UC Davis Postdoctoral Researcher Jeffery Gussis says negotiations are over wages and future work hours

UC Davis Postdoctoral Researcher Jeffery Gussis says negotiations are over wages and future work hours

UC postdoctoral scholars, researchers reach tentative deal but will remain on strike

Posted: Wednesday, April 28, 2008

By Kevin R. Johnson

An effort to end the strike over conditions of employment at the University of California, Davis, postdoctoral researcher Jeffery Gussis said Wednesday that the negotiations with administrators over wages and future work hours may soon be resolved.

The strike is over a question of whether the university will allow postdoctoral students to perform research work on campus, rather than perform their work in other locations and take their stipends home. The university’s decision, which the union says violates academic workers’ academic freedom and the UC Davis’s employment policies, has prompted members of the Association of University and Technical College Faculty to strike at least three times in the past three weeks.

The dispute has reached the point of having the university’s decision reversed. The union is expected to file an appeal with the Board of Regents on April 29, according to Gussis. The board’s decision to reverse the university’s position is expected to take place within the next week, he said.

Gussis said he is “very optimistic” about the possibility of an agreement, with the union likely to take “a lot of concessions.”

Gussis said that negotiators who have been present for the past few weeks have been negotiating with the UC Davis president, Marye Anne Fox, and with UC Davis Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Tom Kopp.

“Those negotiations are very encouraging,” Gussis said.

The strike would end if Gussis can secure a contract that is within the terms accepted by the faculty union, which will call another strike if no agreement can be reached.

According to Gussis, the union is offering to return all wages after 12 weeks of service and make its members eligible to collect stipends in other locations as well as in California.

Gussis said the offer of 12 weeks of service, as well as the offer of a flexible schedule and the ability to travel, would make UC Davis a “much more attractive place” for postdoctoral researchers.

The research program at UC Davis offers postdoctoral researchers who have completed a doctoral degree the opportunity to continue their studies at the university.

One of the conditions for accepting the position is that postdoctoral researchers remain in California during the work term. The postdoctoral workers make their

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