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  1. Unionization: Is it Enhancing the Postdoc Experience? NAS: March 8, 2012 Christine D. Des Jarlais Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs UCSF Graduate Division

  2. University of California Ten-Campus System 6,309

  3. 6,309 UC Postdocs

  4. UCSF 1,100 Postdocs AGE VISA

  5. Policy/Unionization Timeline

  6. Before Contract: COSEPUP recs implemented at UC • Postdoc-only policy, APM 390 (2003) • Postdoc-only benefits plan (2005) • Increased communication between University and PD • Annual review required (but not written or enforced) • 5-year time limit

  7. COSEPUP recs,cont. • Full access to Career Center (at UCSF, UCB) • Appointment letter required • Minimum salary established • Postdoc data collected • 3 unique title codes • PDO and PDA established • International Office • Faculty mentoring program

  8. Why did Postdocs Unionize? Possible factors: Postdocs….. Faculty…… UAW……

  9. Powerless

  10. Stressed

  11. Invisible

  12. Faculty

  13. Faculty Mentor? Or Tor-Mentor?

  14. The self-replicating professor… Not enough faculty positions Need to train for other careers

  15. The UAW

  16. UAW has represented 12,000 UC graduate students since 1999

  17. UAW Membership and Dues Dropping

  18. Bargaining • Teams • Within team dynamics • Unusual power dynamics • Classic leverage points not applicable --Will Postdocs Really Strike? UAW said UC was stalling • Congressional hearing • 17 months

  19. Needed to educate UAW & LR staff • Brought in experts: • Contracts & Grants • Benefits Brokers • International experts Result: 1ststand alone PD union contract

  20. The Contract:~42% of all postdocs went to the polls Of those who voted, 96% voted YES

  21. UC-UAW Contract • Pre-employment issues still in UC control • Covers postdocs in all 3 title codes • Preserved Academic Judgment • What is not in contract is retained as management right • No Direct Dealing • No Strike Article

  22. ACADEMIC JUDGMENT • Preserved as a management right: • Recruitment, Appointment, Qualifications • Assignment of duties and responsibilities • Communication & mentoring • Work performance standards • Decision to discipline, dismiss, layoff • Determine research topics, goals, quality, etc • Determine all aspects of presentations and publications • Timing & amount of merit increases • Typically cannot be arbitrated

  23. Compensation • Phase in NIH/NRSA scale • Starting June 1, 2011, all new appointments made to NRSA scale • Nothing precludes University from paying higher $ • All PD appointed Aug 31, 2010 or earlier got ATB increase Sept 1, 2010 • Not required to provide salary increase between Sept 2010 through May 31, 2011

  24. BENEFITS • UC PSBP: health, dental, vision, STD, Life Insurance, AD&D, optional LTD • At UCSF and UCSC, PIs must continue to cover benefits costs for dependents • 2012: Postdocs started making contributions to HMO • Personal Time Off: 24 days/yrat start of appointment • Sick Leave: 12 days/yr at start of appt

  25. IDPs and Progress Assessments • IDP Not Required:but if Postdoc wants to create one, a process must be followed that includes PI input • Required: PI must communicate research and progress expectations at start of each appointment year • Required: informal periodic progress assessments and writtenannual review • Not Grievable: Quality of mentoring / contentof performance evals and progress assessments • Grievable: Not following processfor creating IDPs, doing progress assessments and performance evals

  26. Significant Changes: APM 390 vs Contract • Policy was not as enforceable • Just Cause standard for D&D (not “just because”) • Arbitration • FMLA-like leave for those not eligible for FMLA • Paid PTO & Sick Leave not accrued – given up-front • IDPs & written evaluations • Labor-Management Meetings for ongoing discussions and flow of information • Union requests for information

  27. No Substantive Changes • Definition of a PD – still trainees • Recruiting and hiring process • Benefits • Retirement for PD Employees • Layoff procedure • D&D procedures • Grievance procedure

  28. Union Contract and COSEPUP • Compensation commensurate with PD contributions to research… • Written performance expectations & annual review • PD have major input into union contract • Requiring better quality data • Forces university to review PD status and experience

  29. Faculty Reaction • Slow to respond to organizing campaign • Very apprehensive • After contract • Relationship with individual PD – no real change • Research & lab dynamics – no real change • Mostly unaware of contract provisions • Not really doing anything differently

  30. Postdoc Reactions • Positive: LARGE ally behind them • Positive: Salary now must increase each appt year • Negative: Union tactics too aggressive • Negative: Mandatory fees (for those who don’t join) • Wary of going to union about PI problems • Confusion about distinctions among union, PDA, and PDO

  31. PowerDifferential Still a Big Issue • Union has not made a big difference at the individual level • Union does make big difference at institutional level • PD see Union as “watchdog”

  32. International Postdocs • Increasing numbers and percentages • Differing cultural issues • Role remains largely unexplored • US offers prestige & better wages • Some hope H1B will lead to PR • Some evidence that Faculty treat international PD differently • Some internationals appointed in non-PD titles • Lower wages • Little PI accountability

  33. Impact of unionization? • Too soon to tell • Will UC be more or less competitive for postdocs? • Fewer or more postdocs? • Will faculty behavior change? • Will relationship between PI and postdoc change? • For vast majority of PIs and PD, probably not much difference • For the few problem PIs and PDs, unionization likely to make significant difference

  34. Enhancing the PD Experience: Vol 2 • Focus on International PD • COLA • More guidance in choosing a lab • More attention paid to the needs of women PD: Improved childbearing and parental leave • Learn from URM PD • Retirement options for PD on stipends • Allow postdocs to be PIs • Exit surveys and tracking esp for PD networking

  35. Fundamental Disconnect Funding agencies and COSEPUP need more dialogue to get in sync – there is a NEW REALITY

  36. Changing the research system? • Faculty? • Cheap and disposable trainees • System itself is exploitative • Career structure is broken • Would research grind to a haltwithout ready supply of PD?

  37. Who can fix the Research Enterprise?

  38. What’s good for the Postdoc is good for the Research Enterprise

  39. Is unionization necessary? It boils down to the individual faculty member:

  40. Additional Resources UC-UAW Postdoc Union Contract: http://atyourservice.ucop.edu/employees/policies_employee_labor_relations/collective_bargaining_units/post_docs/agreement.html Publications on international postdocs: • “Unseen Workers in the Academic Factory: Perceptions of Neoracism Among International Postdocs in the United States and the United Kingdom,” Brendan Cantwell& Jenny J. Lee http://her.hepg.org/content/w54750105q78p451/ • “Academic in-sourcing: international postdoctoral employment and new modes of academic production,” http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1360080X.2011.550032 • Transnational Mobility and International Academic Employment: Gatekeeping in an Academic Competition Arena” http://www.springerlink.com/content/e17t0168633x200h/

  41. Chris Des Jarlais Christine.desjarlais@ucsf.edu