By MALLORY GRUBEN
Postdoctoral fellows at Oregon Health and Sciences University have asked to unionize with Oregon AFSCME.
On April 7, a majority of about 240 eligible “postdoc” research staff signed union authorization cards and asked the state Employment Relations Board to hold a union election for Postdoc Workers United, a new affiliate of AFSCME. The unit would represent postgraduate researchers seeking further training in preparation for a tenure-track faculty job.
PWU supporters say they support unionization because they want a voice in decisions about pay, benefits, work hours, and equity policies. Nearly half of the workers eligible for the unit are international postdocs recruited from around the world for their expertise.
Oregon AFSCME represents more than 35,000 workers in the public sector, including more than 8,000 workers at OHSU. The university is Oregon’s only academic health center and is nationally recognized as a leader in healthcare, education, and advanced biomedical research.