For too long, many colleges and universities have relied on up to 90,000 over-worked and underpaid postdoctoral appointees (postdocs) in this country. Changes in academia over the past decades have led to the creation of the postdoc as a source of cheap labor, without the stability, benefits, or hope of advancement that one would expect for a workforce with advanced training.
Postdocs aren’t taking these indignities sitting down. Across the country, postdocs are uniting with other higher education workers to create a movement. By joining unions like SEIU, these postdocs are standing up to demand that colleges and universities prioritize spending on instruction and research, instead of administrative salaries and other management bloat.
It is up to us as postdocs to come together and advocate for improved postdoc working conditions and student learning conditions. Find out more below about ways you can participate immediately in this movement as well as information on regulations and other activities affecting postdocs around the country.
Postdocs Working Conditions Survey
Your responses to the following survey are important to understanding the working conditions all postdocs face.This survey for postdocs should take less than 10 minutes to complete. All information you provide is confidential.
Postdoc Overtime Rule Factsheet
In a significant victory for working people in higher education, the U.S. Department of Labor, under President Obama, issued new rules on overtime, raising the salary threshold for a full-year worker to $47,476. This fact sheet explains how the new overtime rules impact postdocs and other higher education workers.
Postdoctoral Housing Win in Minnesota
On May 11, on the heels of an active campaign to protect their housing rights, University of Minnesota’s international researchers won the right to remain in their campus-based homes after being threatened with eviction. It’s a perfect example of what can happen when postdocs work together.
The overtime rules received praise from several postdoc allies:
- President Obama called the changes “one of most important steps we’re taking to help grow middle-class wages.”
- The U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said the new rules would “enrich the future of our research enterprise.”
- The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) called it “a positive step towards achieving our goal of increasing compensation for postdoctoral researchers nationwide.”
- SEIU President Mary Kay Henry called it a “huge victory for higher education, and beyond.”
- The California Faculty Association said the changes will “revive the spirit of the FLSA.”
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