An Update: UAW Local 5810’s Contract Bargaining

As you may know, UAW Local 5810, the union for 6,500 postdocs across UC, is currently in bargaining for a new contract with UC management. 5810’s overall goal is to make progress toward building a research enterprise that truly reflects postdocs’ best and brightest scientific minds and likewise impacts UC’s ability to recruit and retain talented scholars from around the world, with a commitment to a climate that is welcoming to women and people of color. You can read more about their bargaining demands and progress here:
Since bargaining began in May, UC has stalled and delayed the process, sent people to the table without the authority to bargain, not responded to several of the union’s requests for information, and refused to honor previous agreements they had made regarding the process for bargaining over postdocs’ health benefits. UC administration took over two months to respond to proposals on topics like compensation.

5810’s goal is to bargain in good faith and reach an agreement with UC by September 30th, the day 5810’s contract expires. But UC isn’t playing “fair”—in fact, they are engaging in unlawful labor practices. And these practices might prevent postdocs from reaching a fair agreement with UC despite days and days of bargaining.

On September 1st, 3,468 postdocs (96.6% of all votes) at all 10 UC campuses voted resoundingly to authorize their bargaining team to call a strike if circumstances justify. Any strike would be prompted by UC’s unlawful conduct (unfair labor practices). At this time there has been no decision to strike.

However, we would like to inform you about your rights should UAW Local 5810 call for an Unfair Labor Practice strike. In solidarity with our brothers and sisters at 5810, members can chose to not to teach sections, hold tutoring sessions, grade papers, or perform other duties as teaching assistants, tutors, and readers. If you choose to not work that day, UC may choose not to pay for the work you do not perform; however, you cannot otherwise be disciplined.

In solidarity,
UAW Local 2865