Univesity of Connecticut postdocs sign a historic contract: “This is something historical,” and a move that may encourage other postdocs to organize as well, Munirathinam Subramani, a postdoctoral fellow in the UConn Neuroscience Department and one of the principal organizers, told The Scientist. The agreement includes a 26.7% spike in the minimum salary, from $27,000 to $34,200—equivalent to the minimum starting salary for postdoctoral fellows set by the National Institutes of Health. After 1 year, UConn postdocs making the new minimum will experience another 5.3% increase in wages, from $34,200 to $36,000. Postdocs who make more than the new minimum will receive 3% more wages this year and an additional 3.25% next year. The agreement ensures that postdocs will receive 12 paid sick days and 30 additional vacation days, also paid. Approximately 60% of UConn postdocs currently make less than the new minimum salary, making this a “wonderful package,” said Subramani. The agreement comes only months after postdocs first voted, by a slim margin, to join a union representing 1900 other UConn Health Center workers. Prior to joining the union, organizers said they had spent years negotiating with the university for acceptable standards for working conditions, including salaries, benefits, and vacation.


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