UW Postdocs are covered by the following: 

(Download PDF copy)

  • Before having a union there was no minimum salary for postdocs – some people were making below $37,000 a year.
  • In our most recent contract, we won a minimum salary scale that raised wages by 8-12% based on the 2021 NIH wage scale in blue. 
  • This is the union difference, as only campuses with Postdoc unions have been able to win guaranteed minimum wages. 
Years of Postdoc Experience Compensation before 2018 Compensation 2019-2021 Compensation 2021-Now
0 No Min $50,004 $53,760
1 $51,004 $54,144
2 $52,024 $54,540
3 $53,065 $56,712
4 $54,126 $58,608
5* $55,208 $60,780
Free Public Transportation
  • Your employer ID card is also your UPASS, which means free rides on all the buses and the lightrail in Seattle.
  • This is a savings of $600 per year!
Healthcare for all UW Postdocs
  • UW pays 85% of health insurance premiums
  • Supplementary stipend for postdocs funded by external grants without health insurance
  • Our union has fought for years to improve healthcare.
  • We bargain with the state of Washington to lower our monthly premiums, with UW paying 85%
Safe Working Conditions & Materials
  • Right to a healthy & safe working environment – you cannot be forced to work in unsafe conditions.
  • COVID-19 Safety and Protections: if you’re working in person during the pandemic, safety protocols and protective gear must be provided.
  • No out-of-pocket costs for materials or equipment
Appointment Security & Paid Time Off
  • Appointment Security: Minimum one year appointment and protections against unjust termination
  • Paid Time Off:
    • 12 sick days
    • 21 vacation days
    • 11 University holidays
    • Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML): 12-16 weeks of paid leave for a number of qualifying life events like parental leave, personal medical recovery, or caregiving if a family member is sick
Equity in the workplace
  • Survivor-centered protections against harassment and discrimination: You have access to a grievance procedure to address any instances of harassment or discrimination with survivor-centered protections
  • Union peer-led, evidence-based trainings through the Empowering Prevention & Inclusive Communities (EPIC) training program.
  • Rights to career development like secondary mentors and applying for grants as a PI
  • Collective caregiver fund. Last year, postdocs who enrolled got an average of $1000.
    • 2020: $30,000
    • 2021: $45,000
    • 2022: $50,000

Postdocs have all of these rights because a majority of our co-workers have signed up as members of our union and fought to win them during negotiations with UW administration.

You can access the full 2021-2023 collective bargaining agreement at https://www.uaw4121.org/postdoc-contract-full/.

If you experience problems in any of these areas, please get in contact immediately, even if you’ve already contacted another campus resource or aren’t sure what you’d like to do. A union representative can help you figure out your options, and will advocate for you.

Questions? Problems?