UConn Postdocs Initial Bargaining Goals Vote
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We, Postdoctoral Research Associates at the University of Connecticut, present the following goals to improve our working conditions and to advance the mission of the University – to serve the public through research, education, and public service. These goals build from surveys filled out by a supermajority of Postdocs at UConn.

Together, these goals reflect both the specific needs of Postdocs and a greater vision for our research community. We aim to ensure fair pay and benefits for all Postdocs; to support all Postdocs’ nascent independent research careers; to provide greater stability for non-citizen researchers; to ensure Postdocs with families can afford childcare and associated costs; and to build a truly inclusive, accessible, and diverse research community free from harassment and discrimination.

We firmly believe that improving the working conditions of Postdocs will enhance the recruitment and retention of leading researchers that help make the University of Connecticut a world-renowned, cutting-edge research institution. Our goals for our first collective bargaining agreement include, but are not limited to, the following:

Fair Wage
Improve pay for all Postdocs, including a significant increase in the minimum salary, guaranteed annual increases, and regular cost of living adjustments.

Retirement
Establish access to retirement benefits equivalent to other state employees.

Parking and Transit Benefits
Improve affordability and access to University parking and transit services on all campuses at which Postdocs are employed by the University.

Campus Facilities
Ensure free access to campus facilities, including recreational facilities.

Fair Grievance and Arbitration Procedure
Establish a fair grievance procedure with the option of neutral, binding arbitration.

Appointment Notification, Length and Job Security
Establish fair appointment notification, appointments with durations longer than one year, public posting of all Postdoc jobs, access to personnel files and evaluations, a fair evaluation process, the same employment non-renewal termination notification length for all Postdocs, and fair processes for subcontracting, layoff, discipline and dismissal, including establishment of just cause.

Workplace Safety and Workload
Ensure a safe and healthy work environment, provision of personal space convenient to the workplace, necessary workspace and materials, the establishment of reasonable workload protections, and guaranteed workers’ compensation coverage for on- and off-campus workplace-related injuries.

Equity
Establish policies and practices that promote equity and diversity in the Postdoc workforce and changes to those that perpetuate patterns of disadvantage, discrimination, and harassment.

Discrimination and Harassment
Establish stronger protections against discrimination and harassment, especially sexual harassment and racism experienced in the workplace, fair grievance procedures, access to neutral and binding arbitration, and improvements to the processing of discrimination and harassment claims.

Childcare and Family Leave
Establish access to and significant financial support for childcare, including improved access to lactation facilities, priority access to and subsidization of on-campus childcare facilities, and paid leave of absence for leaves due to parenthood, childbearing, and family care.

Health Benefits and Mental Health Coverage
Ensure immediate access to high-quality and affordable health, dental and vision care for all Postdocs and all dependents, regardless of funding source or citizenship status, including benefits matching or exceeding those of faculty, expanded and improved mental health coverage, and subsidized repatriation insurance.

Visas and Immigration
Expedite and support visa processing and the transition to permanent residency, full coverage of visa and immigration-related costs, pay during processing and background checks, the ability of individual Postdocs to elect their visa type, free legal advice regarding visas and immigration status, and support for international postdocs targeted by discriminatory state/federal policies.

Professional Development and Academic Rights
Ensure Postdocs’ right to be Principal Investigators on research grants, control over the dissemination of research products produced through our labor, and provision of funds to cover the costs of work-related travel, access to free career services, opportunities for compensated teaching, and paid time off for job interviews.

Training and Orientation
Improve training and new-hire orientation for all Postdocs, including tuition waivers for courses.

Leave and Vacation
Ensure compensation for leaves of absence including leaves for sickness, disability, parenthood, childbearing, family care, bereavement, jury duty and witness services, military duty, personal time off, safe leave for domestic or other violence victims, the establishment of paid vacation and holiday policies, the ability to roll-over unused annual leave, and compensation for unused leave upon termination.

Union Rights
Ensure a union orientation for each new Postdoc and include clauses in our contract that ensure Union Recognition, Union Access and Rights, Union Security, Severability, Past Practices and Policies, Successorship, and Duration.

Signed,
UConn Postdoc Union, UAW Local 6950 Bargaining Committee
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