United Auto Workers 5810 — one of the three University of California unions currently striking — reached a tentative agreement with the UC today on new five-year contracts for postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers under the union.

Kayla Li / Daily Nexus.

The union’s announcement of the agreement arrived during the third week of the largest higher education strike ever, which has seen around 48,000 members of three United Auto Workers (UAW) unions withhold labor across all UC campuses. Negotiations for new contracts for postdoctoral students and academic researchers began in July 2021 and May 2022, respectively.

UAW 5810 said in a statement that agreements related to cost-of-living adjustments, improved parental leave and further protections for workers with disabilities are among the demands that will benefit postdoctoral students and academic researchers.

Under the tentative agreements, the majority of postdoctoral students will receive salary increases between 20% and 23% by October 2023 and 100% paid parental and family leave for eight weeks, up from the current four weeks. The contract will also provide “protections if immigration laws change” and childcare subsidies starting at $2,500 a year, the statement read.

Academic researchers will receive an average 29% salary increase under the new agreement, according to the union. Members will now receive 100% pay for eight weeks of parental and family leave, up from the current 70% pay. 

Both units will see further protections for workers with disabilities that go beyond the minimum requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. A long-sought “respectful workplace environment” article is included in both units’ tentative agreements, which protects against abusive behavior and bullying from superiors. The article was included only after all three striking unions fought for its inclusion.

Further details related to the ratification of the agreements are set to be announced soon, the union said. Even as agreements have been made with the UC, UAW 5810 will continue striking in support of UAW 2865 and Student Researchers United as the two unions continue to seek concessions from the UC. 


Mark Alfred
Mark Alfred (he/him) was the University News Editor for the 2022-23 school year.