October 14, 2016


SUBJECT:    Postdoctoral Scholar Contract Bargaining Update

The University of California has reached tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers (UAW) on a four-year contract covering more than 6,500 postdocs including newly added postdocs at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The agreement fairly compensates postdocs for their contributions, provides support for employees with families and is financially sound for the university.

"Since bargaining began in June, we've worked hard to be responsive to the union's concerns while balancing the university's needs," said Dwaine B. Duckett, vice president of system-wide human resources. "We're pleased that we've been able to work through the issues and reach a fair agreement."

Highlights of the tentative agreement are:

. A new salary scale effective December 1, 2016 that matches the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Experience Scale and begins at step 2 of the NIH scale, providing a wage increase of about 10 percent for entry-level postdocs at the lowest step of the salary scale.

. All full-time postdocs will remain exempt employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

. Annual increases, which include salary range adjustments tied to the NIH scale as well as step increases.

. In response to the postdoctoral scholar request for more family-friendly support, postdocs will receive four weeks of paid parental leave, in addition to the 24 days of personal time off that postdocs currently receive.

. Additional appointment security for postdocs who are appointed beyond one year.

. Enhanced protections for postdocs who have complaints about sexual harassment.

. A four-year contract expiring September 30, 2020 that provides postdocs and the university with certainty and stability.

The university and the union began bargaining a new contract in June 2016. The tentative agreement was reached on October 5th, shortly after the previous contract expired on September 30, 2016. Union members are voting on the tentative agreement this week, and final ratification is expected later this month. Once ratified, detailed information will be available at Jennifer Oh, Director of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs, will hold campuswide training sessions in November.

If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Oh at (858) 534-6632 or

Sandra A. Brown
Vice Chancellor for Research