Inform new postdocs!

Since the UC administration and the PRO/UAW union still haven’t reached an agreement during their negotiations and consequently there is still no collective contract (which is a good thing!) the union is still trying to recruit people using the same methods that they have used in the past. See the authorization cards section.

Since postdocs are employed for 1-2-3 years typically, as time goes by many of them leave. As a result, the authorization cards that the union has ‘expire’ so to speak, because the person who has signed it leaves UC. If the union would not do anything, after some time they would have no valid cards left. Hence, they are trying as hard as ever to collect cards using the same deceptive techniques as before.

The best targets for them are the new postdocs who potentially do not know anything about the unionization story so they are easy to fraud. Hence it is very important that new postdocs are alerted and are offered a complete picture about UAW and about unionization in general. Only then they can judge for themselves whether they want to sign the cards or not.

Please inform the new postdocs at your department about unionization and the past practices of UAW!

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Having doubts?

We were asked a couple of times: the union reps are saying one thing, I read another thing on this website, how do I know who is telling the truth?

That is a very good question and anyone can find the answer by calling the PERB (Public Employment Relations Board) The PERB is a California state agency whose mission is (from their webiste):

“The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB or Board) is a quasi-judicial administrative agency charged with administering the collective bargaining statutes covering employees of California’s public schools, colleges, and universities, employees of the State of California, employees of California local public agencies (cities, counties and special districts), trial court employees andsupervisory employees of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.”

In other words they know what the applicable labor laws are concerning UC postdoc unionization and they are a neutral and impartial body.

The regional director is Anita Martinez, you can find her phone number here: http://www.perb.ca.gov/contact/PhoneDir_SF.aspx

You can call her (usually her phone is switched off but if you leave a name and phone number on her voice mail she will get back to you) and ask her about all the labor law related questions you might have. You can specifically ask about:

  1. confirmation of decertification process as detailed under the decertification section
  2. confirmation that the labor union could decide to collect fees and dues from members only (but UAW chooses to charge everybody, even non-members, around $300-400 annually)
  3. confirmation about the history of UAW at UC in 2006
  4. any other topic related to postdoc unionization at UC

Once you collected the impartial and neutral information from a California state agency you can decide for yourself who you believe, the UAW or the information you read here.

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Still no contract

We have been asked this question by many.

The fact is that the UC administration and the union still has not reached an agreement. This means that there is still no collective contract. This also means that the union can not collect fees and dues. Once a collective contract is negotiated and an agreement is reached, the union will start collecting fees and dues, around $300-400 annually from every postdoc, including those who do not wish to be a member. Hence we hope the UC administration and the union will not reach an agreement for the foreseeable future.

Additionally, we are in the process of evaluating the best strategy for collecting signatures for ‘no representation’. These need to be collected, sorted, etc, and once we have 50%+1 they can be attached to a petition to be sent to PERB. Then the PERB organizes a vote and if the outcome is that the majority indeed does not want representation, the union will cease to exist. For more details please see the decertification section.

Stay tuned, once we have a good strategy for collecting signatures, it will be announced here and postdocs will be contacted so nothing will happen without all postdocs knowing about it.

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