoff and dismissal and non-discrimination. In addition to helping win increased rights for workers, Local 5810 is there to make sure new policies are implemented and enforced. Read more:

Fair Pay

UC Postdocs have won significant increases in compensation since unionizing, and continue to push for compensation commensurate with achievement. Local 5810 (the Union of Postdocs at UC) played a key role during negotiations in Washington, D.C., and successfully ensured Postdocs as well as Assistant and Associate Specialists were eligible for overtime pay in the Department of Labor’s new rule, despite UC’s efforts to exclude them. Read more: