Improving the Caltech Experience

As Postdocs and Graduate Researchers at Caltech, we drive the research that makes Caltech a world-renowned institution. We are dedicated to and excited by our work in diverse fields across the frontiers of science and engineering. However, Caltech does not adequately support and protect its early-career researchers. We lack strong protections from discrimination and abusive conduct, while also struggling with the high cost of housing and health care.

We are coming together to form a union and collectively bargain with the Caltech administration. With a union we can democratically elect a bargaining team of our peers, negotiate with administration, and then vote to ratify a union contract. Crucially, the benefits and protections won through a union contract are legally enforceable. Beyond contract negotiations, joining over 100,000 other academic employees who are already part of UAW will give us a powerful platform to advocate for other priorities like increased research funding, fair visa and immigration policies in the US, Title IX reform, and more.

“I believe a union is the best route to creating a more democratic workplace that benefits researchers from all backgrounds, helping to close existing gaps in equity and making working conditions better across our institute.”

Sam Ponnada

Graduate Student Researcher, Astronomy

After years of trying to help trainees navigate the “proper channels”, I’m forced to conclude that a union is the only way to put an end to the employee abuse that is endemic at Caltech.”

Kriti Sharma

Postdoc, Geobiology