UC San Diego postdoctoral union members rally for contract rights
There was a rally of support on Wednesday morning for a couple of postdoctoral scientists who claim they are victims of academic bullying.
These are the latest allegations of harassment by UC professors against unionized academic workers who ratified a new contract in late December.
Members of the local UAW 5810 union rallied outside the Stein Clinical Research Building on the campus of UC San Diego.
Dr. Mwewa Herve Kibwe and Dr. Rahatullah Razan are postdoc researchers conducting medical experiments in cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the building they picketed.
They both work for the same primary investigator, Dr. Ayako Makino, an associate professor in the department of medicine.
“I work in Dr. Makino’s lab and we are subjected to bullying and harassment. I am facing dismissal right now," Kibwe said. He's on administrative leave until March 7 when he expects he could be fired.
His colleague Razan has a wife expecting a baby next week. Razan claimed his boss denied him appropriate parental leave and considerations.
“She increased my experimental load in such a way that I had to go home at midnight most days. Since my wife is pregnant, I couldn’t care for her and do the household chores. It made my life horrible," Razan said.
KPBS reached out to Makino and her supervisors for comment. None of them responded to our request.
Union organizers say they will take these cases to arbitration as allowed by the contract if UC officials do not reply to their complaints.