We call on the university to enact family-friendly policies for Graduate Student Research Assistants, Postdoctoral Scholars and other employees including improved parental/family leave, childcare subsidies and healthcare coverage for all dependents.
UC employees, including Research Assistants and Postdoctoral Scholars, often work long hours and make important contributions to the University of California and society as a whole. However, it is often difficult for these workers to balance family lives with their work demands. This stress negatively affects both workers and the academy as a whole. According to a study by Mary Ann Mason at UC Berkeley (1), more women are obtaining Ph.D.s in science than ever before, but those women — in many cases due to pressures from having a family — are far more likely than their male counterparts to “leak” out of the pipeline before obtaining tenure at a college or university. Under-representation of women in senior roles has been a longstanding problem within academia.
We also demand that UC drop its opposition to giving Graduate Student Research Assistants the freedom to choose for themselves whether to form a union and bargain collectively – the same rights currently held by all other UC employees including the Teaching Assistants, Research Associates, and Postdoctoral Scholars who work alongside them.
(1) Mary Ann Mason, Marc Goulden, and Karie Frasch,“Keeping Women in the Science Pipeline,” UC Berkeley (2010)